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A bad wolf running beside the storm

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1

A golden star

 

And the Doctor knew, of course he knew, always knew, that the thing was once again in his ship when Clara's eyes flickered with confusion at something behind him. It hadn't happened in a long time, maybe, just maybe if her old brain didn't fail, the first person who had that same look had been Susan when she had just arrived at the TARDIS, then she didn't have that. He looks at Jamie, then at Jo, who he perfectly remembered asking, but that she had lied to him, or maybe hadn't.

So Leela had been so smart and brilliant, but with her wild demeanor she could never have received more than two words, and how she had tried to do so, and although later she tried to test Romana to see if she could have seen anything. Because she was always incredibly insightful in both bodies, she never seemed to understand what she was talking about, she never dared to ask again, Turlough had seen something, the boy had been too easy at times, but like Jo, he had forgotten and Ace, after what happened with Fenric left the conversation entirely, because even in that body, he had always had some limits.

I never really ask, because at first, when he was young and naive, the idea of something going undetected on his TARDIS was just ridiculous.

He hadn't thought about that in later centuries, when Rory Williams-Pond had come aboard. But he ... had forgotten. How had I forgotten?

Because back then, he hadn't understood, because what had been on his ship from the start was the first thing that surprised those comrades and not the interior size of the TARDIS. Once, he may have thought they were ghosts, the treacherous thought fluttered at some point when he was alone, because even though he was alone in the TARDIS, he never felt that way.

And so the excuse that the TARDIS was alive had helped. But why had it helped?

But ... outside the familiar, warm murmur of the TARDIS in the back of his brain, which had always been with him ever since he took it, there was something else there, pushing, making room and it was terrifying, because that feeling had worsened since the face of the chin and the bow tie disappeared.

"Clara?"

Her eyes blinked and returned to him.

"Where were we?"

"He promised not to ask questions, Doctor."

True, he did, but what had caught his attention? What was it, for the sake of sanity, that caught your peers' attention so much? He knew, he remembered very clearly that his old body had sought as a vice the source of that domain after losing ... the ponds. He had said goodbye to River, and almost immediately that heat, which he knew was not the TARDIS, had comforted him.

He had searched, tired of games, for a long time before settling in 19th century London, but ... nothing, he had accomplished nothing. And that was impossible. But he wasn't sure if he had forgotten because some line needed to be discovered or if that thing really had so much power to make him forget.

And I really hoped it would come first. Because this new body was not as fun as the old one. He hadn't discovered all the facets he now had with this face, but he knew that all the anger he had had had cooled, and now he wasn't sure how far he would go to discover the mystery that had been hovering around him TARDIS as she set foot on it.

He cleared his throat, scattered his thoughts about the past, turned on his heel, ran his hands over the console, decided it was time to ask the question that had been eating him for so long: "Clara, what are you looking at? Now ? "

He had deliberately turned his back on her, but based on the almost muffled sound he made, he knew the question had taken him by surprise, and suddenly, that invading murmur manifested itself again, hitting ... no, not hitting. He was stroking her psyche, the heat was still familiar to her, but at the same time she couldn't remember where or from whom.

"I'm not ... sure what I see, doctor." Oswin had hesitated at first, but was sincere with his final confidence. He knew it.

"Describe it as best you can, Clara," he pressed, and the heat seized his shoulders, and he sought to ... calm him. I hadn't even noticed his stiff body.

Under a lever without seeing it, perhaps later she would remember which, and the engines of the TARDIS were muted, she turned again and rested her lower back on the console, looking at Clara, but Clara was looking at the site behind her. right shoulder, to the other side of the console and also to him ...

He forced both hearts to stop galloping furiously against his chest, keeping calm that he didn't feel, and only hoped the eyebrows wouldn't betray him. Because that, whatever was behind him, had to be really impressive to annoy Clara like she did.

He watched as he swallowed, as the set of muscles in his jaw moved, clenching and loosening, he heard his hunger for oxygen, but when those brown eyes stared at him with determination, he knew that his voice would not hesitate even once before speaking:

"He is bright, like a star, Doctor, completely golden and large, and I cannot see his face ... it is only a light." Well, now he had an imaginary star in his TARDIS. "Why can't you see it, Doctor?

The eyebrows furrowed, because he had somehow pushed the question away from Clara, but he ... he really had no idea how to answer, so he just left with the truth. Because sometimes telling the truth was the only plan he had.

 "I don't really know why I can't see it, that thing has always been here, Clara, few of my old companions have seen it, and outside of that ..." I glance over my shoulder at the empty space and look Clara. "I don't see anything, the TARDIS scanners have never shown me if it exists or if ..." she was interrupted by Clara.

"Oh, of course it exists, Doctor, and it's taking shape." his voice brushed the panic very lightly. He straightened up and approached her, standing right next to her.

"Do you see?" demanded. She placed her face just level with her and even though she was looking at the empty spot, she observed every change in her partner's face.

Clara took a few seconds as her face transformed, she went from a grimace of concentration to completely surprise. To him, that point was still empty, but the murmur had grown more demanding, pressing and burning in his mind, he reluctantly turned away from Clara.

Restless he moved to the control panel, his hands eager to touch the time rotor and leave. Clara's loud exhalation stopped the movements of her hands.

"A... woman." She whispered unsure, and he was about to lose him, to hit something if it wasn't for his current location. The days of hitting the TARDIS had been left in the heavy.

But only sometimes did he need a hammer.

The disbelief was coupled with his annoyance. Woman? He had expected everything, even a Dalek, minus a woman. Woman.

"What is the woman like, Clara?" it had come out as a growl, but his patience was hanging on a thin thread.

But Clara had not noticed the change in her voice, no, she was still looking at the empty spot when she replied: "She is blonde and her eyes shine, Doctor. And she is smiling at you ..." Clara blinked and turned her head, nailing her suspicious wet brown eyes on him. "She smiles at you and asks me not to tell you anything."

He lost it. He lost his temper at the moment that Clara's eyes had started to water and simply collapsed with the words and with the now familiar murmur that touched him, not on the shoulders as before, or on the head, no, on the chest, just in the middle of their two hearts.

"WHAT ARE YOU?!" she screamed into the empty space, shaking off the feeling that had caused a sudden lump in her throat. This regeneration was not out of sentimentality. Clara jumped at the scream, approached almost three long steps and grabbed her left arm with a strong grip.

"What the hell are you doing, Doctor?" He looked at her blankly.

"Something has been around who knows how long on my ship, Clara, perhaps it is not a threat, but in my years, something like that, which has even been kept hidden from the TARDIS systems, cannot be a good thing." He clenched his teeth and looked in all directions.

Clara looked at him as if she had lost her mind, and maybe she was right.

"She doesn't want to hurt you, Doctor, she just wants ..." A jump of alarm, and both the Doctor and Clara, the first with horror and the second with clear surprise like the buttons, levers, screens and absolutely everything TARDIS, including engines, came to life. One of the screens, saw the Doctor before being hit furiously in one of the chairs, showed coordinates.

She had just pushed him into a sitting position and taken control of her ship.

The TARDIS was being run by a woman, for something she hadn't been able to catalog, and for a moment she remembered an old, but very old adventure, which included the Ponds, a meteorite eating TARDIS, and the consciousness of her old machine in the body of a human; Panic assailed him, but the murmur, the invisible force pushed him toward the chair and Clara, who was still in place, her body completely immobile, looked at him helplessly.

"And you say he doesn't want to hurt!" He couldn't stop the sarcasm dripping with his stronger accent now. Clara's expression was now a complete apology and that didn't make her feel better.

"She's just stopping you from doing something ..." He didn't seem to find the words until he saw another surprise spot - empty - near him; "stupid."

Now I was exasperated and spoke to the air. "Stupid? You invisible thing! You've taken control of my ship! You're stupid!" His body pinned against the chair began to press against him, and before insulting that force again, the TARDIS landed.

In a way as subtle as if it were handled by River, but it was impossible. I knew it. Now more than ever ready to see where the thing had taken him, he got up with a furious step once he was free of the chair, and walked to the console and observed his current location on the screen.

Their hearts had stopped, their mind never blank remained in absolute nothingness. Two words were on the screen. Two words that I think I had buried with an old face centuries ago. Because that chapter of his life was supposed to be over. From the moment he said goodbye to her on December 24, 2004.

Was it really over?

Behind him, Clara sighed to have her mobility and in a whisper, as if it were a secret, she spoke: "She says that the TARDIS would never let her take control in that way unless she agreed to take you to the place that ...

"I have to go," finished Clara. And their hearts, which had begun to beat, were furious against his chest, the noise of his blood could very well make him deaf, but his mind, oh, his silly and senile mind was still swimming concentrated only in two words that flickered furiously in the screen...

 

LOBO MALO.

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2

Event Horizon

 

 

She remembered the last time she saw him, at least when he still thought she was human. Her doctor with brown eyes and a thousand volt smile, after that farewell on that beach in Norway, had the slight feeling that it was not the end, even when she had the Doctor, his own Doctor, by her side, her husband half human and half lord of the time. It had been a difficult start, not so easy and not so happy, the Doctor waited for her for two whole years after that kiss on the beach.

She admitted that she had been bitter for months, she saw John and saw only the memory of the man who had abandoned her. And she knew that absurd thought was wrong in every way, but it was inevitable. And he forgave her. The man who once again had not given her a choice, nor her metacrisis. And only in time was she able to forgive him.

Sometimes it was John, sometimes it was just the Doctor. I joke with him saying that "John" was a hoax for his true identity.

And his Doctor, sometimes it was John and sometimes it was just the Doctor. She joked on more than one occasion about it, because "John" was a hoax on his true identity, and so he stayed.

And the... her dear, wonderful, beautiful man had been terribly patient, and meeting him after the bitterness was gone had been the best trip. And I wouldn't have missed it for anything in the world.

He had been the Doctor, but at the same time he was not, during the endless appointments, and yes, because there were many appointments, he realized that his resemblance to Donna went beyond what both of them originally thought. And unlike the other Doctor, this one was so human that he was painfully fragile at times.

He denied it, very insistently, but she liked to see him let out some sharp cries when something took him by surprise or argued, sentimentality was also new, the way he runny at romantic movies made her have fun for hours every time, but he kept denying it vehemently, discussing the differences between Donna and him.

But she never really cared, because she learned to love him again, and that's when she realized she didn't need thousands of years and two hearts to love two different men.

Because they were. Both Doctors, one partially human and the other Time Lord, had different personalities, but the same in the only thing that she always loved and admired of him. The desire to do the right thing.

Finally, once their relationship was established, he asked her for human-style marriage, and she agreed, but Rose Tyler never stopped being Rose Tyler, he claimed it was because a hero never had to change his name.

She stopped reminding him that he was no longer a hero. They worked together, shoulder to shoulder in Torchwood, because regardless of being half human, John was still the Doctor, and in his words they would be: "More than 900 years of intelligence, Rose."

And it was then, after that conversation, he just asked the right questions and discovered that the Doctor had been for a long time (perhaps from his sixth to seventh regeneration), without having the follow-up of his true age. Rose only lasted for a few minutes in shock before processing him and laughing for hours.

His Doctor had said it was not fun. She had thought that he was just senile, and hours after that discussion they had actually spent the night doing much more interesting things than talking about the Doctor's true age.

Only a few months after that conversation, almost five years living in Pete's world, and a year of marriage, he had intended to marry her in the only way he knew they would be tied forever. A Gallifreyan wedding.

She had said yes, he explained what it entailed and she said yes again. They had waited long enough and it all felt strangely good to do it that way. Their bond was made and the Doctor's real name was whispered in his ear.

And after that?

Only stories came, thousands of stories that Rose was responsible for preserving in her memory. His days at Gallifrey Academy, when he was Theta Sigma, about his arranged marriage, about his son and then about Susan, about the beginning of a renegade Time Lord, about the people he met, abandoned and died. Of the human beings that I love with their two hearts, of how silly and naive he was during his first regenerations.

I talk about how much he missed seeing the stars, but that living a life with her would not change him for anything in the universe, Rose was always silent during the stories and never admitted that she also missed seeing the stars and all the wonders that were out there, waiting to be known.

But she knew. She always knew.

They both had faith that they would soon have their own TARDIS. Ten years had passed after Donna had given him the TARDIS coral, his little brother was in his early twenties, his father had left him as director of Torchwood, the wrinkles on his mother's face were already evident, and While John had started wearing real glasses and saw a few gray hairs in his big brown hair, Rose Tyler did not seem a day older than the last time she saw the Doctor and the TARDIS.

They both knew something was wrong, their suspicions increased with the months, the years, but neither of them wanted to say it out loud.

Then she got pregnant and lost it. And they both could never recover from it.

Then the TARDIS coral began to die,  and seeing the sparkle in her husband's eyes dim even further, something inside her snapped. He had explained: there was no way, it was not the right world, the energy of Artron that the TARDIS needed was almost non-existent in this universe. Keeping her alive had been almost impossible if it wasn't for the presence of him and Rose, who had so much energy in their system.

She asked him if they really weren't enough and it was the second time that Rose had seen him so ... destroye, because he shyly admitted, something i suspect, but had not dared to say: it would have been more than enough if he were himself a Time Lord. Not partially human. But completely the Doctor.

She hated seeing him like this and secretly, while her husband was secluded at work, she began to sleep next to the coral. At first he didn't know what had caused such an act, more behind Doctor's back, who had insisted on letting little TARDIS die.

Rose only discovered it months later, when on a mission crossing hostile lines, he received twelve electric shots of more than three hundred thousand volts and with two hundred and fifty amps of intensity. A shock like that was enough to leave a human dead in milliseconds, but not Rose, the clothes she was wearing only disintegrated and knocked her unconscious for two days.

Thousands of processes later by John it was discovered that his DNA had not only mutated after the electrical outlets, it was completely different. Rose Tyler had six propellers instead of two. And John, knowing that the Lords of the Timpo only had four propellers, and most non-human species only three, had never seen anything like this.

But her suspicions had been confirmed, and what neither of them had wanted to talk about previously came to light, Rose had lost her baby due to lack of incompatibility, she had not gotten pregnant again all these years later because simply ... both were not and would never be compatible, she alone had made the coral of the TARDIS grow a few centimeters more only in five months than in 10 years with the presence of Doctor. Rose Tyler was no longer human, because her newly acquired propellers had Artron energy. His blood became a universal donor to an interstellar donor.

Rose Tyler was something else. Not human, not alien, but certainly something else. And although Doctor had always promised him, throughout the years, Rose found herself unable to fulfill her own promise.  There was a time, when he was forty-five years old, when he thought he saw gray hair in his hair and the trace of wrinkles around his eyes, but a car accident and five hours later, gray hair was gone.

The coral was no longer a coral, but a half-built TARDIS and it had only taken five years for Rose's persistent presence. John was getting older, those mischievous eyes with his mischievous smile hadn't changed over the years, his gray-sprayed brown hair made him increasingly attractive, but a misunderstanding on the part of a waitress claiming that Rose was his daughter. The wonderful man had become depressed.

For the sixth time, since she met the Doctor and had John by her side, her heart broke. After that incident, John did a lot more work on the TARDIS, and Rose didn't need to ask why.

But the long overdue conversation came.

"John, come to bed, you have to sleep. You have spent three days in this, the TARDIS will not go away." She saw him from the door of the workshop, she was on her back with the light of the lamp directly on the circuits she was trying to connect, Rose's voice had reached John's ears, sweet and worried.

But it wasn't time to sleep, he didn't need that now. He ignores it and kept working. Helping a Type 40 Mark I TARDIS develop was incredibly fun and exhausting, because that machine was already considered old when he was at the Academy and had never touched another TARDIS other than his own, and if only he could ...

"Doctor," he insisted, using that title. He paused for a second, the sonic unscrewing stopped making his dive, but immediately as a continuous stop, and ignored it, even though he knew it would bother him. But I needed to complete this last part.

She had played low, saying that title, but the years had given her the right tools to deal with that mad and damn smart man's temper, so she reached out, placed her right hand on his shoulder, and began to smooth the muscle. tense.

Seconds ticked by, maybe minutes or hours, but he was still working, the sonic was still making the slight sub that echoed in the room and Rose followed behind him, kneading his shoulders. He gave up with a sigh, releasing the pieces in his hand next to the sonic screwdriver, knowing that he wouldn't leave until he went to bed.

He had wished that such a conversation would never happen.

"But I will go away." The movement in his shoulders stopped.

"Doctor, you don't know ..." he interrupted her, knowing what she would say.

"Maybe the TARDIS won't go, Rose, but i will," he repeated in a whisper, but he knew she had heard him loud and clear. The hands on his shoulders finished withdrawing and for a moment he thought he would leave, that he would surrender, but no, Rose Tyler was not like that.

With slow but determined movements, she sat on his lap, hanging. Taking her face in her hands, brown eyes staring at patties, she felt her throat close and she swallowed thickly.

"I love you," I whisper giving him a sad smile. Her only heart felt heavy and painful in her chest. "I will not run without you, I will not give up on you, I will not stop loving you after death, and although you have told me that remembering is painful, I will always, always remember you because I love you, and loving also means feeling pain."

"Rose ..." he complained in a shaky voice, she pressed her index finger to his lips to silence him.

"I know you think I'll run to him when you leave, but I won't because I don't want to ..."

It was his turn to cut it again. He couldn't bear the pain in his chest anymore and he needed her to understand "You have to go. Rose, you have to, i ... i haven't been honest with you about your mutation."

His brow furrowed slightly and he swallowed. "Rose, i have remembered certain things the past few years ... things that happened in my previous bodies, and you should know that."

And he told her, and Bad Wolf returned to their lives. Rose Tyler was long resentful of that conversation, and was never the same again.

But it only took almost two hundred years after the death of John and his entire family to make a decision. Her TARDIS was not like the Doctor's, it was not a blue police box, but it was just as beautiful and balanced by the Void as only one of its kind could have done, entering her old world like a needle in a strainer, through a crack, a small crack that no one bothered to close.

The arrival was shocking. She and her TARDIS were connected in a symbiotic way. Therefore Rose remembers the hit, the pain, her TARDIS crying and complaining against her brain to the breaking point, the impact and the jolt caused her body to explode into thousands of pieces, causing her to forget her his own name

But she was caught in the event horizon before she could get back what she had lost, and then she saw a little boy who was afraid of the dark. And although she did not know herself, she knew that child, because she had never forgotten him and before she could shout his name, a black hole consumed her.

Chapter Text

3


The big red button

 

At first she had not understood everything that was happening around her, which had awakened her. Echoes of explosions, heartbreaking screams of men and women, of crying children echoing off the walls of their unconsciousness.

He reviewed all the systems and in a matter of seconds, hours, minutes, days, he was not very sure, he discovered everything, more than 800 lost years entered his system and he knew it. Gallifrey in the war against Skaro, the Time Lords against the Daleks, the entire universe receiving entire waves of death and destruction before the Great Time War. The space was convulsed by the loss of life and the Guardians had sent a silent call in time to awaken their latent consciousness.

But what call had been enough to wake her up? She did not attend to the Time Lords, they had locked her up because she was too dangerous, something too close to a God, and they had no control over her, and that had scared them. He didn't even remember the precise moments when he kept in touch with another living being ... No, wait, he did. The last time I had contact with a living being, it had been that child, that child who cried at night in the desert.

It was a fun thing like thousands upon thousands of years of intelligence, being one of the oldest races in this universe, the Time Lords had stumbled like insignificant bipeds upon encountering technology like their own. They did not dare to see her up close, and therefore she allowed herself to see them, from the poorest places to the great Citadel, like a virus in the Gallifrey data system, from the moment the new inhabitants of the red planet they discovered until they feared it. moral judgment, she knew everything about everyone.

Now, he understood everything again, and carefully listened to footsteps, the desert sand and time moving under the child's feet, oh, his sweet child, the one that stood out as a red giant among thousands of dying stars, had her again and she smiled pleased to see their timelines, feel them, know that they would be together again.

But I had to knit everything carefully. From the birth of the moon to the death of the sun, from the first word to the last and that was something fun over time, that this doubled at your convenience, that space see your reasons to keep your little son alone, that each star decided to shine even brighter when this creature that she had begun to love from the beginning of time looked at her.

I see the lines prepare before your plans. She saw the tears and the laughter, saw the fear and despair building around her son and realized that something very important was missing ... herself. She was nervous to discover that she was so focused on the lines that she didn't think of herself in her son's life.

And possibly he would be late, when his lonely son was no longer a boy but a man, and he decided to put his own energy, unique in this universe, in the most special place, which would be the home of his son - soon to be a human being throughout his existence, and would keep him safe. And he would keep all those creatures that were woven from her life ... lonely man, just because he loved them, and I cry for them, she would keep them safe.

She would burn just to keep him alive.

At the beginning of everything, he did not understand it, since it was something superior to everything that he lived today, he had not understood his own insistence on staying there, in that apartment that was just discovering its own potential, but then ... and then to she may have been centuries for other species: she had felt the vibrations that were only felt in the universe when new life was created. A very important life. And she ran, ran to meet him and howled. And she had never been so happy, no, she had never known the meaning of the word happiness or that feeling before, because she was alive, but the meaning of life for her was different from everything that was known, and being alive was not the same than to live and that was something that only she herself understood because she was unique of her kind.

But she lived when the two hearts of her lonely son, her exiled man, her punished God, her Doctor and her Warrior throbbed with life. He knew in all his systems that his time had come and he woke up.

Chapter Text

4

T he storm is near

 

Those two words echoed against his mind, over and over again, as his brain continually works on everything, possible futures, mathematical and physical calculations that would not yet be discovered within a few thousand years, of the next TARDIS renovations, his brain only stopped the moment the compression slammed into him.

Now everything was much clearer and more confusing. A strange mixture of uncertainty and happiness clouded his senses and he felt like a child again, barely fifty years old and afraid of the dark.I was afraid to say it out loud, because if there was anything I had learned from the beginning of this whole story, it was that names had power, and this particular name had not been pronounced by their last lips in ... more than four centuries, and I didn't know if doing so would feel the same as the first time.

"Doctor ..." Clara's voice pulled him out of his stupor. I look at her sideways, I was beside her, seeing with confusion adorning her beautiful face those two words that were all over the main screen of the TARDIS, right next to her current location.

He would have to remain calm, even without knowing at all what was going on, he would do it, eventually resolve it if he was brave enough to go out and face what was out there.

He was never especially brave.

"Clara, for today, and just for today, I need you to see what you see, listen to what you hear, don't get away from me." I don't look at her when she dictated her words seriously, she only released a breath she had been holding for more than ten minutes, calmed her two hearts, and walked to the door.

He could feel his doubt, his Clara Oswald never stopped questioning, never backed down from his temper, this time she just followed him. As always, without leaving him alone, once again. Willing to face the worst dangers of the universe only if he told her to go with him.

He momentarily thought that he had spent the last trip they had had before all this madness began, and wondered where the TARDIS had taken them, of how shaken Clara was at whatever she had witnessed and ...

"What did you see, Clara?"

She knew what I was talking about. He only got a low murmur of disapproval. "You promised not to ask me questions, Doctor."

He frowned at the tone.

"Don't you remember the first rule about traveling with me, Clara?" 

They both kept moving toward the door, slowly, and he just let the question rest in the air, without really waiting for Clara to answer. His senses, even from the other side of the door, detected the salty smell, the sound of the waves crashing against each other, felt the soft vibrations of time, here, in this place, time moved differently, when there was landed for the first time so long in this universe, he had not understood at first the vertigo that was rushing towards him every time he made an abrupt movement, but now, older and with many but many more stories in his timeline, he understood much more. 

This parallel universe was relatively too young, and therefore the time here was too enthusiastic, like a child who barely knows how to stand on his feet and still wants to run even if he didn't know how.

And if he went to the linear order. At the linear time of how that story had ended, many had passed, but many years since he stepped on that universe for the last time, perhaps twice as much as hers.

I was truly terrified of what I could find once I crossed the doors. And so he had to give Clara space to do the honor. She looked at him, uncertainly and clenching her lips in a thin line, opened the doors of the TARDIS and left.

He waited, holding his breath for only a few seconds and Clara's voice from outside startled him, releasing once more the air he had been holding.

"Doctor, we are ... " the doubt dripped in his tone, not sure if what he saw, heard and felt was correct; "we are on the beach."

And he left, knowing that he could not postpone the inevitable, his sight met Dårlig Ulv Stranden. He clenched his jaw, and dragged his feet on the sand, looking at the landscape, which hadn't changed a bit since he was there last, and that was impossible.

There was something that was undeniably woven into human DNA that was impossible to alter or change, no matter how much progress they made in artificial intelligence or modification over the centuries in their initial model. The human being was an adaptable creature, like no other, in the broad universe is solely dependent on making the environment around him reluctantly adapt to his image of comfort. A sterile environment if touched by being human would never do the same again.

Therefore it was impossible that this beach was in exact conditions, identical to the last time it was there. He circled his axis, turning his back on Clara, watching the stones and the sand plain, because they had landed in the exact place where she had said goodbye to them, she, centuries ago.

He bent down, touched the sand, cold to the touch and felt the waves of time, somewhat erratic when calculating, took her to his face and ...

 

"Doctor!"

Ignoring Clara's reprimand, she brought the sand to her mouth, and tasted the silicon saltpeter, the quartz particles talking about the warmest daylight hours, about the newly discovered oil basin they had found in the sea and the change at the tide at that time of day, and about ... the wrong time he had spent on the beach.

"Clara, what do you think is wrong with this beach?"

The above saw the Doctor stand on her feet, and she made her own observation about the environment that greeted her, weighing what could be wrong. The weather was slightly damp and cold, the sand wet, the surroundings were calm, the sound of the waves and the sound of…

"There are no seagulls." The Doctor turned and gave him a tense, too hesitant smile that left right away. She almost regretted having made her observation.

"And listen carefully to the waves, Clara."

She had deciphered it a little late, the sound was the same, I watch the waves crash against the rocks, and the water come back. The same sound, the same wave ripple, the same drag.

She swallowed thick.

"The wind ..." She spoke almost breathlessly and the Doctor nodded at his words. He knew it, of course he did.

The weather was cold and wet, but it really didn't blow wind. She looked up at the sky, and it was cloudy, no particular change, the clouds were gray and intact. She looked down and looked for the Doctor, to her face who promised to solve this mystery and what she found scared her.

He was pale. In her eyes, old and tired reflected a storm that she had rarely seen throughout her time with him, her frown and the play of muscles in her jaw were hardened, obscuring her face. A movement directed his gaze after the Doctor. Golden eyes looked at her mischievously, and she was startled.

And the Doctor wasted no time, at the moment when Clara diverted her attention to something behind him, she saw her eyes widen in amazement and her body jump, he turned on his axis, and faced a face he hoped he would never return to see again.

"Hi, Doctor"

Chapter Text

 

Timelessness

Once she had been very young, so young that she saw the beginning of the explosion, no, she herself had been part of that explosion, she had seen her own expansion and growth, coming to undulate the currents of time and space.

Each concept was new, as new as his new consciousness.

He had seen universes and stars born. From the smallest star to the largest universe, she had seen things that, like her, had been part of the explosion, fighting and convulsing everything in its path; she herself had not been in the beginning, because before time and space exploded, it had only been that, that before time, and it was fine, because when those unnameable things returned to their original state, they brought life and death to everything, she began to live, observing, absorbing every ounce of information, and inevitably living and going in all directions of life.

Because she had never lived. But now she was not alone, she was divided into three and scattered in time, there was the oldest of her, who had kept the first memory and very far, gathering everything she herself saw in the present, but capitulating in the past. And when he stretched to the end, the future, because everything had an end and a beginning, he appreciated the light there and longed for the darkness, because it had been his home long before the explosion occurred.

And it was never boring again. Life brought a lot of fun, a lot of light and many flashes of darkness, life had inevitably become the only thing new. He played and walked in many places, space needed time to grow and time needed space to exist, one could not exist without the other and they were terribly dependent.

Like her with others.

But once there was a thing, as smart as her, about to die, that dying thing only asked for something, small and sad: it asked for life, and he gave it to her, he didn't know how, but she gave it, and that thing in exchange for the small gift, he offered his heart.

He had never had a heart in his hands before. The pain and happiness were indescribable, and she went everywhere to disappear, but she never found a place deep enough, far enough away to take that thing away from her. She was known by many names in all universes, in all languages, life had taken it upon herself, but she felt pain and learned that life was not only playing and having fun, but also feeling bitter.

He had learned a new feeling. She was pleased.

There was one name in particular that she had clung to, attached to the heart that had given her, that name had a great connection like her, not as great as the full total it represented, but close.

The heart became much more painful to be around the child, and that is why I plan, plan together with the original owner of the heart for that son of time, take his numb conscience and wake up, making sure of the events of that thing planned during centuries, they will take the right course to settle carefully.

 

DOCTOR WHO DOCTOR WHO 

 

 


If human organisms had as good a memory as the Time Lords, they would know that the first thing was always the egg. But we all know that our ancestors were part-time lords, therefore we can argue that perhaps one or two propellers were lost during the first human age. But you must remember that good human memory amounts to thousands of wars and deaths over time, the brightest lives consumed by destruction. Maybe she hadn't been human for a long time, but she herself always knew she had been the Bad Wolf first, and then Rose Tyler. But nobody remembered that old story, his own human memory had not been able to remember until he had looked at the heart of the TARDIS and its song echoed in his mind.

If only children were still children forever, they would have remembered it, because children always remembered good stories.

If that were the case, she would have allowed herself to love the man in front of her purely forever. That man she had missed with every part of her existence and seeing him now caused a bittersweet wave of everything bad and good.

His voice, used after many years in silence, was heard hoarse in his own ears, but that name, that name that the stars had once written, that name that once caused entire civilizations to kneel and cringe in fear, a name he had always carried the promise of life and death had been a name he had wanted to pronounce aloud for a long time, so much so that he had lost count.

When she landed again in her home universe, her TARDIS, so young and inexperienced, had come very close to falling into a black hole, so close that the event horizon of that hole had kept her gravitating around 2,667 billion years. Her TARDIS had burned her core, almost her entire heart, just at the exact moment that the black hole had finished absorbing the last star that was in that instance of the universe in order to leave. She was almost dead, as was her TARDIS.

 

But no, the explosion of the black hole had thrown it at a speed compared to light, leaving it at a point in the universe and the time where everything was still young and new, because all the Artron energy that had been swallowed had altered it, to the point of having turned it into a built-in time travel black hole, where the Time War had not yet happened and the Gallyfreyan was still learning how to use the fourth dimension, her body had been on the verge of collapse and the Bad Wolf saved her by joining another being like her in destruction, the Moment had been called.

He had been in a lethargic state, watching the suns and Mondays rise and fall, until a curious and fantastic boy saw the Desenfrana Schism, where he could see the Time Vortex and ran towards it and had remembered everything.

Herself, being Rose Tyler.

I could never leave it again. Although some of his memories were fragmented, he used telepathic ability and joined the TARDIS, which was once stolen and turned into a blue police box.

But there were failures. Because technically it was linked to the Moment, which was the most dangerous weapon created, but it was also linked to the TARDIS, to the two TARDIS, which existed in all time and space.

Something like that shouldn't have existed, the Guardians of the Universe were horrified with her, she was in her most sublime essence, an abomination, but before being part of the Moment and after that, they had hit the clamor of the stars when they saw that she could give all that power to that boy, his lonely little boy, to end everything, and only if he decided. None of them had understood the importance of that child so early in time.

And after waiting almost three thousand years, it is not necessarily linear time, because his sense of time was dissociated with his real sense of his own life, he got closer, much more than before. Because she wanted to, she needed to see him, she wanted him to see her eyes and know she would do anything for him.

From destroying itself, to destroying the entire universe, just to keep it safe.

Her eyes widened, just a little more than normal and she felt her heart beat faster, but the surprise was masked by that grumpy face. And since she loved that new face, well, she loved all faces, because she had known all the doctors, from the abrasive young man with his granddaughter, then with the lively and scruffy man, with his flute making music in the corners of the TARDIS, and while it was true that when he was exiled on earth he had become much more affable, that Doctor had also had a more paternalistic and authoritarian air, much faster to challenge his superiors than his two previous bodies, to the point that he tended to get angry when his patience reached its limit.

He had loved the first two, but the third, oh, with the third of him his rebellious personality was born, and she had loved it. He had always been a rebel, he had never fit into the Academy, but since he had come to earth his personality had been shown in all its glory. And that other Doctor with dark curls, so tall and with that multicolored scarf had been her greatest enigma, going from zero to one hundred like her previous predecessor with dizzying speed that had left her wanting to run on more than one occasion, but no Because together with Sarah Jane Smith they had been fantastic.

And when he died, he had left a great mark, so large that his next body had been vulnerable with a sensitivity that she had only seen when she was a child, and more than ever she had tried to protect him, she had tried to speak to him for the first time. While he still had that face but his voice had only echoed in the corridors of the TARDIS. She herself had thought that perhaps Peri, the brilliant Peri Brown, could see or hear her, but no, before she could prove it, the Doctor had sacrificed her life to save her.

To think that with all her power she could avoid their deaths, because she never stopped being painful, but she knew there was a course to follow.

And when the Doctor had his next face, for the first time in centuries, he found mixed feelings regarding this new personality. He had been smug and cocky, his ego so big, bigger than TARDIS herself, and she once thought that had been impossible, but no, he too had become too manic, volatile towards everyone, with an imperturbable and simplistic wit shown on the outside, but to the point that his own personality was a fatalistic boil.

Meeting each doctor was always especially fantastic and wonderful, each different but always the same. It was like going into an ice cream parlor, without thinking especially about what ice cream to eat and then you see one, perhaps the color or its name were the ones that most caught your attention and tells the person at the counter to give it to you. You do not know what you are facing, you have no idea if you end up hating or enjoying that ice cream that you have never tried before, but you still risk it, because you love ice cream.

It had been that simple to love him. Loving him was like loving ice cream and she had always been a risky consumer, well, maybe not her, but Rose Tyler had been. And by knowing that personality of his, so obsessed with morals and his battle against evil, spending all his empathy mistakes, he had revealed a side of the Doctor that he had never thought to visualize. She had loved him, but for the first time in a long time she had felt a resentment towards him that she never thought she had harbored.

And it did not diminish with his next face. Always with nervous energy during her first steps, she had to follow this Doctor very closely. A combination of his past and future, at least those that Rose Tyler knew personally, this new face with an umbrella had been clumsy, still curious and charming, but with no sense of preservation and over time, when he began to choose his battles and keeping his secrets, he continued advancing to a calm, too serious and contemplative at the same time, sometimes leading to malice and manipulation that he had not seen in a long time.

His plans had become erratic, even the planned ones and this Doctor, with that face he had begun to lie much more frequently and easily to his companions, oh and the things he had done to the wonderful Ace, she had understood, yes, he had always done it, but this time she couldn't stop the resentment from growing, until it became ugly and dark.

Now a hatred was born in her that she had never thought of feeling for the man she loved before, but she did. Because seeing him with Ace had made her remember herself with her first and second Doctor. This umbrella doctor had been especially fond of chess and she had stopped seeing him at some point. Unwilling to keep track of his games and manipulations, he had consciously lost himself in the TARDIS and had not appeared until he heard the disturbance in the TARDIS and the shooting.

With curious eyes he saw the new Doctor enter with Grace Holloway. And this as it had been different, and she did not exaggerate. This Doctor in his Mr. Darcy dress, and she had searched very hard in his memory to make comparisons, had been almost innocent. Not vulnerable as his exiled Doctor, no, more like ... calm, without that storm inside him like the others, with his desire to do good and encourage the beings around him to do better.

She had been attracted once again to her natural charm and had watched all her first steps and her fight with the Master, and if she had been the human teenager she once was, jealousy had taken a toll on her in seeing him so interested in Grace, but no, because she had seen him be a father, grandfather, friend, mentor, scientist, philosopher and a Doctor, always a Doctor, but very rarely had he been a man, a man in the romantic sense, of course.

And he had understood a little later that part of this new Doctor had a lot of influence from Grace Holloway and he knew that she had broken both hearts a bit when she had not wanted to go with him to the TARDIS. She had fallen in love with this new Doctor again, because his freshness had been so good for her that she felt young again and eager to discover all that he could show her.

Everything went dark with the War of Time until his conscience and it was not until he put his hands on the Moment, that everything had been illuminated about future events and she was happy, because if anything was certain it was that in the end, everything would be fine.

The memories of her next Doctors, her first two, were a bit fragmented, because TARDIS had closed all ties with her, for three hundred years alone, wandering in the entire TARDIS, until that face with a big chin and green eyes he made his appearance, and yet it had been an echo, almost like River Song.

It was not correct until this grumpy face with a northern accent and she had studied it, this new he, all these thousands of years before and after Clara Oswin Oswald, because she had snooped a little in her future and this new man was the totality of all his lived experiences, was the sum of thousands of years of battles and pain, of his greatest congratulations and losses, this Doctor, old and moody, was his Doctor.

Taking it to that beach by opening a temporary loop had been a risky bet, but TARDIS had made the decision for it by sliding too easily into the parallel universe.

Now was the moment of truth. He opened his mouth again to speak but this new Doctor raised his hand, with the universal stop sign, that more his cold look made her close her mouth suddenly, feeling the change in the environment.

"No, don't talk." Voz her voice was hard, with the heavy accent between her words and the repetitive sound of the waves in the background, she thought without a doubt that it was a good way to meet him. Clara Oswin Oswald looked at her uncertainly and she smiled at him amicably, or what at least she thought was friendly. His interactions with humans had become reduced to observation alone.

 He approached her, slowly but decisively, and in a matter of a tenth of a second, she knew why she was always counted, took out the sonic screwdriver and directed it towards her. She let out a laugh and he froze, his knuckles had turned white in his grip on the screwdriver and his frown had deepened further. She smiled at him even more, making a movement with her tongue that she hadn't done in ... a long time, and the storm in her blue eyes returned.

“ What. Are. You? ”

She does not doubt. “Ros ...” her scream made her shut up and her smile slipped, losing her. Something was not quite right. But what could have been wrong?

"You are not her." he growled under his breath "Then you can never pronounce that name. Do you understand me?" He approached, dragging sand in his path, and with only a space of two centimeters away, he brought the sonic screwdriver directly to his face, he felt something cold move near his heart.

They were looking me straight in the eye. He must have recognized her, it was impossible not to, she always knew it was him with a look in her eyes, no matter what face they were on, she always knew when she was her Doctor.

Making a bold move: she took his face in her hands and slowly watched the fight in her blue eyes freeze, giving way to a mixture of feelings, but absolute terror was the predominant one. He couldn't bear it, so he smoothed the skin over the edge of his eyes, tenderly touched his cheekbones and pulled him closer, nose to nose.

“Hello, look at me, Doctor, it's me. It really is me. "

And something happened that he had rarely seen and never, never in this new Doctor, his old eyes crystallized. This grumpy doctor with so much fire inside let out a small tear and slid down his left cheek, moistening his own thumb that was on the way.

The sonic screwdriver fell into the sand and broke her heart when he looked at her with utter desolation through those tired eyes.

Chapter Text

6

So far so close

 

Perhaps his years were already playing a joke on him. When he first met her, with those ears and the leather jacket, he thought, like the deceived man he had been, that he would never lose her. That maybe I could keep this human pink and yellow.

He regenerated, and although he had no idea who he was, he thought it would be the last time he would see her, he could count on the fingers of one hand how many of his companions stayed with him after the change.

It was never pleasant to think of those who did not stay. But he did, not only did he accept his new face, he accepted the new Doctor. While it was true that this new face had been created for her and only for her, she could still remember like a tidal wave of stars the joy she felt at her soft acceptance, and then the secret of her regeneration, had been kept, like many others.

Knowing that he was going to die after absorbing his heart from the TARDIS, he wanted to be a pretty boy. It was his last thought before he regenerated, because if there was any way for him to stay, at least with the kind of face he would find attractive.

He had become foolish with old age. I knew it. But he didn't care. Since he had never felt like this and, although he did not say it out loud, he always knew it was that feeling that had felt their hearts when he took that hand with his and ran.

But he lost it and got it back a second time and then lost it again. And that part of him, the one that made him a man, buried her, deep inside him. He couldn't be more of a man than a doctor. Because things never ended well when that happened.

But now he was there, with her, or at least something that looked remotely like her. On a beach he never thought to visit her again, with a face that was not at all the last face he had seen. His eyes glittered, brown and gold danced in his irises, and he had to close his own eyes for an instant, because he couldn't face what those eyes harbored. Those emotions were too much for him, and he feared his sanity would fade if he risked seeing her too long.

He parted, moving away from those hands. And he turned his back on her, needed space for a moment, breathed and opened his eyes again, he saw Clara, she looked at him in surprise and only hoped that her face did not show everything she felt at that moment. Spinning again, the dirt crawled under his shoes, and avoiding his gaze at all times, he lifted the sonic screwdriver from the sand.

He advanced, for a moment he thought that his legs would not work, that he would not advance more than two steps, but he did. He looked at her without really looking at her, his gaze fixed on her left shoulder.

"This universe is falling apart and ..." was interrupted.

"This universe has already collapsed."

Her voice made him shudder, it had been so long without hearing her that he still wasn't totally sure it would have sounded like this: "And how are we standing here, if it's already collapsed?" He tried to be as rude as possible, but the question had been more a grunt than anything else.

There was silence, he refused to look at her, and when he finally spoke, years could have passed.

"The last time we saw each other was on this beach, Doctor." Her eyes didn't blink, she didn't know how he knew, even when he wasn't looking at her, but he did. And when his voice said his name, something shuddered inside him, again.

"Then we have to go, right?" He jumped at Clara's question behind him, and his brow furrowed much more when he looked at her, he had forgotten her. While looking at what Rose Tyler was wearing, she had completely forgotten about her lifemate.

Old habits were always slow to die.

He looked at Clara with clear interest, and bowing his head a little, he replied: "Yes and no. As long as I'm here, the TARDIS and I will hold this reality. We can either leave now or ..." This time she looked at him. "We can stay and remember."

The moment the last word was said, he moved his neck and shoulders as high as he could and replied, "Remember ... remember what?"

And though her voice once again went over the edge, with the edge of a threat, she just smiled, making that particular move with her tongue.

"You". He was silent without understanding exactly what she was saying, his mind racing a thousand per second. How had this happened? When had it happened? Why did they both come across this beach once more after all these years? Why was he here again?

He exhaled heavily through his nose, his mind stopped from each of the calculations he had maintained, ⎼ dumb habit ⎼ and made a decision. He turned again on his axis - and he had thought that his previous body could not stop with the turns -, he looked into Clara's eyes, and advanced. Straight to the TARDIS, listening to the rushing footsteps behind him, he crossed the doors, and went straight to the console. When her right hand went to the time rotor and she heard the doors close, she stood next to him almost immediately.

He refused to look at that face, his face, again. Even when he was so close that he could feel her breathing ⎼ and how wonderful that was ⎼ against his right cheek. Even as his hand, small and so equivocally young, was placed on top of him, and he trembled, of course he trembled at the differences. He looked up at Clara, who was looking at him and her with clear bewilderment on the other side of the console. And he understood each of her unspoken questions, but the one he knew stood out among all of them like a beacon was one: Who is she, Doctor?

And how would you explain it? How could he speak of that girl, girl, woman, who had taught him to be the Doctor again? How could he explain Rose Tyler, or Bad Wolf, when his name and that story had crossed his lips never before in his last two bodies? From the first brave girl you met? How to talk about the Time War and the big red button?

"Doctor!"

Everything shook ... and the most agonizing pain he had not had in a long time concentrated in his head, his knees gave way and he fell, even with his hands on the console, and he could not contain the moan that came from his lips, another burst near his temples and his hands flew to the sides of his head.

The TARDIS shook, the lights in the room shining too brightly through his narrowed eyes, vertigo attacked him and something exploded nearby. He yelled through his teeth, with these clenched so tightly that he was sure they would split, he tried to stop the pain, using every defense he had, but he was sharp, smashing all his barriers one after another, his fingers were nailed to his hair, and if after this he found gray streaks in his hands he would not be surprised.

And the images and sounds attacked him, feeling a mass of emotions in the background, he screamed, because memories he didn't know he had, or had ever forgotten, were coming back to him like a blast

 

Hybrid. He ran after hearing the prophecy, because he had to run. And then he stopped, breathed and swallowed, tense, because the hairs on the back of his neck rose and his two hearts hit hard against his chest, because something was following him through the Clautros, and it had taken him too long to realize, that's why He turned on his shoulder, ready, but the vision stunned him. I blink several times and it was still there. Canis lupus. Mammal, place of origin: Earth. Golden eyes looked at him intently, the coat was in a variety of colors, with brown and yellow being the most predominant, he was sitting, his ears were erect, his head was high and stiff, with his tail completely down. There was no way the animal was there, but he was fascinated.

I hesitate, before turning and walking slowly toward the wolf. But the wolf narrowed his eyes, which lit up with a golden glow, he growled and he stopped, because it was not logical that he was seeing and he knew that if the animal attacked it would die, but, just as the animal had appeared, disappeared ...

And he was suddenly restless, uncomfortable because he had been standing, looking at nothing, without remembering how he was so still, when the urge to run was still tingling on his feet, after hearing the prophecy. So he ran again. 

 

His fist hit his chest, hard, because he had felt his right heart had stopped, he listened attentively, someone calling him from a distance, but his groan of pain completely attenuated him, he spat between his teeth when another wave made his legs go twisted ...

 

He entered the TARDIS, and it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, he said it out loud, but his heart skipped a beat and his tongue tangled, making him stutter, hearing the slight "Thank you" in his completely feminine direction, and for a moment he wondered if the girl who had told him that taking this TARDIS would be much more fun, had made a joke, because on the other side of the console was a woman, blonde, wrapped in a simple white dress, leaning against the computer on the back "wall" and smiling at him.

He undoubtedly felt his ears warmer and was about to demand an explanation when the woman disappeared.

And he ... suddenly felt uncomfortable, looking everywhere to verify that no one had heard those words from him, went to the computer that had not realized he was looking, and found it warm under his hand, and inside he decided that he would have to disappear, although he was not completely sure how to do it.

 


And without ideas, he found himself thinking about every impregnable wall he knew on Earth, there were many, but few had endured the passage of time, but before raising the walls, another memory came to his already liquefied brain ...

 


Jamie, Victoria, Yeti Robots and bloody Great Intelligence in the Himalayas. It had almost been a disastrous combination, his head still throbbing with pain as he remembered the aftermath of the tremor and the cold hadn't completely left him.

He turned the heating knob, bringing it to the center, his fingers faltering on the time rotor, and decided that while his human companions slept and warmed up, he would take the TARDIS to the vortex, go to the library, search for a book on quantum physics, editing 30th century, and I would have a cup of tea.

His steps were light, and when a small shiver went through him, he realized that his clothes were wet and decided late, before going to the galley, that he needed a change.

He went to the locker room, but his feet hesitated at the door, his eyebrows raised, and his mouth opened slightly when he saw an unknown woman, with a green hardcover book open in her hand and covering her face, with curly blonde hair. , wrapped in a kind of white chiffon dress, sitting in the red velvet chair, her legs tucked underneath her, but her left thigh was fully exposed, and he swallowed hard, so she quickly raised her gaze to her covered face. But her own face felt suddenly hot, and she thought that maybe she had exaggerated with the TARDIS temperature.

And he hadn't spoken, but decidedly his throat, or his tangled tongue, had made a noise, because the woman in question had looked up from the book she was reading -Extinct Mammals of Planet Earth, 19th Century Edition-, and looked At that, with chocolate-colored eyes and a giant smile on her lush lips, a strangled sound came from her throat, her eyes sparkled with something that could only be interpreted as amusement, so she brought her fist to her mouth and cleared her throat, willing to demand from this strange woman the reason for her invasion of her ship, to appear, and perhaps fix the damn dress, but the woman's voice was much faster, and her next words stunned him.

"Great intelligence will cause problems for you in the future." His mouth moved several times, spitting out the beginning of a question, but suddenly the woman's eyes glittered gold, and he disappeared, the book fell onto the sofa and he ...

He had to change. Although he was not as cold as a few moments ago, his clothes were no longer presentable for the next adventure, he entered the locker room, took a shirt from the row and went to look for a bow tie, but his gaze drifted to the chair, where an open Earth book I take it and read the page entry: Canis Dirus. Terrible Wolf, lived during the Pleistocene period. I had thought about reading about quantum physics, but perhaps reading about wolves on planet Earth was a good subject to learn.

 

Wolves, wolves, why always wolves? Using the old trick to protect his mind from the assault, he thought of the Wall of Constantinople and the Roman Wall in Lugo, the two together, built wall after wall in a matter of a centisecond, but the pain was again like a grand cannon. gunpowder and went through it. He felt his own tears fall down the sides of his face and he was getting tired, the chills invaded him, his body felt cold against the fire that was in his mind and he shook himself, like a child against the cold, unable to stop it, a memory came back and groaned ...

 

A simple test trip with Jo had ended at Peladon in 3885. With the Galactic Federation, the Ice Warriors, the Alpha Centauri, and the Arcturus. Just his damn luck, and he'd spent half the time worrying that Jo wasn't doing anything that would lead to his untimely death. Having been mistaken for a human dignitary and then desiccated the blessed Templó, they were not in his plans, but the result was brilliant. He had appealed, for the sake of the Aggedor creature, and himself, he wanted to keep his neck, but he never thought he could really have a fight with Grun.

But Grun hadn't really been a threat, he was just scared. And since violence was not always his favorite alternative, he had not been quite sure that this body was made for the fight, much less a melee, but to his internal surprise he had won and his chest had filled with a special pride.

With a smile on his face, he switched off the engines of the TARDIS, and when he turned to leave, he belatedly remembered that he had a new part for Bessie and the shock absorbers. And he went to the Depot, went down the hall, turned to the right and then down, jumped a small ramp, turned to the left, crossed the doors of the Library and, when he was about to turn the corner, his feet they stopped . He had seen something out of the corner of his eye.

He retraced his steps and returned to the doors of the Library, and there he was, in the small room that was in the center of the room, there was a woman, with curly blonde hair, completely wild going in all directions. sitting against one of the individual armchairs, with her feet and, therefore, her legs bare, and sincerely hoped that the woman would be dressed, stretched out to touch the table legs, and with a book in her hands, and from the distance could only make out the red cover. She was in profile, completely absorbed in what she was reading.

He approached, with stealthy steps towards her, how dared that unknown woman enter his boat and be in that state? How could you even want to be inside your TARDIS? And now, getting closer, she realized that she was wearing a long, white and chiffon dress, this piece left nothing to the imagination, leaving her bare arms tied around her neck, she found herself loosening her own tie, before the Sudden heat that attacked him, as she had a long neckline and the skirts of the dress in front fell between her legs, leaving her bare legs up to her thighs.

His neck was long, his nose small, and his eyes, which were dark, but since he didn't look at him, he couldn't be absolutely sure of their color, were adorned with long lashes.

He opened his mouth, ready to speak and ask for an explanation, but suddenly the woman looked up from the book - Greek mythology, 20th century edition - and her chocolate eyes, she realized, looked at him with intensity. A lot of questions in his mind, he closed his mouth and opened it again, unsure of what to do suddenly, and the woman's lips curled around the edges, making a small amused smile, and outrage was present. How dare she?

"Miss! Can you tell me what you do ..." He didn't finish, because his soft laugh interrupted him and suddenly the woman was standing very close to him, so close that his nose, if he only leaned down. little more, they would touch their respective advice. The woman's tongue came out and touched her own upper lip, and he felt her cheeks redden at the display of so much insolence.

"I like this face." he whispered softly, looking at him with that intensity that had frozen him at first, he couldn't locate his accent, and ... wait what? I try to speak, but only broken syllables came out and what was going on with his voice? The woman laughed again, their hearts leaping in surprise. "So cheeky and haughty." she told him, and he frowned, because she did not agree with her descriptions of him.

"Miss! Who are you and what is my ship doing?" his tone was rude to the question, and it was inevitable, a part of him was furious and outraged, but he was certainly intrigued by this mysterious woman. And when she kept smiling and ignoring him, her fury grew and she took two steps back, but followed her. "St-stop!" His voice was sharp, but his babble made him lose all his strength when his face was so close to hers again.

He had thought it was impossible, but the woman's smile grew and the strange image of a cat hunting a mouse came to mind. His temper flared and he opened his mouth to challenge the woman, but suddenly his chocolate brown eyes gleamed gold, something that was impossible like the entire existence of the woman herself, and disappeared, and he simply ...

I had to find the part for Bessie, what was in the library? Before I left, out of the corner of my eye I picked up an open book, carelessly left on the tea table, almost on the shore, I let out an exasperated sigh.

Jo had surely re-entered the Library without her permission, took the book, but stopped when she closed it. An interesting topic had been read by his partner. Greek mythology, specifically the entry about the god Apollo and the wolves. He smiled, closed the book, and walked to the shelves, placed the book between two others - Hamlet and History of Two Cities-, and left, thinking that perhaps his next adventure would be the ancient city of Licosura.

 

Another scream came from his chest when that last memory left him and then ... everything stopped, as fast as it had started, the assault on his mind along with the pain, and the tremors of the TARDIS, everything had stopped. And he wasn't entirely sure what he had seen in his mind.

What had exploded had left a slight layer of smoke that now with his eyes wide open he realized that it fluttered throughout the room. He was looking at the ceiling of the TARDIS because he was lying down, his own hands were being covered with hers and now his brown eyes were looking at him, directly. And felt, as before landing on that beach, the light caress on his face, at the union of his shoulders and the warm murmur returned to his head. Calming the aftermath of pain.

"Hi." His voice was soft, and he would almost have missed it if he wasn't staring at her face. He detailed, no, he drank like a thirsty man his characteristics. The shape of his eyes narrowed with concern, his eyelashes fell without a trace of the heavy makeup he had used before, but he had a light layer of makeup, as light as if he had not at all, his hair still golden as he remembered, it was curly and wild, and another memory invaded him, not like the others, no, this came back to him, soft, like the caresses he was feeling, even for the environment full of violence as London Blitz had been, this memory filled him with life .

 

A boy looking for his mom. A 51st century captain and himself with a northern accent like now, but with another face and another body. Both caught and with Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade on the radio.

"The world is not going to end because the Doctor dances."

The world did not end, but later in the TARDIS, it had been as if she was dancing at the end of the rope, with adrenaline running through her veins and with a pink and yellow girl holding her hands, both smiling dancing around the console with their newly remembered steps, because that body had completely forgotten how to dance, embittered by the aftermath of war, for a long time feeling happy had not been in the plans. Moonlight Serenade had been hers and Jack, but In the Mood in conjunction with his swing steps had been theirs. And it had been fantastic.

 

He swallowed thickly, and his hands tangled in hers, both warm as he remembered, but something was missing, what? What was missing? He was lost again when his eyes lit up with joy and his mouth made a smile.

" Hi." That greeting had come out almost breathless, and it was. It was never easy to remember, because he remembered everything, because of his blessed superior physiology with his photographic memory attached to each of his senses.

The smell of rain in 1950, the smell of fresh bread 1492, both on Earth; or the perfume that Barbara used when she got into her TARDIS the first time and especially the smell of the Gallifrey desert, each dialogue she had with each of her companions was heard as an echo in her own ears: "Our destiny is in the stars so let's go find him " the time he said goodbye to Susan, knowing that he would never see her again: "One day I will return ... yes, one day I will return. Until then, there should be nothing to lament about, no tears or anxieties. You just have to go ahead in all your beliefs, and check that I have not been wrong in mine. "

And he remembered every feeling behind his words, those he didn't want to show and those he so blatantly displayed, he remembered the sound of laughter and crying, his own and that of everyone around him and they remembered the time together in the space. how he remembered too clearly his time on earth. Then he forced himself to forget and not visit his companions. So he kept each of his memories behind a closed door in his memory, and then lost the key.

If only it had been so easy to have removed every memory of her. He never wanted to do it. But at one point, a long time ago, when I still couldn't live without the pain of remembering her, I was tempting to do so. But then he regenerated and forced himself to move forward, as he always had. And 300 years went by without saying his name ...

"I know your mind is racing now, wondering how I am here."

And went. Oh, she knew him. Another set of caresses, on the sides of his eyes, on the chin, on the temple and then in the heat below, the delicate touch spread through each part of his body, calming the cold he had felt before and the heat in your anguish. mind.

"And while I know you can hold your breath longer than a human, I need you to breathe." and that was another true thing. He was not breathing. From the moment he had his eyes on hers and his hands together, his breathing had stopped.

9 minutes, 38 seconds and counting had been the time he had been lying down looking at her face without breathing. And he forced himself to take oxygen for his lungs and only when he could breathe well did he open his mouth.

But nothing came out. He was forcing himself to remember saying his name out loud, saying it in this voice and with this face. No grunting, no threats, just the name of a person who had ... was still etched in their two hearts. Because the eyes that looked at him were from Rose Tyler. There was no longer any doubt.

But why did it feel like a distant memory?

"Rose Tyler," he whispered, tempting a smile on his own lips, wishing his eyebrows didn't decide for him, because there was something honestly wrong with his eyebrows and this new face and he knew it, therefore he said the name as if it was a secret.

He listened carefully as his accent had thickened. Their hearts beat strongly in his chest, but she smiled, her eyes sparkled and the tip of her tongue came out once more, doing that trick that in the past had always indicated how happy she was.

But ... something was not quite right ...

Her face was getting blurry, the gold edges were gray now, and she remembered, like nonsense, that just a moment ago their hearts were beating much slower and that shouldn't happen. He tried to stand up, took his hands away from hers and brought them to his chest, feeling how their hearts had slowed down and his body felt bad, because it was not correct, and he tried to move, but gravity was not collaborating with his desires, getting heavier, the pink lips move, telling him something.

What did they say to him? He concentrated, even though his mind was clouded and the edges of his mink were just a tunnel around him.

"Goodnigth, Doctor"

And the tunnel, no, the black hole, gobbled it up.

Chapter Text

7 7

La niña imposible, el lobo y la tormenta.

 

If Clara Oswald gave her a pound for every time the TARDIS exploded and shook her inside, hitting her person, perhaps she would have been really rich already. She had been thrown to the ground countless times, once her right foot had twisted slightly, her stomach had hit the railings and left her breathless each time, and when her back had hit one of the shelves, this hit had given her a vertical lash. that her head and neck had ached for two days; and the times I inhale the smoke that the TARDIS emitted when something went wrong and caused explosions, but according to the Doctor, 20% of the time they weren't toxic, she really wasn't excited to discover the remaining 80%.

Because the only certainty is that any smoke released by the TARDIS left her coughing for several minutes, clinging to her throat and chest; therefore, the idea that he would surely end up developing a heart problem in his old age was on his mind on more than a few occasions.

She loved adventures, and she didn't mind admitting that at some point she needed those adventures, every planet, every period of time she'd visited, always left her with the giddy feeling of wanting more, but just going to the TARDIS with the Doctor as the driver. It was an adventure, and most of the time, a suicide.

This time he had not needed a trip. All he wanted when he got home was to lie down and wallow in everything bad that had happened on his date. She had been nervous, she had been a complete idiot and out of control with what had come out of her mouth. And if Danny didn't want to see her after that, she really didn't blame him.

And then the Doctor was in her room and the TARDIS had been in her room and she just had to turn on her side to get to her bed. Sideways.

But even though she was upset and definitely didn't need a ride, the moment she saw him, she knew she was leaving. She knew that the old fool really needed her, but he also knew that she needed him. And that he would never refuse.

And then it all went to hell when her phone rang and she thought of Danny. And she had been dumb, so dumb when he came back and her mouth got her in trouble with him again. Rubert Pink was the lovable and brave boy that he would know as Danny, and then Orson Pink that when she saw him, she knew it within herself. He knew it with the same certainty that he had every time he decided to trust the Doctor.

The soldier without his weapon had only been the last thing he needed. Because it was visceral what I felt for Danny, I knew so little and still wanted to be with him, I wanted to know everything, to see how the man had been built and why he was who he was, and I had not thought that in a single trip to the pass already his future would see everything he needed to see.

And then the barn passed, it had been almost a year for her and a lifetime for the Doctor, but she remembered the barn. And he had never thought that this place, which years later would almost become the place of detonation of a weapon, had been the place where the Doctor had cried when he was a child.

She loved him, her memories in her timeline were fuzzy and confusing, it had been her, but at the same time it hadn't been, and although she had known their faces and almost all of the Doctor's secrets, everything was simply locked in her mind. She could agree, but the headache that would haunt her would be abysmal, and she, for the good of both, decided to keep only her present.

But having that memory of the Doctor as a child, alone and scared of the darkness, had broken his heart, because she had taken it upon himself to protect him, each version of her, had only wanted to protect him, and his instincts, which were rarely wrong when They were about the Doctor, they made a decision.

She remembered his promise, the one that had been part of him since he had taken the title of Doctor, since he had come out to see the universe and its wonders, and he told her, perhaps initiating the tradition that would continue for the following centuries: "But everything will be fine if you are wise and strong, fear does not have to make you cruel or coward ..."

Yes, she loved him, but she did not idolize him, because she knew that he was only a man, a man who until now had never disappointed her and was so intelligent, brilliant, and for that reason she trusted, so blindly as to venture to the most hostile places with his hand in hers, but ...

She didn't know what she would do if one day he failed her. If one day, a time machine wouldn't be enough to fix it.

So she needed Danny. Not only because it felt right to be talking to him, a feeling he only felt when he was in the TARDIS with the Doctor, no, it was more than that. It was the knowledge, it was all the knowledge that she had in her mind, things that she kept secret, would drive her crazy, and that's why she did not travel with the Doctor full time, because she consoled and helped this Doctor as much as she allowed, but who comforted and helped her?

There was a time when I thought I was born to be with the Doctor, that I would be with him forever. But the Doctor belonged to all those people he knew and changed his life for the better, and all he could do was not hold on. Although it hurt, because thinking that she would not be with him in the future left her with a dull ache in her heart, it was something she had accepted since the Doctor had left with those green eyes and that bow tie.

And he thought it would all be over once they took Orson. Because if that was her future, she was more than ready to run towards him.

But then there was that golden light, on the other side of the console and the Doctor wasn't looking at her, as if it didn't exist, that had surprised her much more than what had been under Rubert's blanket. . Then the light, which had freely taken on a humanoid form, took control of the TARDIS and brought them both to the beach. And she knew that something really bad was happening when terror filled the Doctor's eyes. Because this Doctor was a thug, it was all eyebrows and screams, but his eyes had not shown fear since he had changed, but when he saw that beach, the panic had been there as clear as a summer day, as if it were the lifetime. Or death

And then the light was not only humanoid in shape, it was a woman. She wasn't quite sure what to expect when she saw the light turn into a woman, but for an instant, she pictured a kind of bright alien, with pointy ears and delicate features.

But the woman who had been on the beach was nothing like that. Once the light no longer clouded her body, Clara Oswald realized that she had no delicate features or pointed ears. She looked human. The woman couldn't be older than her, her eyebrows were arched and her eyes, which had previously been like two beacons of golden energy, were dark, between browns and hazelnuts, with clear amusement dancing in them; and her mouth, which was large with prominent lips, showed her a smile that almost made Clara recoil.

It was a smile in its entirety, showing each of his pearly teeth, but it made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end and he felt a great desire to run. When the woman spoke to Clara, her voice indicated that it would not hurt them, it had been warm and, strange as it was, it had been familiar to her ears.

But where? Where did you hear it?

And then she had taken the Doctor's face in her hands, and the Doctor had run away, had not run, but his fast pace could have easily confused her, and she followed, not without first looking at the woman a second time and closing her. expensive. door, but when he turned to speak to the Doctor, ask him what the hell had happened, he was speechless, because the woman was there, next to the Doctor in the console, completely lying on him and with his hands together.

He looked at her and she just wanted to scream. Because that troublesome look did not belong to the Doctor, that terrified man was not the man who had come looking for her to discover that he was hiding in the dark, no, it was not that man, because that look was part of the same child that had left behind the barn.

And then the Doctor started to tremble, it was unpredictable right now, but I noticed it by his shoulders and then by his arms, and she screamed his name when she suddenly collapsed, advanced fast, ready to run towards him, but her body was left half paralyzed. He looked at the woman, annoyed, knowing that he did, but their gazes never met.

Because the Doctor started screaming, the vertigo was immediate when the TARDIS motors came to life and began to tremble, the lights blinked, something on the console exploded, the chips jumped, and the Doctor twisted on the ground, his hands On either side of his head, his tears ran down the sides of his eyes and he began to cry beside him. Fury rose inside her, and she tried to speak, and she could, because her body was paralyzed but her voice was not.

"Stop it!" frustrated, she demanded of the woman above the Doctor's screams of pain. She did not look at her. And his voice rose once more: "Let me go! What are you doing to him?!"

The Doctor groaned, and when he swayed a little with his heels, he realized that his body was no longer paralyzed, but the TARDIS was not finished, therefore, when his body was free, the rocking of the ship threw it towards the front, and his stomach collided with one of the tips of the console, and he ran out of air, his eyes watered, and he let out a groan. Her hands shot forward, gripped the edge of the console, to steady herself and catch the air. Why hadn't he removed his heels?
And just as it had all started, it stopped. The Doctor's screams had stopped, the hum of the motors with him, and the lights in the room had almost dimmed. Still dizzy, she stood shakily, and looked around for the Doctor, and the sight she stumbled upon surprised her.


On the other side of the console, the Doctor was on the floor, her legs spread, and the woman was cradling her face with her hands, Clara swallowed and released the breath she had been holding, because, although the Doctor had screamed as if she were dying he was alive. I live, but not well.

Because he had his hands intertwined with hers, but his blue eyes looked at the woman with… absolute amazement, not fear or anger, just wonder, as if she was no longer a ghost, but a real woman. And if the previous dialogue on the beach had surprised her, this one had him out of his comfort zone.

A "Hi" had been said breathlessly, a series of soft reprimands along with a delicate caress on the Doctor's face, and a name "Rose Tyler", whispered with such appreciation that for a moment Clara Oswald had thought she was hearing a secret between the Doctor and the woman.
  
And suddenly, everything changed, fighting against gravity, the Doctor's face went from amazed to terrified, and suddenly his body was moving to get away from the woman, and Clara, feeling the adrenaline rising, approached as fast as could the Doctor's body, but it was late. A soft "Goodnigth, Doctor" was uttered and the Doctor's body fell, heavy and limp against the floor of the room.

As if unconscious or worse. The woman rose and moved away from the Doctor. Clara's eyes and mouth widened in shock, and running, she knelt down beside the Doctor, turned her face away and went down the neck. Double pulse. A shaky sigh came out of his mouth.

"He is just sleeping." The woman's voice startled her, and she realized that she had spent a long time with her hand on the Doctor's neck. He raised his furious gaze at the woman, who was leaning against one of the rails and looking at her with soft eyes, no, not her, at the Doctor, and Clara felt her hands tremble.

It was anger, not fear. "Why?" she asked through clenched teeth, her voice hoarse, and for a moment she hadn't recognized herself. The woman looked at him this time, the feelings Clara had seen in his eyes had emptied, and her face had gone blank.

Her face turned slightly to the right, her eyes narrowed: "Why, what?"

It was as if he didn't understand. Clara's mouth twitched and she stood up, thanking the entire universe for not having stumbled even once, she surrounded the body of the Doctor, he is only asleep, he is only asleep, and approached the woman, who even lay down a little. taller than her I look into her eyes and her hands clench into fists. Nothing, he did not see anger or hatred or any kind of malice or amusement in the woman's eyes.

No, it was no longer the woman. Rose Tyler, that was her name.

"What did you do to him?"

A quick blink, another nod. "Nothing, I just remember, and sometimes remembering is painful," I muttered, and Rose Tyler had turned her gaze to the Doctor.

Clara snorted, incredulous at what she heard. "Of course, remembering is painful ..." Rose Tyler looked at her, but carefully, "But no ... it doesn't have to hurt physically, it doesn't have to make you suffer like this." Here ... "she pointed, with her right hand on her own chest, just above her heart, Rose this time looked at her, again, her eyebrows and nose arch wrinkled in concentration" Your heart may hurt, but no, not hurting yourself makes you scream. Not like him. So what did you do to him?

It could take several minutes, Clara's breathing sounded too loud for her own ears, but she refused to calm down, so she kept looking at Rose Tyler. She hadn't blinked even once, what other circumstances, Clara might have considered strange, because her gaze was intense, her eyes fixed on his chest, just where she had pointed the direction of her heart.

"You don't know," was a statement, and Clara almost jumped at her voice, but Rose Tyler followed, ignoring her surprise. "You say the pain must be in the heart, but what if you don't have a heart? That rule only applies to humans, what if you're not human?" Her questions were not questions directed at him, because he had stopped looking at her, again, his voice was still calm and his face was blank.

And Clara couldn't believe what she was hearing and it exploded, because the anger was still there, burning like a sun, wanting to explode.

"He has two hearts! He doesn't have one! He has two!" It was an exasperated scream, and he hadn't realized until it was over that his nose had started to itch next to his eyes and that the lump in his throat had grown much more than it originally had. I blink rapidly, chasing away the need to cry.

"For having two hearts, his pain is twice as great."

The answer left her breathless, and a cold fist wrapped around her heart. Rose Tyler turned away from the railing and turned to her right, walking a few steps towards the console, Clara noted, sliding, almost as if she were floating, with her white dress swirling in her footsteps, but at no time every time they stepped on. on it, his hands touched the console almost without touching it, like his feet, his hands just ... stroked the buttons and knobs. And Clara saw the left corner of Rose Tyler's mouth rise and draw a crooked smile, caressing one of the screens with her fingertips.

Clara held her breath, fearing that everything would shake again, but no, the whistling sound echoed in her ears and the TARDIS spoke, when the familiar buzz was heard much clearer and the lights flickered throughout the room, the time rotor stopped. I light up, and Clara looked between amazed and scared when from warm orange it turned to a soft yellow, almost golden, and suddenly the TARDIS felt warm, the rounds on the walls had also lit up and the TARDIS sang again. As if he was absolutely happy.

He released the contained air, and out of the corner of his eye looked in the direction of the Doctor, but turned completely in alarm when he only found an empty space.

"Doctor!" Her voice rose an octave in horror, and she refused to think she had screamed. She turned again to face Rose Tyler, but she nearly stumbled back when she realized that the aforementioned had been standing behind her the entire time. With his brown eyes staring at her. He opened his mouth to demand a response again, but she was faster.

"He is in his room."

And although he didn't know her, he knew she was telling the truth. Because the TARDIS would never allow something to happen to the Doctor.

But Clara's mind was only stuck on the last word. Room. Her teeth caught her lower lip, she wrapped her left arm around herself and her right hand went up to her forehead. Trying to think. Something, anything. The Doctor was allegedly asleep, and she, Rose Tyler had sent the Doctor's body to her room. The Doctor's room. Clara knew he slept, not as much as humans, but he did, but he never really thought he had a room.

I try to think of something, again, but I couldn't. Because the situation was beyond her, but no ... if she knew anything. Your name. And if there was one thing the Doctor had taught him, it was that names have power. She lowered her arms and looked determinedly into the eyes of the woman who was only inches away from her.

"Rose Tyler." She snapped, and there was a slow blink, her brown eyes lit up a bit, and a big smile adorned her lips, showing her teeth together.

"Clara Oswald." I hum in response.

And that was definitely not expected.

"How ..." Rose Tyler took a few steps back and leaned on the console, and Clara was never able to finish her question because it was interrupted. Again.

"How did you know it was the correct TARDIS?" - And Clara for the third time in the day was speechless. Because she smiled, and her eyes told Clara that she knew. Something just the Doctor and herself.

"Wait, how?" - Another smile, this time lighter, crossed his ankles together, and raised his right hand.

"You, Clara Oswald, how did you know this was the correct TARDIS?" - He drew an imaginary circle with his index finger, and cocked his head up for a few seconds, his eyes scanned the room until it ended.

"I just ... I just knew it. It's the TARDIS" she declared, crossing her arms and lifting her chin. Rose Tyler raised her right eyebrow at the show of defense.

"You identify me as a threat." was an affirmation. Clara Oswald straightened her shoulders, and his arms tightened around her more tightly.

" I do." he threw and didn't stop, "Because in one second you weren't there and the next you existed. You made me believe that you wouldn't harm the Doctor and you did it! And not only that, I know your name, but I don't know who you are. And you're evading my questions!" At last, his hands trembling next to his arms that were beside himself, pointing left and right. The anger had returned.

"Don't harm the Doctor, he saw me and certain things he had forgotten came back to his mind. And you know me, Clara Oswald." He immediately denied, because he didn't, and Rose Tyler's eyes narrowed. "A name matters, a name can sometimes change everything. But a title? It is a promise, and that is something that you and I know very well."

"And tell me where do I know you from?" Ignoring all of the above, her question was sarcastically released.

The response was immediate: "From everywhere." she unstuck from the console and walked, until she was standing in front of her, only centimeters away. Giving her another intense look, but this time, Clara may have noticed that her eyes had flecks of gold, but a quick blink from her and they were gone. "You've seen me out of the corner of your eye when you walk down the TARDIS. In a corner, across the pool, sometimes in the Library when you find an open book on the tea table, or when you walk into the galley and realize the water is still hot. "

A cold calm took over her. Because yes, Rose Tyler, you were correct. But he was missing something, and she had discovered it in all their interaction. And perhaps her clue had been the dress. Clara sincerely hoped not to be mistaken.

"But you don't exist. You are ..." Clara raised her right hand gently to Rose's face and just went right through her, her hand touching only air. The face was not blurred at all, therefore it was not holographic, but it was not corporeal either. And Rose Tyler's face emptied, again, emotionless as she pulled her hand away. "A ghost. You can't read a book or drink tea. You're connected to the TARDIS I don't know how, but you're not real."

"I like you, Clara Oswald." Was his flat reply. His eyes still didn't blink, and his jaw clenched.

"Blondes don't suit me." He said crossing his arms. Rose Tyler shrugged her shoulders, and everything about her changed. The casual air had disappeared, and the TARDIS sang, at first its humming had been soft, but suddenly it was heard loudly, resonating against the room, the time rotor fluctuated from bottom to top, its light went from orange to gold and almost felt ... like a warning.

Clara had never had a survival instinct that worked. That is why she threw herself into danger without thinking twice, that was why she had done everything she had done with the Doctor, because, although she did not have a sense of functional survival, since she met the Doctor she knew that he would come to help her. And although she knew the Doctor was asleep, in a room, somewhere in the TARDIS, she simply decided that she was tired of the games.

"Then tell me who is Rose Tyler?"

A fixed gaze, with a small hint of curiosity and the slight contraction of her lips, were the only indication for Clara that she had heard.

"The brave girl who died in battle." Her voice echoed throughout the room, and Clara's skin bristled completely at the empty cadence of her voice. She pondered her questions for a few seconds, took two steps, not entirely sure that it was correct to get so close, but suddenly the brown eyes looked past her for a few moments, and Clara stopped her advances. "The girl who sacrificed her life to save the Doctor.Does that story ring a bell for you, Clara?"

I swallow thickly, and suddenly another piece falls into place. Since they had looked each other in the eyes, Clara had seen something there that she could not locate, something that she had only seen in the Doctor's eyes and seeing them in other people was impossible, but there it was. Weather. His eyes were too old for his face. They spoke of some wisdom, pain and ... there was so much bitterness. But Clara had seen how her eyes and voice had softened when seeing the Doctor, how that bitterness had disappeared, perhaps for a few moments, but she was gone.

"Yes, because I sacrificed myself to save him." He admitted. Because I knew it was impossible to lie. A slight nod and his gaze, which had been lost at a point behind her, returned to her face. Looking for something.

And maybe he found it, because his next words made his heart jump, and a ball of nerves focused on his stomach.

"Because you love him."  It was not a question. And this time Clara found herself nodding, unable to speak, and apparently her answer pleased her, because the smile had returned to her lips, but this time more subdued and did not completely reach her eyes. "I will tell you a story, Clara Oswald, about Rose Tyler, and I will need you to pay close attention."

His tongue came out to slowly wet his parched lips, a thick swallow, and he nodded again. The brown eyes glittered gold for only a few seconds, and this time Clara knew she had seen correctly, because there was no flicker once, the time rotor fluctuated again, and suddenly the room changed before her. Her eyes and mouth widened in shock when the console was covered in gold dust, making her squint immediately by the light and suddenly dust was everywhere. At her feet and above her.

The upstairs began to disappear, and everything she had, the walls came later, and the faster the dust moved, what was left behind left her breathless. Six coral columns rose, the walls were deep and hexagonally shaped, he wobbled to his feet when he saw the ceiling being supported by the corals, and when his heels felt shaky he looked down, and the familiar gray floor did not. It was, and had been replaced by one of grilles, she turned, with a mixture of fascination and disbelief on it as the same floor extended to a ramp leading to the door, the lighting had changed to a gloomy and all the armchairs had missing.

Clara released her breath when her gaze met the console and the time rotor, which were the last thing that let the dust go. The rotor illuminated with a teal color and cables that were connected ran from the rotor to the ceiling. All the levers, knobs, and buttons were gone. The coral was also incorporated and now there were things that Clara could not identify and her fingers itched to touch. Because this room was… it wasn't the room she knew. And that was a gavel?

His hands touched the edge of the console, and he knew something was wrong. He still felt the soft warmth of the TARDIS under his fingers, but something was just turned off.

"It is an echo." The voice in her ear made her jump, and she abruptly turned her head to her right, only to meet Rose Tyler's gaze. And perhaps the confusion was written all over his face, because the empty eyes had a sparkle of amusement before disappearing again. "This is what the TARDIS looked like when Rose Tyler first entered, and what the TARDIS looked like after the Time War."

His last words made a memory hit her. She and the three doctors, and the screening. The projection that had allowed to see all those people who were going to be burned by the war. But before she could speak, the sudden sound of the door being opened silenced her. She turned, terrified, and out of sheer instinct, began to stumble, searching her eyes for a place to hide.

The sudden pressure on her shoulder stopped her cold, she looked at Rose Tyler again, and found her laughing with delight. "Clara, this happened a long time ago."

But how was he touching her?

"Oh ..." was all that came out of her mouth before voices flooded the room, and she leaned out and immediately recognized the man who had entered.

It was the Doctor. With a face that she had only seen once a long time ago, and yet had never detailed. Blue eyes and big ears, leather jacket over a green T-shirt and dark jeans, with boots on his feet, and on his face he showed a smile that made Clara's breath stutter for a few seconds, and the next thing she saw was like a bucket of cold water, making it suck noisily.


Behind him was Rose Tyler. A much younger version of the one next to him, even with the baby fat still on his cheeks, dressed in a simple white tank top and jeans, his hair just as blonde and curly, his face had much more makeup and his eyes ... his eyes were alive. They had absolute happiness in them, and his mouth made a big smile like the Doctor.
The set closed after Rose's entrance, and the Doctor was suddenly too close to Clara, and although it was only an image, she took a few steps back, and Rose - the young version - also took a place near the console . They were not both looking at each other, but they were both in perfect sync, their hands moving and pressing buttons. Clara walked around them and watched in amazement as Rose turned a lever counterclockwise, and the Doctor, who had stopped playing, was looking at the screen, and without seeing it, extended his left hand towards Rose, who after turning the lever, took the mallet and extended it.

And there their eyes met, and they both burst out laughing. Rose had grabbed her own stomach and the Doctor had backed away until he fell into a sitting chair, still holding the gavel in his hand.

"Did you see his face?!" The question stumbled between laughter, and Clara then noticed that this version of the Doctor had a strong northern accent. Rose's eyes watered with laughter and she nodded fiercely, the Doctor seemed delighted.

Young Rose, who had stopped laughing, circled the console, her gait had become loose, her hips swayed, and Clara's eyebrows shot up at the sudden change in attitude, Rose's eyes sparkled and looked in the Doctor's direction. with mischief and suddenly made his shoulders back, his tongue came out to touch his teeth, and playing with a strand of his hair he approached the Doctor, who had also stopped laughing, but there was still a slight smile on his face and he looked his partner with a slight spark of suspicion in his blue eyes.

Rose got so close that the Doctor's knees were at hip level, and for a moment Clara thought that perhaps, this Rose would get into the arch of the Doctor's open legs, and the way Adam's apple was moved in the Doctor's throat, he also thought the same. But no, Rose just got close enough that only her left knee touched her hip.

"Now, Doctor, you promised me the best amusement park in the universe." and unlike the adult Rose Tyler, this Rose had a remarkable cockney accent, her voice showed a seriousness that both Clara, and of course this Doctor knew it was a lie, and when the Doctor's mouth opened, to refute, Rose lowered his hand, the one that had played with her hair, and touched her knee, the Doctor's mouth closed automatically. "I don't want you to blame the TARDIS. You are hitting him all the time with the mallet, obviously he was not going to go."

"Rose ..." The Doctor had started, with a tone that Clara might have thought otherwise was serious, but the look in her eyes said just the opposite, Rose shook her head, a small smile knowing now on her lips .

"If we couldn't go to the best amusement park in the entire universe. I want to go to the second best" the Doctor frowned and the doubt showed in his eyes, and Rose's tongue came out again, showing a smile with all the teeth. And Clara without even knowing her knew that smile was trouble. "Beach, Doctor. I want to go to a beach and wear a bikini."

Two things happened after Rose released those words. The gavel fell from the Doctor's hand, making a clattering sound that resonated throughout the room, Rose and Clara jumped at the sound, and Clara, who recovered faster noticed with amusement as the Doctor's ears were red at the tips and his eyes had drifted to a point behind Rose, staring at nothing.

Clara watched as Rose's smile grew smaller, and her eyes were just two wells of satisfaction, oh, and she knew. Young Rose was aware of how tangled the Doctor was in her little finger, and he reacted perfectly to each of her provocations.

Young Rose let out a pitiful sigh, and Clara knew it was completely fake.

"Then food, a bath, and a little nap." Rose intently squeezed her knee, and ignored or perhaps not, how the Doctor jumped slightly in his seat. As if he had received a small electric shock. "What do you think? Red bikini or a black one?" The Doctor crossed his arms over his chest and not only were his ears fiercely red, so was his neck, and his Adam's apple moved eagerly, again.

Clara crossed her arms, eager to see how the Doctor would respond. This Doctor, one I had never seen or known, was a mystery. His posture, his gestures and even his eyes. And Clara knew that this Doctor was the face that followed the War Doctor, she knew that this body only remembered having killed all its people. Having pressed that button.

And seeing him stammer at the attack of a young girl who couldn't have been more than twenty years old made her heart shrink. Young Rose seemed to have enough, knowing that she was not going to get any more answers, giving the Doctor a last squeeze on the knee, this time he refrained from jumping, turned and went down another ramp that Clara had not noticed until now.

And now in the room there was only the Doctor, who let out a slight sigh when he saw his youngest companion go to the corridors. He had followed her with his gaze, from the moment she had turned and run, he had followed her every step. And although Clara certainly didn't know this Doctor, she knew about the look in his eyes.

It was happiness. This Doctor in his leather jacket and northern accent was absolutely happy and amazed by a human. The Doctor stood on his feet and picked up the gavel, Clara watched as, like her Doctor, she began to play with the TARDIS controls, without actually pressing them. She laid the gavel on the console, and went to where Rose had turned the lever, satisfaction gleaming in her eyes, and lowering the next lever, she felt the motors come to life herself.

"Rose Tyler, I'll give you a beach."  It was a statement and the Doctor began to move, no, he began to dance around the console, and since Clara did not know this console at all, she only saw him pressing and turning, until his trip ended on the only screen he had, there was a setback and the room shook a little, and the Doctor held on to the screen with his hands for a few seconds, a maniacal smile crossed his face, when he stretched out an arm and under the only lever that he came to recognize, that of dematerialization Clara definitely didn't know if this version was completely insane or just had big attitude issues, because after the lever was down, the Doctor took the gavel.

Then he understood what the deck was for. Oh stupid man.

 

Clara by sheer instinct hurried over to the Doctor to stop what she was about to do, but when she just went through it and stumbled forward, Clara wanted to hit something, because she had completely forgotten about it and when she turned around, she saw with horror how The mallet connected against the console, and it started to spark. The TARDIS shook violently for just a few seconds, the lights in the room flickered with equal fury, and the wobble had been enough to cause the Doctor to stumble again, and he clamped down on the screen again.

Without losing for a second his manic smile.

"He's a damn fool!" She squealed, she had definitely squealed in Rose Tyler's direction. And when he saw the woman's face, her mouth opened on its own. " You like him!" He spluttered and it wasn't until he released him that there was a complete accusation in his words.

Rose Tyler turned her gaze to her, who until now had only been focused on the Doctor, and Clara immediately regretted her words.

"So? You liked her green-eyed, big chin face more than you do now." The tone was vague, but sarcasm edged him and Clara pressed her lips together, knowing she deserved it. And suddenly the brown eyes shone again in gold, the room changed in front of her, the Doctor in a leather jacket disappeared in a cloud of golden dust, the lights changed, and they were in the control room that Clara knew.

The change had been so swift that she hadn't even flinched when, and when she did, a slight dizziness attacked her, she took a deep breath, trying to keep the dizziness at bay.

The recliner, the top floor, and the bookcases, even the blackboard, were in their usual places, and Clara sighed, because even the time rotor had its usual orange hue, and doing a quick tour, all six sides The console had all the buttons, levers, and knobs I knew of.

Suddenly tired, she wobbled and backed away until the back of her knees touched the edge of the chair, and she fell, saw her own hands shaking in her lap, and hugged herself, because all she had seen the last hours had exhausted her to death and she just wanted to sleep. I just needed to forget the last few hours. Out of the corner of her eye she could see Rose Tyler walking until she was in front of her, a few movements, and her lower back was resting against the console and for a moment Clara did not want to see her.

Something was wrong with everything that was happening, because that had not been a story, no, that had been a declaration of who Rose Tyler had been and seeing her, seeing the woman, only caused him terrible frustration. I breathe, because even though I was damn tired, she still had that adrenaline rushing through her system that focused on her legs and hands when something really wrong was happening and the only alternative she had was to run.

So he ran. Not with his feet, no, he ran the only way the Doctor had taught him well, with his mind.

"I really don't want to see you, but I don't want to leave because I want an answer. I will ask you questions that you can answer only with yes or no, I will give you a maximum of five seconds to answer them and if you don't, I will understand that you will not answer them. Is that good for you?" I wait, waiting for the bare feet I was looking at to disappear.

 

He started counting, one, two, three, four ...

"Yes."

Clara released the air she had unconsciously been holding. And going through each of the questions I had, I put them together in a way that was easy to answer. She leaned back from the backrest, dropped her hands to her lap, and didn't look up from her bare feet.

"Are you the thing the Doctor feels when he's alone in the TARDIS?" Well, he had started with a long question. He started counting, one, two ...

"Yes."

"Have you always been in the TARDIS?"

One two three four…

"No." And he hadn't expected that, another question fluttered in his mind, but it wasn't a simple answer. She closed her eyes, and thought for a few seconds, then opened them, her head inertia jerking upward, but she stopped when she remembered not looking at her. His sight stayed just level with his neck, and he noticed something he hadn't noticed before. A simple silver chain with a key hanging.

"But do you know each of the Doctor's faces?"

One two Three…

"Yes."

Clara considered the following question a few seconds before releasing it: "Have you ever left the TARDIS?"

One, two, three, four, five ...

"No." It had taken almost five seconds for him to answer, and although his voice had been flat throughout the questionnaire, his voice varied, and Clara began to find a pattern.

"Have you lied to me?"

"No." The response had been so quick that Clara had no time to count. He twisted his own hands in his lap, and caught his bottom lip between his teeth. It had become impossible for him to avoid looking at the chain with the key. He released his lip and continued. But why wouldn't I lie to you?

"Have you met each companion of the Doctor?"

One two…

"Yes."

And Clara remembered the young Rose, and the conversation she had had with the Doctor. Those brown eyes had once been full of life, when this woman in front of her had traveled with the Doctor, she had been like herself, no, Rose Tyler had been more than herself. Because in that little memory she could see that, unlike her, Rose Tyler had been in the TARDIS as a permanent companion. His life had revolved around adventures and planets, time travel and space. And the Yale key only reaffirmed that theory. And Clara knew that perhaps her next question would hit a vein.

"You are alive?"

One two three four…

"Yes. " His tone varied, his voice dragged around the “e” instead of the “s”, and his body shifted a little from the position he had initially taken on the console and Clara knew he had it when his hand He got up and started to touch the key.

"But is your body alive?"

One Two Three Four Five. Clara blinked, counted for five more seconds, and the answer was not answered. The hand on the key had become still and Clara squeezed her own hands, because the tension had become almost palpable, and for a moment her curiosity piqued, she would only have to look up and see what kind of emotion was in Brown eyes. But he refused, instead he kept clicking.

"Are you human?"

One two three four…

"No." And Clara had thought for a moment that she would not answer, but the caress against the key resumed and her voice had returned to make carefully flat.

Clara started cataloging everything she knew so far: Rose Tyler was not a hologram, but she was not corporeal either, she had been human and possibly something had happened in her travels with the Doctor that had made her what she was, and that clue had had when her Doctor had looked at her, accused her of not being Rose Tyler, because he perhaps knew that it was impossible for her to be there, and Clara had only come to a possible conclusion about the Doctor's reaction: Rose Tyler, the human, must have to have died. The mere thought made a chill run down her spine and her heart clench.

And there was something, a giant dot that had only hit her until she had seen his eyes shine gold and answered his last question. If Rose Tyler was not human she could connect at least on a telepathic level with herself and the Doctor, through the TARDIS, because Clara had felt the touch on her shoulder, but it really hadn't been a touch, no, it had been the memory of a touch. But even River had not reached that level, and although knowing that she was going to haunt his mind did not reassure her, Clara was sure that the woman was not reading her mind.

Just because he could, he thought very hard of the Doctor. In his previous face, and the time he got it naked and nothing happened. Rose Tyler was still in front of her, the caress was loose against the key, and her posture hadn't changed in the least. With another risky question on her mind, Clara breathed and looked up to Rose Tyler's face, the brown eyes were missing, a jaw muscle was jumping and Clara was fascinated, because she was alive, but her body was not really there, how did he achieve all the grimaces and natural reactions? Or had they only been performed?

She cleared her throat, and Rose stopped looking into the void and looked at her, flat eyes watched her closely and the caress of her fingers against the key stopped for a second and then resumed, Clara knew it was now or never.

"But you were human, i saw it, but if you've been here in the TARDIS all this time, do you really remember being one?" A flash of gold fluttered for a moment in her eyes and Clara tried not to follow her instinct that instilled her to hit her back against the back of the chair, but her body tensed.

The hand, the one that had been playing with the key, fell, both arms were now lax on either side of her body. And Clara counted five seconds, and then another five seconds, but Rose's body was deadly still, no flickering, no signs of breathing or jaw movements, as it had been before, she looked like a statue and when she finally spoke, Clara didn't know. I had not expected it at all.

"No." It was a whisper between his teeth, so low that his lips had remained still.

"How? " It was a question that resonated throughout the room, in a male voice, he had taken her by surprise and standing on his feet too quickly, his eyes looked across the console, where the Doctor was.

Who was looking at Rose Tyler. And Clara knew it was not good, because her blue eyes had a cold fury, her face was tense, and Clara knew that it was the kind of look he only directed at enemies. Never a friend.

She started to open her mouth, and the Doctor just looked at her, their eyes met, and he looked at her with a hint of apology in them, and Clara closed her mouth, completely confused. He reached out, walked over to her and touched her left arm, and she didn't know how tense she had been until he touched her and her mind stopped running for a second. He was fine. Annoying, completely crazy, but fine. And it was the only thing that mattered to her.

"You're good?" I ask, looking at her intently, as if he was checking that she was not hurt, old fool, she took his hand, the one that was on his arm, smiling, he nodded. Because he didn't have a word to say. He frowned slightly, and his mouth curled, not completely happy, he gave one last glance to turn his face towards Rose, who had not moved at all, partially still still had her back to both of them.

The Doctor released his hand, and walked to Rose, and a voice in the back of his head insisted to Clara to take his hands again, not to allow him to approach her, but another, another voice much bigger He demanded to let go, because he only wanted to see them both, he wanted to see what that shock would cause, the one involving Rose Tyler and the Doctor.

The Doctor walked, in less than four steps he was already in front of her, and looked at her, Clara noticed that he was detailing her, not like before when he had not been able to think clearly, no, this time he detailed it with judgment in his eyes. His face was still taut, his breathing was controlled, and his mouth still had the curl on both of its corners.

He was evaluating a person who was impossible, and possibly suspicious, someone who had been from a very distant past and was now there, not completely human, but he also did not know what he was, or how he is there, and Clara knew him well enough. Well to know that all that unsolved mystery, around Rose Tyler, had him on the edge. That this calm attitude was only a facade and would fly at the first suspicion of danger.

And Rose spoke.

"Bad Wolf," and it had been so long since he'd said a word that when I muttered those two, Clara swallowed hard. I had read them before leaving the TARDIS to the beach. But she didn't know what they meant, even though they sounded terribly familiar.

If possible, the Doctor's frown deepened much further, as did the curl in his mouth. He crossed his arms over his chest and rocked slightly on his feet, anxious. Blue and brown looked at each other, and Clara could cut the tension with a knife, easily.

"When?" His voice was low, but the timbre in his accent was tight. It was a bomb about to explode. A slight flicker from Rose, and the Doctor's chest jerked at a rapid breath.

"A long time ago."

The Doctor took a step closer, Rose stood impassively still, the Doctor's jaw bone shifted, and Clara saw herself advancing as well.

"How long? " The Doctor insisted through clenched teeth.

Rose shook her head, just a little to the right, and in the same empty voice, replied, "Many years ago."

The Doctor walked a step further, and looked as if he was about to fall into his orbit, because, although his face and eyes did not show to want to be close, his body showed the opposite. He was still, as still as Clara had ever seen him, but he had crossed his arms to avoid touching her. Her shoulders were straighter than ever, but her feet swayed towards her, and Clara was fascinated, because like him, Rose was still, yes, but her shoulders were tense, and her hands, which, although they were not real, they had an iron grip against the console, to the point that their knuckles had turned pale. And for Clara it was the closest thing to seeing two galaxies colliding head-on without her dying from the explosion.

And the Doctor's voice brought her back. I blink several times.

"How many years?" Patience was running out and Clara clutched her hands, ready.

"Too many." The muffled tone in his voice, the same empty gaze turned the Doctor into the explosion.

"Yes, Rose! Too many years! BUT HOW MANY?! HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN HERE ?!"

The Doctor roared furiously, his hands shot out and aimed at Rose and from her at the TARDIS, his body began to move around her on its own, his breathing had become shallow and Clara knew it was just the beginning.

"Too many?! That is not an answer! NOT A DAMN ANSWER!" His voice was uncompromising around the words, he stopped, fast, close to Rose, their faces separated by just a few centimeters, their nostrils open, their teeth fully exposed, an expression of pure fury. And he kept ranting, with the sound of thunder in his voice: "Dates, numbers, damn it! Give me some bloody coordinates, Rose!"

Her eyes were wild, her voice had grown hoarse from the screams, the vein on her forehead was sticking out, her breathing was completely chaotic, and Clara was certain that her bypass had been activated by the movements in her chest, and she had never heard swear. His hands went furiously to his eyes, crushing his open palms against them, for a few seconds he remained there, calming his breathing, and then his hands went down to his nose, both thumbs creating an arch under his jaw and in his strangely reddened eyes the Storm had subsided a bit, he sighed loudly, both hands dropped and he just stood there, looking at Rose.

Who was still deathly still, who had not reacted to any of the Doctor's violent movements. With his eyes in an invisible point and his face without expression.

The silence that followed after the sigh was tortuous, even the familiar hum of the time rotor was too loud, and Clara had her entire body taut as an arc, making her own breathing as quiet as possible, almost feeling breathless.

The Doctor lowered his head, his right hand, which trembled a little, rose to his forehead, massaging, and more deep breaths followed. Clara tore her gaze away from him and hours could have passed. Just each one in their minds, trapped.

"Three ..." was an unsure whisper that, if there had been no such silence, capable would have gone unnoticed, but it was heard, and both the Doctor and Clara raised their heads abruptly, seeing Rose, who was now looking at the Doctor, his eyes showing a mixture of softness and bitterness that Clara had seen before, and Clara's breath caught in her chest. "Three thousand two hundred and seventy-three years ..." The lips had not even moved at all when the last word had fallen.

And when it was over, the Doctor backed away as if he had been hit, his hand went to his mouth and his eyes widened, and this time a completely different horror danced in them. Clara felt the lump in her throat grow and a cold ran through her, paralyzing. The Doctor turned, turning his back on both of them completely. And Clara's nose tipped when she saw his shoulders shake.

Oh no, no, no ...

"Why?" Was a whispered, almost stifled question from the Doctor, and Clara hadn't realized that she had started crying until her eyesight blurred, she wiped them off furiously, without importing her makeup.

And Clara knew that he didn't want to hear the answer, that he wasn't ready, but he was the Doctor, and that was the kind of man he was. She closed her eyes, her nails dug into his palms and pressed her lips together, waiting for the explosion, which would leave him deaf, stun him to the bone, and possibly never recover.

The answer was not long, and just like at the beginning, it was whispered, too softly.

"For you."

She did not see, but she felt and heard it, the Doctor's ragged breathing, the painful moan that escaped her and her legs could not hold her, she fell on her knees and her hands touched the floor, she raised her blurred vision and saw it . Still on his back, his shoulders shaking, sitting on the stairs and his head down, hidden from the world. And she only wanted to approach him, comfort him. Something, anything. But her body was tempering uncontrollably, she hugged herself, and looked at Rose, who hadn't moved.

But that perhaps he had felt his gaze on her, because Rose turned his face, to look over his shoulder, and although Clara still did not know her at all and had hurt the Doctor, as no one had ever done, she could see in his eyes a real regret. Clara believed what she saw. Because Rose Tyler loved the Doctor. She loved him so much that she had intentionally punctured an open wound, and even knowing what it meant, she kept going.
 
And suddenly, the golden glow returned to Rose's eyes, and Clara knew it would happen, but before she even stopped her, she disappeared, as if she had never been there. Everything before a blink, but he felt it, he could still feel a certain warmth that warm.

He found himself looking everywhere, looking for her, but he didn't find her trace, and when he was going to give up a “I'm sorry” he was whispered in his mind, so low that she was missing it if it wasn't because it wasn't her voice and that she herself had not thought of it, because she had thought of nothing at all.

And she could only draw her own cynical smile through tears, because how typical is it of the Doctor to do something that was hopelessly wrong and just apologize? Maybe they were made for each other.

 

Chapter Text

The little girl followed the breadcrumbs to the forest house, but the house was not sweet as it was told in the story. Within her the witch did not exist, but a snake had made her nest, invited her to come in, and offered her a gift, warned her that it would not be sweet but neither would it be bitter.

The girl not very happy refuted "I came for candy"

The snake, sinuous and not surprising, answered him between hisses "and how do you know that what I offer is not much better?"

The confused girl asked him back "You told me it wouldn't be sweet but also not bitter. How would that be better than candy?"

The snake approached, and its viperine tongue came out. "And aren't you curious how sweet the gift can be?"

And yes, the girl was curious. "Okay, I accept it" the snake had no lips to smile, but her eyes were at the work in question, unrolling her body, in the center of her nest a small marble was resting. The girl approached and took it in her hands.

"You can't bite her" the snake warned, the girl understood and raised the canine to her mouth, and swallowed it. It was sweet, she felt it on her tongue almost immediately, but ... now the snake's nest had something different. The girl realized late, when the snake had already coiled its body around hers, that the nest had bones.

"You cheated on me!" the girl shouted, scared by what she saw.

And the snake placing its face close to the girl's ear, hissed "don't fool you, I told you it would be sweet and also bitter"

"What you give me?" the girl could no longer see, her body could no longer feel but her tone of voice had not faltered.

"The truth"

 

8

 The Lost Children I

 

Orphaned children, missing for two months. Not only children in orphanages, no, also street children. Of all the neighborhoods. No one giving a second thought for them because of their nation dependent state. Because if they were not, less resources would be sent to the orphanages. But not only were the children disappearing, no, the women in the Whitechapel area had vanished into thin air, their bodies forgotten along with their names, no one had a single idea where those derailed women could have gone, and no one wanted to know either.

But perhaps Gwenevere Forney was getting too involved in that. After all, she was just the daughter of a baker from Paternoster Row. But although she had learned to read at a late age, she had not taken the time to read the newspapers, knowing that there would not be a single article on children and women.

It was just word of mouth news that had spread throughout the slums. She had overheard while going to the market. So she went to Tim, the fishmonger, who had asked for his hand in marriage last spring; There was still slight discomfort on his part because he was still in love with her. Gwenevere was straight to the point when she saw him, because they had been very good friends before the proposal and would continue to be, so the response Tim received about the rumors had made his world turn a little when he had admitted him with some concern and fear that little Charles, a child who was like family to everyone, had disappeared. No one had seen him in a week and everyone was tense about it.

She had said goodbye to Tim with a tight hug and tears stung her eyes.

Gwenevere was only 20 years old, she had refused to marry three times since she was 14 years old, her father, who had had no children and had been widowed when Gwenevere's mother had contracted tuberculosis when she had only 6 years old, was more than happy that he didn't get married. Gwenevere opened the bakery, was in charge of cleaning it, to the inventory of the products and dealt with the distributors.

Gwenevere Forney dressed as a boy, spoke as a boy and was as tall as one, she had never let her hair grow past her shoulders, because she had learned two important lessons when she was twelve years old and Elizabeth Walmsley had taken her hair as if it were a wild horse, plucking it by its roots. Women play dirty and men are simple creatures. Ever since she had taken her father's blade and cut her hair, she was never again punished or accused of being a robber of men.

But Elizabeth Walmsley never married Jacob Paterson, the first child to ask for Gwenevere's hand in marriage, with a ring made of wood by her father, one of the few cabinetmakers in the area. In fact, Jacob had ended up going to Finsbury, and Elizabeth had married Paul Varley, the son of the Canon Aley Street butcher.

And although Gwenevere was a lady dressed as a child, her reading ability was poor, and the addition and subtraction of small numbers was the only thing she knew about mathematics, she knew that something had to be done for little Charles. That even if the newspapers didn't talk about it, someone, and not necessarily Scotland Yard, had to do something. And maybe that's why she was standing outside 13 Paternoster Row.

Ever since Gwenevere had reason, the house at number 13 on Paternoster Row had been occupied by a lonely woman. Rumors came and went around that house, several times carriages used by the Scotland Yard had stopped in front of it on numerous occasions, and word had spread of a woman helping the police themselves. At first no one knew the woman's face, the few who had approached had only visualized the silhouette of a woman dressed in black outside the windows and had run in fear.

Gwenevere's bakery was only about six houses away, the only one found on that street, so he was doubly more suspicious than in all of Gwenevere's years neither she nor her father had seen the mysterious woman. But it was not until the winter of 1888, when the murders of Jack the Ripper ceased that he was able to meet the woman, well, not her, but her servant. He had obtained the mysterious woman's name through his maid while he had attended her at the bakery on an unusually lonely night.

Madam Vastra and her maid, Jenny Flint, the latter was covered with a thick cloak, when she had entered the bakery, the bell above the door had sounded alerting Gwenevere, who was in the warehouse, who had visitors, by inertia was he had shaken his hands against his apron, and had stepped out onto the counter forcing a smile. It had been a very cold day, since the morning I knew it would be a bad day because one of the distributors had been completely wrong with the amount of flour that I had to deliver, and less had arrived than agreed.

A strange mistake on the part of a person who had been her distributor since she had reason. Since they had opened, from six in the morning until twelve in the afternoon, the bakery had been substantially full, Gwenevere, 16 at the time, had been packed with orders, there were a total of seven people in the bakery, four bakers including her father, and three people to attend the hall including her. It was not until three in the afternoon that the traffic of the people had dropped completely. Leaving a lot of rubbish to clean up. By the end of the afternoon, the street was empty, her father had taken out one more serving of bread to sell at night, and when she neglected, they were all gone. Leaving her with about ten hot breads to sell yes or yes, and a note just naming the tavern at the end of the street.

She had cursed her father, and then obediently brought the loaves to the counter, eagerly waiting for a wealthy father of a family to take all of them away so she could close. An hour had passed, then two, the sun was already disappearing, and the street was much more lonely. Gwenevere with her shoulders slumped went to the warehouse, with paper and a pen that was older than her, in hand, taking note of the things she would have to order for the next day. The bell rang, she put down the paper and pen, and went to attend to the client.

The woman had her dark hair tied up impeccably, her dress was black, as were her gloves and cape, a color that, to highlight her white skin, her eyes were brown and she had a tiny cordial smile on her lips. Her cheeks were completely flushed from the cold and outside a carriage was waiting for her.

The hairs on the back of Gwenevere's hair rose when she made eye contact with the client. Because he just didn't know her, his face didn't sound like anything, and that was truly alarming. Every day Gwenevere saw the same customers, it was a morning routine for many, it was a belated reminder to others, knowing that they had to stop by the bakery on Paternoster Row. Gwenevere knew not only the people who went to the bakery, but also the people who went to the market, who were certainly the same people he also saw at the bakery. But that woman in front of her was not known anywhere. And perhaps for that reason she kept her fake smile.

"Goodnight, miss, how can i help you?"

She herself had always hated how her voice is heard in her own ears, too hoarse and unfeminine, and also her height, which went beyond the normal measurement for women, but on occasions like these, she was very grateful, since She was much taller than the strange woman and that gave her a little more confidence.

"Goodnight, i'd like to take all the loaves you have, please." Her voice was sweet as a canary's, and Gwenevere, nodding, went for a bag and began filling it with the loaves on the counter. He had not been a rich man, but he had certainly been a rich woman.

As she did so, her gaze strayed for a moment outside, where the carriage was still waiting for the young lady, in the light of the bakery tapped on her and from the window a face covered by a black veil peeked out. The surprise was such that he almost dropped the bread in his hand, he did not scream, but in the same way his heart beat a little faster in his chest, when he looked again, the curtain of the carriage had fallen back into place.

"Sorry, if the madam scared her." She quickly turned her head towards the other woman, who of course was watching her intently and although her mouth had a grimace of what was presumed to be a sincere apology, Gwenevere knew it was fake from the amusement in her brown eyes.

Without a single ounce of concern about her own crude manners, she proceeded to ask the question that had been bothering her since she had seen the woman's face.

"Are they from around here, miss? I have never seen it before and traveling with this cold just for bread is not healthy at all." Without looking at it, she put the last bread in the bag, and placed it on the counter. "It's eight shillings." She looked up, and the same light smile from before had made her appear. A smile too faint for those eyes that only showed suspicion.

For a moment, Gwenevere feared that perhaps he had said a lot, but the woman, taking coins out of the pockets of her coat, approached the counter.

"Yes, we live only a few blocks away, at number 13 Paternoster Raw." Her tone was casual, but Gwenevere knew he was watching her closely, waiting for a reaction. So long playing cards with her father and her friends, that she knew when someone was looking for a reaction on your face.

She was always good at playing, and therefore maintaining a neutral face was very easy, but she had to fight hard, because meeting one of the people who lived at number 13 in Paternoster was… truly intriguing. The woman reached out, leaving the eight shillings on the counter. Gwenevere took them humbly, and as he went to the box, without turning his back completely at any time.

"Then you serve the lady of the house," the woman nodded as she reached out to grab the bread. "If I may ask madam what?" A laugh, between a snort and a cough, was loudly expelled from the woman, and Gwenevere was confused. Had she said something funny? Because she was sure not, and perhaps her emotion showed on her face, because quickly the woman walked a few steps to the counter, where the box was, this time with a sincere smile, which showed in her eyes along with a slight trace of nervousness.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to offend you with my laugh, only your question brought back a memory, of a joke between the madam and an old friend." Gwenevere felt much better at the hasty explanation, and waited patiently for the woman to answer his previous question. Holding the bag of bread with her left arm, the woman fixed a rebellious hair that had fallen to the front so fast that Gwenevere thought she hadn't been there in the first place. "The lady of the house is Madam Vastra, and I am her humble servant, Jenny Flint."

Madam Vastra. Without clarifying whether Vastra was a name, a surname or a given title. Which honestly caused him much more intrigue. The woman, no, Miss Flint, although she had already paid, and already had her bread, was still looking at her, and Gwenevere belatedly remembered her own manners.

"My name is Gwenevere Forney, Miss Flint."  the young lady agreed and Gwenevere continued, awkwardly: "I hope enjoy the bread. She smiled, or tried to. She had always found it difficult to do so when she was uncomfortable.

But why was I uncomfortable?

"Surely we will enjoy it very much. Goodnight, Miss Forney." Miss Flint, with a friendly smile and a nod, turned and walked towards the door.

"Wait! " Gwenevere had called her before she opened the door. Miss Flint looked over her shoulder, surprised. Gwenevere had begun to touch her apron with both hands without realizing it, a habit she had acquired when she was anxious. "You can call me Gwenevere, miss."

Miss Flint's brown eyes lit up, and she perhaps gave Gwenevere the first sincere smile. "And you can call me Jenny, Gwenevere. If you want to talk about anything, you can go to 13 of Paternoster. I will attend to her myself."

Jenny had opened the door, the cold air had come in without permission, and she had said goodbye with one last smile and a nod. Gwenevere saw her get into the carriage, at no time could he visualize more about the mysterious Madam.

Gwenevere did not see Jenny until a month after her visit. Sometimes she came alone, without a carriage to accompany her. They never talked about anything, they always greeted each other cordially. And sometimes it could take months to see her again. She knew from the mouth of Thomas, one of the blacksmiths, that Madam Vastra and Jenny went to the theater very often, at least every first Saturday of each month, that she was only one street away from the smithy, no one had seen the face of the Madam. One of the most widely spread rumors had been that the Madam was a widow and her former husband had disfigured her face, which is why she always wore a black dress and veil.

Gwenevere had never accepted Jenny's invitation to come to the house, nor had she spoken to anyone about the few times in the year she received Jenny at the bakery in ungodly hours at night. And so it was for the next four years.Gwenevere had never accepted Jenny's invitation to come to the house, nor had she spoken to anyone about the few times in the year she received Jenny at the bakery in ungodly hours at night. And so it was for the next four years.

With the help of Tim the fishmonger, Thomas the blacksmith, Jack his father's kitchen assistant, and Paul the newspaper delivery man, they had collected a total of 100 pence and 18 shillings, and everything was tucked away neatly in his little bag. It wasn't much, but it was all they had been able to collect for Charles, Gwenevere had told their best kept secret to them and they had decided by unanimous vote that she would be the one to go to Paternoster 13 to ask for help from the madam who even collaborated with Scotland Yard.

Nerves made her legs tremble, there was nothing to grab but the lapels of her shirt, she advanced, and stopping in front of the door, she wanted to run, but no, it was a cowardly thought. And she couldn't be a coward when Charles was out there, going through God knows what. Asking a woman like Madam Vastra for help was nothing.

She raised her right hand toward the door knocker, and knocked twice. I hope, the nerves had run the moment she had taken the knocker, she pinched her lips with her teeth, eagerly. She heard footsteps on the other side of the door, and straightening her shoulders and braced herself.

When the door finally opened and Jenny's shocked face was the first thing she saw, she wanted to immediately hug the smaller woman. And perhaps that was reflected in her face.

"Gwenevere, what a surprise! What… ”Jenny fell silent at the pale face of the girl, eagerly detailing her appearance. Not only was she pale, her lips were so nibbled that the blood lesions were making an appearance, even though they were in the middle of autumn, the cloak that covered her was too thick, but even so her body trembled slightly, and although there were always dark circles under her eyes Jenny could see that they were much darker, and she could see how in her left hand she was holding a small leather bag tightly. She held it so tightly that her knuckles were pale.

Jenny reached out, and touched Gwenevere's left hand, she was at the sudden touch, because she had been so lost in her thoughts that she had not noticed when she had held her hands so strong, without wasting time or releasing the bag, the hands of Gwenevere eagerly covered Jenny's hand, like a beggar begging for alms, and a raging fury rose in Jenny upon seeing Gwevenere's condition.

"My ... Jenny, I'm sorry for showing up at this hour without warning ..." Her voice had come out hoarser than normal, she had hesitated slightly when saying her name and that moved Jenny deeply. Warmly squeezing Gwenevere's hands before releasing them, she opened the door much wider.

Gwenevere's green eyes widened and something close to fear appeared in her eyes, Jenny hurried with her words.

"Gwenevere, do you want to come in and have a cup of tea?"

Jenny's voice was kind, and Gwenevere looked uncertainly inside the house that was shown to him, a house that had been the talk of everyone in the area for the last fifteen years, and then looked again at Jenny, her clothes were those of a servant, but with her erect shoulders and warm eyes, her posture was secure, as if she not only served the Madam as a place, but also that she was another owner.

Her anxiety subsided, and praying internally that her boots weren't too dirty, she nodded at the invitation. If possible, Jenny's smile grew larger, and she stepped back for Gwenevere to enter. When the door closed behind her, Gwenevere's heart thumped furiously against her chest and she had the slight feeling that there would be no turning back. As if she was betting her life on a card game instead of food or money.

And thinking of little Charles's mischievous smile, and her wheat-colored hair, she couldn't find any regret.

 

D O C T O R W H O  D O C T O R W H O 

 

 

There were so many plants around him that Gwenevere had a lot of work knowing which was which. She could make out some ferns, but from the shape of the leaves and patterns she wasn't entirely sure she would have been entirely correct. The room where Jenny had directed it was so warm that her own vest was suffocating her, Jenny had taken her cloak, and had left it on the coat rack, at first she had felt self-conscious for a few moments when she found herself feeling so shamelessly dressed as man.

But Jenny hadn't even blinked at her address. So the feeling instead had been drowned out by gratitude. The tea table where she was now sitting was beautiful, so beautiful that since she had sat down she had decided to keep her hands away from the glass, she currently occupied one of the six black painted iron seats with a flower padding. She was as tense as a bow knowing that her pants, which were not entirely clean, were touching the impeccable design of the chair. So to distract her mind from the expensive real estate she decided to look at the plants, the occasional statue and the room.

While the loft in the room was the lush amount of silver in it, that wasn't what furiously caught Gwenevere's attention, no, what struck as if the attention was her overall construction. The tea room, or the green room as Jenny had called it, was a conservatory inside the house, its walls played between wood and glass, its ceiling was a copula, where the highest plants played hard, and although she knew It was night outside, the room was as bright as a summer day.

The room was so beautiful that Gwenevere had thought she was somewhere else for a moment and she wanted to stay and live forever in this place. Jenny had seated her and instructed her to wait, that she would bring the tea in a few moments.

But it had been a long time and there was still no hint of her. And she had started passing the bag from one hand to the other out of sheer nervousness, causing the coins inside to flutter. Her gaze was on her own boots, so distracted by the beauty of the room that when she heard the faint tap of high-heeled shoes against the wood approach, Gwenevere let out a long breath.

"I see that Jenny accommodated her very well, miss."

Two interesting things happened when an unfamiliar voice spoke from across the room, the bag that had been in the air at the time had fallen to the floor, and Gwenevere's voice had soared that it had wobbled in the He was out of his chair and was within seconds of falling, otherwise his hands had shot out to hold onto the edges of the table that he had promised not to touch with his hands moments before. The table wobbled, and Gwenevere thought for an instant that it might fall, too, but no, she held herself, just like she was in the chair, and everything was silent for a second.

Gwenevere felt her cheeks warm with embarrassment, and when she looked up to see the owner of the voice and ask for all the appropriate apologies, a hailed sound was all she could expel from her throat. Madam Vastra. In a beautiful black dress and with her usual veil of the same color hiding her face, she was standing at the door of the room. Her gloved hands had the handle of a cane, casually placed in front of her.

And for a moment Gwenevere saw herself being hit by that cane. With trembling fingers, she released the edge of the table, put her hands on her lap, and stood still. So still that I try not to make any noise with her breathing. Then Madam Vastra walked a few steps towards his direction and she did not breathe at all, she continued advancing until she was alone on the other side of the table.

"Won't you pick this up?" Her cane had gone to hit the bag that was still on the floor, making the coins clink and Gwenevere bent down so fast that when she took the bag in her hands and raised her head again, a small dizziness attacked her, making her see double for a few seconds.

"I-I'm sorry, madam, it was not my intention to disturb you." She kept her head down, her hands clasped tightly between them and the bag of coins, and her shoulders shrank, inertia, trying to look as small as she was, which was impossible with her height.

Silence was present for a few seconds, but for Gwenevere it could have been years. She felt a drop of sweat trickle down the nape of her neck, and she held back the urge to clean it. It would be extremely unseemly for someone of her class to do such an act in the presence of a woman with the status of Madam Vastra.

She herself still felt rejection of herself for having touched the tea table with her bare hands, and therefore did not dare look the glass for stains on its surface.

"Why are you so nervous?" Madam's question brought her out of her thoughts and her head jerked up in his direction. She suspected what she could answer and her mind was unanswered. She had come to request his help and services from the woman in front of her, if Madam refused, she would only go back to the starting point.

But he honestly didn't want to do anything to offend her and give her a reason to refuse. And Gwenevere wanted Madam not to wear that veil, because at least, if she looked into her eyes, she might know a little about Madam's thoughts. She armed herself with false courage, straightened her shoulders as she stood up on her legs, and looked at Madam Vastra, who until now had only bowed slightly to her movements.

"Madam Vastra, I introduce myself formally; my name is Gwenevere Forney, and I came to spend hours asking for your help, Madam. I apologize for the rudeness of my previous actions." He made a slight bow with his eyes closed, hoping he was not entirely wrong, and by the time she raised her head again the madam had become much closer than before. She hadn't made any particular noise in her heels, and the hairs on the nape of her neck rose.

The approach had been too quiet. But before, Gwenevere had heard the slight heeled tap very clearly, and now he had heard nothing. For a person who had spent more time on the street than a house, things like that never went unnoticed. Her father had taught her everything a man should know, although she was not herself, because knowing the difference between one noise and another, for example, were, in a fairly clear sample, the way you could arrive the next day. She always knew when she was being followed, she always knew when someone had ulterior motives, and all that caution had saved her on more than one occasion.

Knowing that it could be an insult, he looked directly into Madam's eyes, or at least where he believed her eyes were. The veil was so dark that she couldn't even visualize any features. The Madam moved her cane from one hand to the other, until she finally stopped and left it in her left hand.

"Jenny could have informed me a bit about the situation, Miss Gwenevere," her voice was soft, much kinder than at first, and with her back to him, she walked to the other side of the table, and made the chair legs do a little drag against the ground when he moved it, he sat down. With a wave of her right hand, she motioned for Gwenevere to sit down, and she, though a little hesitant at first, did so.

And Gwenevere noticed it then, in a blink of an eye, the chair where the Madam was sitting was very different from what it had been at the beginning, and the room… it had only been darkened and the birdsong was heard. Gwenevere swallowed thickly when she realized that the table, the table she had touched only a few minutes earlier, was not between her and the Madam. And now they were much closer than before. Her thighs tightened against the chair, her hands gripped the jacket tightly, and she forced herself not to react to the sudden change.

Although her common sense told her the opposite, she yelled at her to run away and scream, she stayed. For Charles, for all the missing women and children. Then I listen carefully to another set of footsteps, a faraway tap that echoed against the wood, and the next second Jenny entered the room holding the tray with the tea. He approached the Madam, who had a table by her side that Gwenevere had not noticed before, with a skill that spoke of years of experiences, set the cups on the table and served tea with one hand, while holding another the tray.

Setting the tray aside, at another small table that had not been there, he approached her with a cordial smile, his cup of tea, and it was not until he reached out both hands to take it, that he realized how rigid everything was. her body, and even her face, because she had wanted to smile at Jenny for her kindness, but only a forced smile had come out, and in Jenny's eyes a clear apology was seen.

A brief cough echoing in the room, and Gwenevere's full attention returned to the Madam. She had her cup in hand, her cane was resting against the armrest of the chair and she was looking at her carefully through the veil.

Jenny stood next to him, and the madam had taken a small spoon to stir the tea, without ever taking his eyes off her.

"Miss Gwenevere, i need to ask you a question before listening to your request, if your answer pleases me, i will agree to your request no matter how absurd it is ..." At such words, it was impossible for Gwenevere to calm the slight anxious movement that her right leg gave, and although she knew that something else was missing, she allowed herself to relax her body just a little "But, if it is completely the opposite, I will ask her to please leave without any objection, do you agree?"

Gwenevere clenched her teeth and her lips drew a fine line, her hands had clasped so tightly around the teacup that Jenny thought for a moment that she would break it, her green eyes had carefully turned flat and her posture, which she had relaxed considerably the last few seconds, she had become tense again.

On the other hand, Gwenevere, who had no studies or manners worthy of a lady, was being consumed by frustration, knowing that if Madam Vastra asked her an intellectual question, she would not be able to answer; but the knowledge that the madam would not possibly help her from the start, that he was doing all this just to see her leave, made him fill himself with a mixture of indignation and humiliation like never before. But Gwenevere was as stubborn as an ox, and although the tears stung her eyes, she refused to budge.

"I agree, madam." Her voice had come out much thicker, and if she had pronounced the title with a little care, she could only blame the stiffness of her body, which concisely affected her voice.

Jenny knowing his wife, knew that she had a smile behind the veil at the inflexibility of Gwenevere's voice, and breathing deeply, I await the question that Madam Vastra would ask Gwenevere.

Madam Vastra nodded and shaking her spoon against the teacup, she spoke over the clinking noise of metal against marble: "Miss Gwenevere, do you find it uncomfortable not to be able to see my face?"

Gwenevere, who was not expecting a question like that, almost dropped her own mug, and the feelings she had previously had had ceased in the mess that was her mind. She had expected any other question that would ridicule her own knowledge, and that was why she had been defensive about what had been said before, but she forced herself to breathe, because Madam Vastra's question sounded genuinely sincere. As if, a person of your status and social class, wanted to know your opinion on that topic.

Never before had her father, friends, or acquaintances asked her opinion about something, anything. Her father had dressed her as a child, taught her the basics of survival, but had never asked or thought about it. Her friends took her to do men's things, and she never had an opportunity to object, and the three men she had proposed to her in her entire life had withdrawn at the first denial on her part. They did not discuss or question their denials, they just left. She had never expressed any opinion about her life, or someone's life out loud, and now, she was questioning that thing, with real interest.

Glancing down at her lap, her tea making waves on the surface, and she realized that her hands were shaking, she bit her lower lip with vice because a sudden lump in her throat had formed and taking deep breaths, she relaxed her body. She looked up again, letting go of her lip and looking at Madam Vastra, she knew what to answer.

"Does the madam feel uncomfortable seeing me dressed as a man? or are you uncomfortable with my short hair?" 

The answer took a few seconds and Madam Vastra was as still as one of her statues when she finally whispered: "No, it doesn't bother me."

And her uncompromising voice had come out so warm that Gwenevere had smiled out of sheer inertia: "And does the madam see me as a woman, although clearly i am dressed as a man? or do you see me as a man just because i'm dressed as one?"

"Since i saw you i have seen nothing but a woman, regardless of what you are wearing."

Gwenevere swallowed, and his mouth contracted on its own, the lump was still perpetually in his throat, refused to move and even knowing that he would do nothing, he brought his cup to his lips, took a small drink of his tea, which was already Cold and i savor it on his palate, i suspect his ideas a little in his mind along with the taste of tea before speaking again.

"Just as you do not care about my dress, which is not entirely correct, and you have not seen anything other than a woman when you saw me, i do not care or bother not seeing your face, madam. While it is true which at first was ... unusual, not annoying in any way. Because it is also unusual to see a woman dressed as a man and behave like one. " She explained as graciously as he could, and without expecting to have spoken the right words, she continued:

"You have every right to keep your face hidden if you wish, madam."

He silenced kingdom. Gwenevere was tempted to close her eyes, but forced herself to keep her eyes open, her own gaze not to falter, and to breathe. Because she hadn't taken any breath in between her words. Madam Vastra carefully placed her tea on the table, and Gwenevere, who had realized that she had never drunk from this, was not surprised at all, because that would imply that the Madam lifted her veil.

The calm was broken with a slight snort, and Gwenevere had to blink several times in bewilderment, because such a mocking sound had come from Madam and she was not expecting it at all. It was more usual to see that kind of behavior from her class than from Madam's class, and that only added to the pile of things that was Madam Vastra and filled her with curiosity.

"You, miss Gwenevere, are very clever. Never allow other people to say otherwise." Gwenevere's mouth fell open at the praise, and when she was about to object, the room was filled with euphoric applause from Jenny. Gwenevere could only look at her in surprise at such a show of happiness.

"I told you, madam! Gwenevere is brilliant." His applause stopped and Gwenevere still didn't know what was going on, but the Madam's posture had changed very slightly, only visible to an observing eye, her body bowed briefly. back and his shoulders looked much more relaxed.

"You're watching me right now, aren't you?" Gwenevere snapped her mouth shut, which had been open from all the previous interaction and was speechless. Madam intertwined her gloved hands. "Jenny had told me something about that." You are a person of few words, but your eyes are always moving. You can't see my face, but you're reading my body. Madam Vastra stated simply.

Having nothing to say to what Madam said, the simplest way went: "I-I'm sorry if i offended you, madam."

Madam Vastra, untangling her hands together, used her right forefinger in a negative movement, playing down the apologies.

"Don't apologize any more for taking advantage of the resources you have. If you were blind, you would have to trust nothing more than my voice," she explained as she placed both hands on her lap. "As your answer was perfect and sincere, i will accept your requests, but, Miss Gwenevere, once you tell me your request, i will ask you some related questions and the only condition i have is that you only use one word, you understand me? "

And Gwenevere, who had been slightly suspicious when Jenny had left her alone, was now confirmed, Madam Vastra knew what her request was, she was surely aware of the missing children and women. But i wanted to try it. And it wasn't that she didn't want to accept the test. It is that she did not know many special words. At all times, both Madam and Jenny had used simple words, he had praised their understanding of the question related to the madam's identity, but Gwenevere did not feel smart, he had only tried to make his opinion as crude as possible, but knowing that The education of both women was by far higher than hers, now he was more suspicious than at the beginning.

But she was not only stubborn she was also bold.

"I get it, madam.My request is to hire her for her services. The children have been disappearing for two months, as have the women in Whitechapel. " She left her cup on the table next to her, which she had not noticed until a few minutes ago and took the bag with the coins. "I know this may not cover your ... fees," and Gwenevere had struggled hard to understand that word on its own. "But I promise that before the end of the year I will have the money you ask for, if only it helps us get Charles back."

The coins clinked inside the sack. Madam Vastra moved her head slightly to the right: "Who is Charles?"  It was curiosity more than anything that came out in her voice and Gwenevere intended to explain.

"It's ..." Madam's right hand rose, cutting her off in the middle of her explanation.

"A word, Gwenevere." She lowered her hand, and Gwenevere took a deep breath. Because the test had begun. Charles was easy to describe. He was only ten years old, his parents had died of cholera years ago, when he was only seven years old, so he had been adopted by the people in the market. He had a bold and mocking streak, but serious, so serious that he was trusted by many. It had been impossible not to love him.

Her disappearance had hit everyone hard, but especially her and Tim, who saw Charles as ... a younger brother.

"Family. "

"I won't take your money, I don't want or need it. But why do you think i'm helping you?" And Gwenevere knew it, but was not sure if it was correct to say it.

"Curiosity." Then Jenny walked over to stand by her, and although Gwenevere wanted to see her, to see what kind of expression she had, she didn't, she kept looking at Madam.

For her part, Jenny looked at Madam Vastra with her eyes filled with surprise, and she knew that his wife had a smile on her lips.

"The room changed, and you didn't question or run away, as if seeing a room change before your eyes is the most normal thing you've ever seen." I know the rumors around me, therefore you know them too, Gwenevere, and still decided to come. Why? "Madam had moved closer, her body had made agile movement forward, so much so that now that her face was very close and Gwenevere could see something green and ... eyes, looking at her closely.

Gwenevere licked his parched lips, and held back the urge to back down, because he still couldn't see clearly the madam's eye color, there was something… predatory in his eyes, and Gwenevere remembered a summer, once when she was little and she had been playing in a tree, a beautiful old oak tree, climbing its branches without any caution, because she had been too young to know the danger that if she fell she could break her neck and die. She had stumbled down from the tree, and had been thirsty, near the oak there was a pond, and she in her total innocence had gone straight there, without taking any water in her dirty palms and drank to satiety.

And when she had looked up the eyes of a snake were looking at her, just a few steps away from her. It had been too small, about seven years if she didn't remember correctly, but the feeling of terror and curiosity caused her to sweat coldly for many years afterwards. Being curious when something was new was natural, though it didn't do things that could kill her. But the snake had not been poisonous, her father had told her later, but it had not made her less afraid to go back to playing alone around the oak tree.

Madam Vastra's eyes reminded him of that snake. And Gwenevere hope that your next word was not wrong.

"Discover."

A soft noise, which Gwenevere could not describe whether it was affirmative or negative, came from Madam, and suddenly Madam's body had thrown back. "Nothing assures us that these missing children and women are alive, it has been two months since the first victim disappeared, Gwenevere, what would you do if your friend was already dead?"

Her mind went blank. Sure, she knew, that was a possibility, a big one. Everyone knew that since day three passed and there was still no sign of Charles, but… they had to try. And if he were dead, at least there was only one thing left to know.

"True. "

"Seeking the truth is somewhat ambitious on the part of a girl who only works in a bakery." Her tone was friendly, without mercy or mockery, but something in her statement made Gwenevere frown. "Because the truth may not be acceptable or kind to you, the reality of disappearances may make you never see the world as it was before, Gwenevere. Are you ready for that?"

"Think carefully, Gwenevere." Jenny's voice was a surprise, because Gwenevere had completely forgotten about her. He turned his gaze to her, and the eyes that looked back at her were truly supportive.

Gwenevere this time allowed himself to think a little more. So I look closely at the new things around her, even at the fountain that was only a few steps from her. There was a word for what she had seen in his eyes: witchcraft, but she had never been especially a believer, neither she nor her father. So the concepts of hell or heaven had never done anything to scare him. When she lived as she has all these years, the idea that an almighty God was upstairs observing all the misfortunes and still did nothing, caused her apprehension about the word of the church.

She only believed in the evil of men and what they did. What he saw, what caused him pain and happiness. She saw the room change, yes, but even though it had scared her, a part of her, that part that always got her in trouble, made her curious. How could something look one way at a time and then be completely different?

Because the truth may not be acceptable or kind to you… He suddenly remembered Madam's words. So, her instinct was not entirely wrong when she had entered the house, this was the question that would make a difference of going back and not knowing anything, or staying and understanding everything was happening.

"Yes." It was a whisper and her voice had come out a little hoarse, but she still didn't dare to look Madam in the eye. Her eyes were fixed on the water in the fountain, listening to the soft murmur of the falling water from the tip.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw movement from the Madam, and his head turned so fast in her direction that when he saw the Madam he instantly gasped. She had removed her veil, and green eyes looked at her curiously, and her skin was… green, not like her eyes, no, more like the green of the leaves of the trees in spring. And the memory of the snake she had seen as a child came back to her mind. Because it was not only green, its texture was scaly and had three elegant arches instead of hair, and Gwenevere swallowed thickly at the impossibility that was shown to her, and the sweat kept going down the nape of her neck.

"You still have to speak a word, because seeing my face is a question, Gwenevere." Now that she saw his face, she realized how inflexible his words were with her serious eyes, and Gwenevere knew that there would be no lie that was worth before the Madam.

"Beautiful." Surprise and delight flashed in the madam's eyes and Gwenevere smiled sheepishly at her. Yes, it was impossible and strange what his eyes saw, but it was not for that less beautiful and surprising.

The madam looked towards Jenny, and she immediately approached until she was next to Madam Vastra. Gwenevere looked at them both, who had an approving smile on their lips, and she felt as if she had changed something.

"Well ..." Madam Vastra stood up on her legs and took her walking stick, Gwenevere immediately followed suit, standing very close, even with her bag in hand, Jenny walked to the door and stood on the arch, Madam extended her left hand towards her and Gwenevere here I am a little confused, I look at the hand and then in the eyes of the madam. "Take my hand, Gwenevere."  And she did, the madam's hand was warm, although it could have been more because of the gloves than anything else, but it did not stay there, the madam pulled her hand until her arms were placed together, intertwined.

They were too close together and Gwenevere, who was not used to such closeness, blushed. When the madam started walking, Gwenevere followed her, Jenny was gone in all the interaction and after she and the madam crossed the arch of the room and walked to… further into the house, she realized how empty That was all, the walls did not have as many pictures as you thought of a house like that, and most were about landscapes, no portraits or any indication of the madam family, his steps echoed against the wood

"I assume you have many questions." Gwenevere turned her head slightly towards the madam's voice, and realized that she was only a few inches taller. The green eyes looked at her askance. " You can speak freely now."

I don't expect a second invitation: "When will you find Charles?" and suddenly they both stopped, well, the madam had, and she just followed suit.

Madam Vastra had turned fully to see her, and surprise danced in her eyes. "You really should care so much about that child to be the first thing you asked, despite everything she's seen in the last hour."

"It's what i came for, madam." Her response was firm. "I did not come because of the rumors about you, i came because you are the person Scotland Yard goes to when he has nowhere else to look." You know about the missing women and children, and you are interested. It doesn't matter that i do it out of curiosity, it matters that i do it."

There was a slight snapping of teeth from the Madam, a soft smile playing on her lips and surprise in her green eyes was quickly replaced by charm. " Gwenevere Fonley, I insist, you are a very special girl."

"I wouldn't say special, madam." I refute with humility.

And although she had no eyebrows, the madam's frown furrowed at his words. "If you are not special, then what is?"

"In a word, madam?"

"If you want." She gave her the madam and the curious look he was giving her was already familiar to Gwenevere.

"Kind."

“Kind?” And there was only a slight trace of doubt in her voice, Gwenevere nodded.

"Kind, yes, i am not particularly polite, but currently i am showing you the best i know about etiquette and manners, madam, and i am kind because…" His voice faltered, not quite sure if it was correct to say it, but madam's gaze was on her. encouraged to continue. "Because i have to show you the maximum attention as you did with me, treating you with my kindness is the only thing i can offer you for listening and receiving me. Paying attention to what you are, above what is really important would be the opposite of my initial intention, and as i said, I did not come out of curiosity to know what was hidden behind the veil. I came for Charles."

Neither of them spoke after Gwenevere released her last words, she was closely watched by Madam and she only hoped that her words were correct.

"Your words, believe me, Gwenevere, are wise." so fast that he had no time to object, madam took her hand and quickly dragged her to her destination. Up to a dark wooden door at the end of the hall. " Behind this door, Gwenevere, i have all the information i have gathered on the case of the missing humans, and once we cross it, a world of impossible things will open before you, do you agree?"

Madam's eyes held expectations and Gwenevere nodded confidently. In less than a day, she had discovered so many impossible things that being Madam Vastra's assistant, who was not human, was not the most outrageous thing she had ever done. And if she could be a little honest with herself, she was more than a little excited.

She just hoped not to lose her life.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Watson: The Second Anglo-Afghan War brought many decorations and promotions. But for me, it was nothing but misfortune and disaster. I returned to England with my health hopelessly shattered and my future bleak. Under such circumstances, I made my way to London. That big sewer where all the lazy and lazy end up.

4x00 The Abominable Bride

 

 

9

The Lost Children II

 

The Albion Children's House was founded in 1870 by J.R Jenkins, a young, self-centered and millionaire man, who was just looking for a way to spend money, or so the gossip said.

The truth is that J.R Jenkins, with his investment in the state to open a house for orphaned children made everyone fill their pockets. The industrial revolution came into full swing at the turn of the century, new job opportunities for people in all parts of the country with the new factories, but at the same time the lines between social classes had widened, it was only necessary seven more pounds to belong. middle class and seven pounds less to end up on the street. Free trade to other countries brought new diseases and people died on the streets. J.R Jenkins opened the children's house, and collected all the street children for the next ten years, took care of them and gave them work in the house after they were older, preventing them from being taken to the poorhouse.

Children were allowed to leave once they were of legal age, but the truth was that everyone preferred to stay, and therefore the orphanage was an unusual way to work, but not everyone could use it as a source of income. J.R Jenkins was the director for the first ten years, then delegated to Mary Jane, a retired nurse with no family, as director and manager of the place. Many would say that J.R Jenkins had gone mad by leaving charges to a woman who was not family and who was of doubtful origin.

But that's why everyone said that JR Jenkins was an egocentric, he had appeared one day, without having acquaintances or relatives near the district and had integrated himself into English society with silky words and his American accent, and without fail, he met at parties upper class as if he had always belonged, and when politics came up, he would cast a spell on everyone in the room into donating to the orphanage cause, thus he always left before dawn with checks of many zeros and countless invitations to the following parties, and while I know I knew JR Jenkins was rich, no one had a clue where he came from.

The Albion Children's House solved everyone's problems. The children who were welcomed came from the outskirts of London, abandoned children from Hackney, from Clerkenwell and even the bastard children of the Whitechapel women. And that was another thing that the Albion Children's House had that had no other adoption house in the whole country, it accepted not only children, but young women and men. All those homeless people left there becoming productive people for society. Nannies, butlers, maids, and a host of other trades. The older ones were in charge of instructing the younger ones, and the director was strict when giving the tasks.

There were a series of suspicious things, rules and permits, both inside and outside the Albion Children's House that caused the institution to be investigated in its early days on numerous occasions. The first suspicious thing: the house was not a house, it was a mansion more like a castle. The mansion was majestic, located on the outskirts of London, that had not belonged to anyone in the past and the roles of possession had long since disappeared, not even the state had been able to get it and had tried to do so since the original owners had died. It had closed and they had forgotten about it.

But to the dismay of everyone in high circles, J.R Jenkins had shown the legitimate papers for the property to the judge the same year he had arrived and the house had been passed into his hands. All in just one month. The mansion had three floors and a gigantic backyard with a small greenhouse. The first floor was divided into three rooms as a whole, one for music, one for study and another for tea. A dining room with more than ten seats at the large table, a kitchen that was the heart of the house, a bathroom for visitors and an office that belonged to the director that had an attached room for her.

The second floor had all the rooms and bathrooms for the residents. Both the first and second floors were accessible, but the third floor was prohibited for everyone, except for the director and the competent authorities of the country. And that was stipulated in the will of Mr. J.R Jenkins. And that was the second weird thing. J.R Jenkins was not dead, he had only disappeared shortly after Mary Jane became director, and all those subsequent years it was known that the man was still alive.

Because always, at least five times a year, a child without parents would arrive at the doors of Albion House with a short note explaining the situation of the child and signed by the same man. And when asked to know from the creature if he had met the famous founder of the house, they always had the same answer.

"He was a man ... quite smiling"

And that was all the children could remember of the man who had helped them. But it was a mystery no one intended to solve, as was the fact that House Albion was a lucrative entity and no one had a clue how.

It was a midday carriage ride, the road was wooded, full of wild animals and the dirt road was quite uneven. And he was giving Gwenevere trouble to keep reading all the information on House Albion.

Madame Vastra had had a lot of information in her study, she and Jenny had realized almost immediately about the disappearances, and they had compiled everything they had found, the background of the victims, as Madam Vastra had called it, and she struggled enough to say the word correctly.

 

In two months, from the beginning of fall, September 25, to the present, November 19, a total of twenty-one children of similar ages had disappeared, a group made up of twelve street children, including Charley, and to surprise of Gwenevere, of eight rich crib children, four of them were taken from a rather expensive boarding school in Kennington and four children from their own beds. In their homes, during ungodly hours of the night.

Those eight cases had not been reported, no one knew that those children of noble birth had disappeared, and Madam Vastra had informed him that they were being investigated unofficially, that Scotland Yard had its best detectives in those cases and that in two months there were no indications you're welcome.

The children of noble birth had disappeared into thin air, as had the children of the street. And as for the forgotten women, they had not been in an alarming number as the children themselves had been, no, only four women from Whitechapel had disappeared. And no one competent would have noticed it if it were not for Jenny herself, who had contacts of dubious seniority and had been informed of the disappearances.

Gwenevere swayed once more in his seat as the carriage hit a pretty bad pothole, the papers in his hands crunched at the squeeze I gave them and he looked up at Madam and Jenny who were looking at him from their own seat with amusement.

"Sorry." He cleared his throat and apologized, spread out the information papers, Jenny took them with a friendly smile and put them in her briefcase.

"First time in a carriage?" The question was kind on the part of the Madame, her veil had been removed because of the privacy that the carriage provided, and Gwenevere continued to marvel every time she saw her face. And it had only been a day.

Gwenevere, suddenly uncomfortable at hearing the question, scratched the left side of her neck, and nodded. The Madame had told her everything she knew yesterday, and Gwenevere had walked home at a slow pace, as if walking in a dream, still not believing everything she had witnessed that day, with a request from Madame, meeting at seven o'clock the next day on 13 Paternoster Raw, because the three of them were going on a hike, or so Jenny had said. She had left a note for her father, and had left at the appointed time.

And then she had gotten into a carriage, with Madame and Jenny, and had spent the last four hours reading about House Albion, her destination today. And it's not that there was a lot of reading material, it's that she was quite slow to read, and there were very big words, which made Gwenevere's mind stumble on more than one occasion.

Jenny had offered to help her, but she had graciously refused. She needed to learn for herself if she would be surrounded by Madame and Jenny.

She glanced at Madame, who was looking at the greenery along the verandah and suddenly a question danced on her tongue, she pursed her lips and took a deep breath.

"Does it come from the stars, madam?" Her tone was the kindest she could muster, and even her voice came out as a whisper. Madame turned to see her and looked at him. She swallowed hard and the lady smiled.

"What makes you think that, Gwenevere?" The amusement was remarkable and his tone of voice did not have the annoyance she expected. "Why don't I look human?"

"You don't look human because you aren't human."  She answered too quickly, as if the observation were obvious, and gritted her teeth. Rude, she had been very rude. Jenny chuckled and the lady snorted with her.

"Yes, I am not human, but I do not come from the stars. But why did you think that?"

Gwenevere shrugged evasively. Even she wasn't sure why she had thought that, but it was ... sensible to assume that Madame Vastra belonged to the stars. It didn't look like anyone I'd ever seen.

Madame closed her eyes at his lack of response. "I'm from here, Gwenevere, from the land. Do you know what it means to be homo-sapiens?" Her voice had taken on a curious tone, once again genuinely interested in her answer.

And Gwenevere wasn't entirely sure how to answer, because she had no idea how. Homo-sapiens, homo-sapiens, homo-sapiens… It sounded weird, too weird and she was afraid to say it out loud, because surely her tongue would get tangled up and she would end up being embarrassed and kindly corrected.

Madame Vastra seeing the confusion on her face, looked at her wife, who had a knowing smile and proceeded to explain to the young human.

"You are a homo-sapiens, Gwenevere, you could say that this is your species. It's the term scientists use. You understand me?"

Gwenevere got it. "You are not a ... homo-sapien." and yes, he had said it slowly and very carefully. Both Jenny and Madame nodded their heads and, although the s was missing in the end, they decided not to correct it.

"Homo-sapiens came long after my career, we inhabited the earth long before you learned to walk on your two feet and hunt with your hands, Gwenevere." She said, her voice soft as if she were reading it from a story, and Gwenevere had been absorbed by the cadence of her voice. "We are known by many names, the simplest would be homo-reptilia. We lived with the dinosaurs, we knew the earth when it was just earth and ..." His voice trailed off, his green eyes stopped seeing her and the emotion in They faded, Gwenevere felt her own heart give a painful tug in her chest.

Long time ago. The lady had had a family for a long time. The carriage rumbled again and the moment passed. Madame blinked several times and Jenny slid much further, close to her side, from her shoulders to her knees, taking her left hand between hers, Madame Vastra turned her face and gave her a sweet smile, which was warmly returned.

Gwenevere glanced quickly toward the window, uncomfortable at witnessing such an intimate act, and her eyes widened at her fate. In the distance, among the trees, the Albion Children's House was illuminated by the sun, making part of its structure seem obscured, as large as a castle, a long dirt road that diverged from the main road to give it the welcoming visitors, and grass, large patches of grass covered the entire grounds, and Gwenevere felt like running tickling her feet, for her, the mansion could easily hold more than a hundred people.

"Well, we have reached our destination, ladies." Madame Vastra said pleased, watching what she was doing out the window. The carriage turned onto the road and large iron gates opened, allowing them to pass.

"Did the principal know we were coming?" I wonder, as her gaze fell briefly on the gates when the carriage had passed her way.

"I sent you a telegram last week, telling him I had some questions about the adoption, and it wasn't until two days ago that I received a response." The lightness in the lady's voice alerted Gwenevere, but she kept her face blank. Many days for the answer of a telegram, and more if it was an adoption.

Today the orphanages were more than immediate with adoptions. Too excited about the departure of the children, not caring who had taken them. Gwenevere kept her thoughts to herself, because she suspected that both Jenny and Madame were aware of the suspicion of the matter.

What Vastra had found about House Albion had been incongruous. While the children continued to disappear, the Albion Children's House had not reported any cases. But twenty-one children were missing, of which only twenty she and Jenny had collected. But a child was missing for whom both she and Jenny had kept their identity. Timothy Jones belonged to the Albion Children's Home. While the disappearance of the other orphaned children had gone by word of mouth, and even the case of the richly born children was being investigated low-key, the case of Timothy Jones had not been mentioned at all.

Every Friday morning at ten o'clock for a whole year, Timothy Jones had been to the market without fail, leaving early with other workers from the mansion and a wagon, fetching supplies. They all remembered, kind and attentive that young Jones was, but a month, a month ago, no one had seen him. And when someone dared to ask there was only one answer: "Tim was adopted by a good family."

But Vastra and Jenny knew better. The Albion Children's House did not give up its children. There was never a record because they never did. They had their weapons, and taking the young human was a risky gamble, but Gwenevere ... she, Vastra knew, knew that this human was special, not like her Jenny, no human was as special as her Jenny, but she did have something to do with it. she couldn't describe.

 

 

 D O C T O R W H O D O C T O R W H O 

 

The wardrobe was large, so high that it stuck to the vaulted ceiling and so wide that a single wall covered it. If you asked about the color of its wood, it was made of oak, and only one door had, which was adorned by delicate ornate roses, its handle was gold, an expert would claim that it had been plated with gold and outside the door with the roses, all the wood in the wardrobe was smooth.

And while the floor and the light drain were covered by a fine layer of dust, showing how neglected the room was, the closet was clean, impeccable. The only thing that showed that the room was regularly busy were the footprints on the floor, a clean path from the bedroom door to the closet. Some eras larger than others, you could see the firmness of the largest footprints by the footprint of the shoe, being easily from a man, and the smallest were just clean spots against the dust. More like a drag than a footstep.

The laughter of children could be heard just outside the room occupied by the wardrobe, quite far away, and if the people, the people who lived in the habitable part of that huge house, paid attention, they could hear the cry of a child, as low as a whisper, coming from inside the closet.

 

D O C T O R W H O D O C T O R W H O 

 

Gwenevere's first thoughts regarding Mrs. Mary Jane had not been entirely flattering, because when they were greeted by Jeremy, who, with his thunderous eyes, made him look like a man who was not at all happy to have received them, there was a stiffness in her words of welcome, she did not even offer to remove their respective cloaks, and they had not been authorized to leave the reception of the house. They were made to stand at the entrance, because the headmistress had been busy with a previous visitor.

And while the Madame and Jenny had accepted all the rough treatment with simplicity, Gwenevere had scowled at the man's back as he left.

And a few long minutes had passed, which had given Gwenevere the opportunity to become familiar with her surroundings, and she swore that the wooden owl, perched atop a beautiful cuckoo clock, followed her every move. Her eyes and plumage had too many details that, if instead of leaving it on natural wood they had painted it, it would look exactly like a real owl. The interior of the mansion was beautiful, the entrance, where they now stood, was spacious, almost a ballroom, the spiral-shaped side stairs leading to the upper floors, the ceiling was large and high, and the walls ...

The walls were what took Gwenevere's breath away, at first glance people would think they were painted by various shades of green, but they were not. Painted from floor to ceiling with foliage patterns, the depths of a forest had been wall-mounted with pitura, leafy and other dry trees, fruits hanging from the branches, he recognized some birds that had been painted, with such detail, as well as the owl, who, if it weren't for fear of retaliation, would have touched them. Robins in their nests, nightingales flapping wings, a pair of peregrine falcons in the treetops. And looking carefully, among the leaves of the trees there were several species of squirrels, the most striking were the red ones that played on the branches of a ... conifer, if your memory is correct, and then at the foot of the tree, a family roe deer rested.

The owl on the watch looked real. But what was displayed on the walls was something else.

"Wonderful, isn't it?"  Madame's voice drew her from her observation, and she turned to look at her, once again having the veil covering her face. But it hadn't been like before, now that she knew what was under the veil, it had become much easier for her to see the characteristics of the madam. A faint smile could be visualized, and Gwenevere perhaps understood the sentiment.

They were surrounded by something that, if you're not mistaken, was akin to home to Madame.

"Wonderful, but strange," both Madame and Gwenevere looked at Jenny, who had been keeping quite quiet, and seeing that she was the center of attention, she continued, touching her chin gently and her eyes dancing across the hall. "This is a children's home, we know there are at least thirty children here, but… nothing can be heard." Her eyes narrowed at the observation and she looked at both of them with a concerned gleam in them.

Her mouth had become a fine line, and Gwenevere tensed, because it was true. The only real sound, outside of them, was the clock, the second hand moving. The house was suspiciously quiet. The hairs on her never stood up, and she turned to her left quickly.

They were watching her. She could feel it, and her body jumped a little when she saw the eyes of a wolf watching her, on the wall, in a bush near the roe deer family, a gray wolf awaits, his eyes were very realistic, two yellow gems watching with attention, and Gwenevere could not explain to herself how the animal had been able to go unnoticed in the painting. But in general the forest landscape was dark, the animals did all the true lighting with their respective coats. There were shadows rather than lights, and where the bush was… it was conveniently dark, but eyes like that didn't go unnoticed.

Her mouth was suddenly dry, because the more she looked into the animal's eyes, the unease within her grew. A deep hiss rumbled from the doorway, and she turned her head, cutting the gaze she had with the gray wolf from the one responsible for the sound. The Madame was tense, her grip on the staff had tightened and the sound coming from her was a warning, a rumbling hiss for the hunters.

Gwenevere though tense, found the hiss wonderful. Somewhere nearby, a door opened, the hissing stopped abruptly, and the door closed. The Madame relaxed her grip on her cane, Jenny moved a little closer to the right of the Madame, and Gwenevere eagerly moved a little closer. The three of them made a united front.

It was a set of footsteps pounding against the floor. Three people came out of the corridor that was under the stairs, a short woman, her purple dress highlighted her white skin, her gray hair neatly tied in a bun, and discontent was engraved on her face.

Behind her, a tall man, even taller than Gwenevere herself, followed her, black curls framed his snowy face, and blue eyes looked at them curiously, he was dressed in black, from the jacket he had to his boots, and the third, the man stood out painfully among the dark figures that was the woman; Mary Jane, Gwenevere dared to suppose, and the tall man. The third man was between the height of the director and the tall man; He was still shorter than Gwenevere, but he was taller than the lady, his skin was white but tanned, which let Gwenevere know that he had worked in the sun for several seasons, his eyes could well be blue or brown, she was not I was happy. all safe, but her hair was blond, flecked with gray, making it look like wheat.

Gwenevere swallowed hard at the memory of Charley. He blinked furiously and bit his lower lip. Mary Jane stood in front of them with unknown men, and it was not the right time to show her feelings.

"Madama Vastra, if I am not mistaken." The lady's voice echoed in the silence of the hall, her brown eyes staring at the lady, clearly showing that she was not happy. "I apologize for the delay, some… unexpected guests arrived."

The tone was still tight, her jaw moved and Gwenevere dared to take one more look at the men behind her, who had apparently been the unexpected guests. The tall man showed no shame for having arrived uninvited, on the contrary, her previous curiosity in her eyes had disappeared to show a trace of vanity and she displayed a smile with all her teeth, highlighting her cheeks, and the shortest only. Her lips were pressed into a fine line, her own cheeks flushed with pain, Gwenevere wanted to bet.

"I understand the wait, Director. These are my assistants, Jenny Flint." She nodded toward Jenny, who nodded briefly. "and Gwenevere Forney. " He made the same movement towards her, and she responded like Jenny, nodding her head.

The director looked at the three women with narrowed eyes. As she was introduced, and although she couldn't see the infamous Madame Vastra's face, the other two had their expressions carefully blank. The redhead in particular had never met a woman so tall, with short hair and dressed as a man no more, no less.

The women of today. They were his reproachful thoughts, but he dismissed them when he felt the men behind him shifting restlessly. They had arrived unexpectedly, not to his liking at all, and their intentions had been as fraudulent as Madame's himself, but at least the latter had been kind enough to have asked for an invitation, on a weak pretext, but he had.

She cleared her throat and decided to introduce herself and the rude men: "I am Mary Jane, the head of this house, these men next to me are Dr. John Watson ..." She used her hands to introduce the man shorter than it was on her. left. , who cordially nodded and presented a kind smile to the women, and caught herself to roll her eyes and make an unpleasant face, not worthy of a lady like her, introduced the man to her right. "And Mr. Sherlock Holmes."

There was a snort and a strangled sound, Mary Jane blinked in surprise and looked at Madame, still couldn't see a trace of her face, but the first sound had clearly come from her, and then she saw her assistant Jenny, who had opened her mouth and she had made the second sound, something close to surprise and astonishment was on her face at seeing the unpleasant men and Mary Jane herself had no idea what was going on.

"Well, Headmistress, this has gotten interesting." The delight in the lady's voice made her look at her questioningly.

"The men are leaving" he contradicted, there was nothing interesting. You don't want to have more strange people in your house.

"The men stay, Headmistress." The baritone sound to her right made her tense. Mr. Holmes hadn't said a word since she sent them to her office. They had been rude with their questions, erratic in etiquette, and had not had the slightest trace of chivalry.

"This is my home, Mr. Holmes, and as i told you and Dr. Watson, i deeply dislike unwanted visits." Her tone did not agree to refute.

But if he had learned anything in the last half hour with Mr. Holmes, it was that he was terribly insurgent.

"We do not agree to leave, Headmistress, we agree to welcome Madame Vastra with you. We did not want you to keep delaying the inevitable." He looked at her with a pleased smile and she wanted to remove that smile from her face. She gritted her teeth at the desire.

"The inevitable, Mr. Holmes?" Curiosity trickled into the madam's voice, and Mr. Holmes looked up at her. He approached, in one step, he was already close to the madam, Mary Jane was internally shocked at the lack of decorum.

"You, unknown Madame Vastra, came for the missing children and women. And the director is aware of that. The headmistress is cunning, she doesn't trust any of us, but she's especially suspicious of you. And do you know why? Because she does not show her face, someone who does not show her face is a person of little trust. She is dressed from head to toe in black, but she is not a widow, that cane, you have no problem walking, your weight is favored on both legs ... the wood is broken from the tip to the handle, as if it had fallen many times against the floor. So it is not just any cane, madam, I would bet on a sword. What do you think, Watson?"

When Mr. Holmes's observation ended, the room was silent for a few seconds until the named Doctor Watson cleared his throat. "I think, Mr. Holmes, that Madame Vastra is quite skilled with the sword."

And Gwenevere was surprised, Jenny's mouth had remained open in surprise, and she had closed it, but her eyebrows had risen to the crown of her hair at Mr. Holmes's conclusions.

The madam was not intimidated. Although Vastra did not like human men, she knew who was standing in front of her. Oh, the Doctor would feast on this new discovery. She thought in amazement. Legends, two impossible men were in front of her, in the flesh.

She inevitably wanted to know more.

"It's amazing, Mr. Holmes, but what else can you tell me?" she prompted, looking into the man's blue eyes and was rewarded with a maniacal look from Sherlock Holmes.

I hear a muffled sound in the background, from Doctor Watson.

"I said you are not a widow, but that is only half the truth, you, Madame Vastra, have never married a man in your life. What's more, you don't like absolute men. Even though I can't see your face, and I'm still searching my brain for the name of a cloth as dark as the one you have to cover your face, you squeezed the handle of your sword almost imperceptibly as I approached, your right thumb moved, just a centimeter further than I was, and I take a fairly deep breath, nothing too noticeable or too loud, but you don't want to smell me because I'm a man, while the headmistress approached and you didn't present a problem, you moved your thumb because She is used to fighting, the dress does not hide it so well, but she has always fought with men. "The man danced around her, or at least he tried, Jenny hadn't moved an inch, while Gwenevere had found herself restless." And it clearly favors Miss Jenny, her body was much closer to her than Miss Gwenevere's, and you introduce her first. "

Vastra was fascinated. It was like seeing… the Doctor. But clearly human and much grosser. If you ever thought that was possible.

"That doesn't prove anything. Jenny has been working with me for years, Miss Gwenevere is fairly recent in her position." Sherlock waved his hands, rudely dismissing what Madame said. Jonh Watson wanted to cover his face before the demonstration.

"No, don't insult me, Madame Vastra. The young lady has not had a week to get used to her position, because there is no such position, Madame. The girl is a baker, motherless, a virgin, and you only met her yesterday, no, wait, maybe you didn't find, she went looking for you, and regarding Miss Jenny, you, Madame have a particular smell… "I take a deep breath in the direction of Madame, completely ignoring Mary Jane's gasp and her face. Gwenevere blushed.

Jonh Watson hissed. "Sherlock!"

But it was just as ignored. The aforementioned closed his eyes a little before the smell that the madam gave off, he opened them when he finished his inspection.

"It smells of swamp, iron and sun, but within that strange combination of smells, which I had never smelled in a woman, you have traces of ... gunpowder, sandalwood and leather, stuck to your dress. The same smell that the young lady gives off. Jenny, pretty strong, so just like the cane that wasn't a cane, I can bet they both like to play with whips and guns. Miss Jenny has calluses on her hands, calluses that are only made by excessive handling of weapons. fire and leather for whips, or ropes, I'm sure in his spare time he likes to tie knots, and yet another reason why his nails are cut to the root. "A slight glance at Jenny and continued. "And the look she gives me is indicative of her overprotection towards you. Between us…" She leaned closer if possible to Vastra, she whispered, though everyone could hear her "Miss Jenny doesn't like men either."

It was fast. Quick as a whip, Jenny, flushed and furious, had shot her hand at Mr. Holmes's left cheek and the slap had rumbled across the doorway.

Gwenevere had opened her own mouth in shock, Doctor Watson had lowered her head, brought her right hand to her forehead, between her eyebrows, and let out an exasperated sigh, her own shoulders were tense. Mary Jane was pale and Sherlock Holmes was grinning, still with the red mark on her cheek.

Jenny had taken his throbbing hand against her chest, still surprised by his action.

"This is unacceptable, Mr. Holmes!" Mary Jane chided, who had been the first to react, her voice had risen an octave, she was scandalized. "You can't make those kinds of assumptions about women, for the love of God! I order you to get out of my house right now!"

"It is not worth naming God in vain, Headmistress, and you are not the Queen." She commented in disgust, combing her dark curls back and turning her entire body, to face the headmistress, using her height to make her take a step back, Mary Jane closed her mouth. "I did what the lady prompted me to do and what I'm good at. Deduce. But here's the real question we've been asking ourselves all this time, Headmistress, where are the children?"

Mary Jana's eyes widened at Mr. Holmes's question, she had been caught off guard and the words escaped her. She couldn't answer. I seek help from Madame, but she was still silent and looked at her behind the veil, she was sure, as were Dr. Watson and Madame's assistants.

"The arrival of Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson took you by surprise, Headmistress, you were already in a state of turmoil when you left your office, seeing and hearing Mr. Holmes dissect us in front of you only bothered you that much more. . " Madame Vastra conceded, going from her initial passion, to being next to Mr. Holmes, her heels tapping on the floor. "But Mr. Holmes is not mistaken. We come for the children, Headmistress, as you well suspected. We came specifically to ask you about Timothy Jones."

At the mention of the child, something snapped in Mary Jane, her face contorted several times, her crystalline eyes gazing between Madame Vastra and Sherlock Holmes, her lower lip trembled and she looked much older than Gwenevere had initially assumed. Her shoulders tensed and finally, lowering her head, she let out a sob.

"I-I protect these children, I have protected them for fifteen years." Her voice was cracking and she put her hands to her face to hide her tear-stained face. "They in one morning just ... disappeared."

The confession made everyone breathe hard. It was impossible.

"Madam Headmistress, that is ..." This time it had been John Watson himself who had spoken, had quickly offered a handkerchief, but had fallen silent at the vehement refusal from Mary Jane.

"No, Dr. Watson, it is not impossible. We had children ranging from six to twelve years old, including Tim himself." Mary Jane looked up, took the handkerchief that was offered to her, and delicately wiping the trail, the Doctor Watson swallowed at the steely gaze of the headmistress. "That morning, all our children were gone, Doctor Watson, the only ones left in this house are the gardener, Frank, Jeremy who is in charge of the kitchen, Elisa who is in charge of the cleaning and me."

The statement had been strained, so strained that it could be cut with a knife as unease had fallen on each of the visitors.

"A month ago," Jenny spoke, and everyone looked in her direction. She went on. "It was a month ago that they disappeared."

Mary Jane nodded in affirmation, and both Madame and Sherlock Holmes made a noise in consideration, if Mr. Holmes and Mr. Watson had paid more attention to Madame Vastra, they would have assumed that the noise Madame had made was entirely animal and not human. But no, they were both looking at each other, saying something to each other that was not for the audience.

The silence was broken when Sherlock Holmes applauded, stunning everyone, turned and without permission placed her hands in the hands of the madam, Gwenevere and Jenny held their breath.

"If you promise not to get in the way, Madame, I want you to accompany me on this case." Her eyes sparkled with excitement, and even the mark of Jenny's hand was painfully obvious on her cheek.

Vastra shook the man's hands roughly. "If you, Mr. Holmes, promise not to interfere with me or my assistants, I may consider joining in solving this mystery."

"Oh, Madame, you certainly consider yourself smarter than I am, and I haven't seen your face yet." Her eyes narrowed and she adjusted the lapels of her coat.

Beneath the veil, Vastra rolled her eyes at the ridiculous man in front of her, she could almost imagine the Doctor and Sherlock Holmes debating, oh, the men would not rest.

"No, Mr. Holmes, I don't consider myself smarter. I am." I declare with disdain. The aforementioned smiled, showing his teeth and turned again, to see Mary Jane.

"Headmistress, Madame Vastra, Jenny, the Baker, Watson, and I will take your case, and solve the disappearance of your children."  Her blue eyes sparkled with emotion and mystery, John Watson stood firm, Jenny pulled her shoulders back, Gwenevere felt her ears redden when she heard what the man had called her, and Vastra behind her veil a satisfied smile appeared in his lips.

Mary Jane looked at her guests unsure of the man's confident statement. "Mr. Holmes, who are you to declare such a thing?" Her question had come out agonizing.

"We are not the police, although Madame Vastra does consult Scotland Yard in rare cases." At such mention Vastra couldn't help but tense, Sherlock continued, this time her smile was smaller. "And I… well, Headmistress, I'm Sherlock Holmes, it's my job to know what other people don't know."

The turn of events had been dizzying, and at first Vastra wasn't sure how to proceed in the face of the impossible men in front of her, but everything had turned to her advantage. I watch with delight as Sherlock Holmes gave directions to the headmistress to gather everyone at the entrance, and she left with Doctor Watson to meet.

Perhaps this would be another case where I would not need the help of the Doctor. Having Sherlock Holmes himself and Doctor John Watson.