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Playing a Tune

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Jamie was in the library, contemplating a case of books. His reading skills had improved considerably since he joined the Doctor on his adventures, and he found that he enjoyed reading immensely. He picked out a book to read, and turned to sit in one of the overstuffed chairs.

"Ow!" he said as something stuck him in his backside.

He reached back behind him, and pulled out what had been stuck halfway down the cushions. It was the Doctor's blue-striped recorder. He put the book down so that he could inspect it closer.

Having been raised a piper for most of his short life, he missed his pipes and the peace that came from playing. The Doctor had mentioned having Jamie teach him to play, but he began to wonder if the Doctor had truly meant it since the Doctor never mentioned it again.

When Jamie asked if there were any pipes on board the Tardis, the Doctor mentioned that he had some around somewhere. An intense search through the wardrobe room revealed nothing.

Jamie heard Ben mention to Polly that the Tardis was probably protecting them all from the noise. Jamie thought it typical of an Englishman, even one as nice as Ben, to not have a proper heart for the bagpipes. He had been a little hurt by the comment, but after being saved by Ben numerous times he was more than willing to forgive and forget.

Jamie contemplated the recorder, and felt a deep, shameful thrill at the thought of the Doctor's lips touching the mouthpiece. He put his own mouth on the tip, and sighed softly.

The recorder made a noise in response to the sigh, and he started a bit. Then he felt a singular stubbornness. He wanted to play, and this was better than nothing.

Jamie tested the instrument, getting a feel for the notes and discovering that one did not have to blow very hard to produce a sound. It took him a few minutes to work out fingering and corresponding notes, and then he began to play. He started with a happy tune, but gradually he drifted into a more melancholy tune as he remembered the last time he played for his laird. They had been so sure that they would win...

Jamie was not sure how long he played, but he was exhausted by the time he ended the song. His eyes had drifted shut while he played, so he was surprised to hear clapping.

He looked up to find his three travelling companions clapping at him.

Polly said, "Jamie, that was brilliant!"

"Yeah, I've never heard a recorder sound like that," Ben added cheerfully. "Especially when the Doctor plays."

The Doctor gave Ben a look of mock sternness. "I happen to prefer the simplicity of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'." He then smiled at Jamie, and said, "That was grand, Jamie. You should play for us again."

Jamie blushed at their praise, but especially at the Doctor's praise. "Thank you. I hope you dinnae mind. I found your recorder here."

"Oh no, not at all. I was wondering where it had gone to."

Jamie handed the recorder to the Doctor, who smiled happily at him.

"Thank you, Jamie," he said.

Jamie felt a heady warmth in his stomach as he watched the Doctor put the recorder to his mouth and begin to play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." It felt almost as if they had shared a kiss, he thought.

Polly laughed, and Ben grinned as he shook his head. They all heard the Tardis make its landing noise, and the Doctor put the recorder into his inside pocket.

"Let's see where we have landed," he said, and ushered them out. He rested a casual hand on Jamie's back as he did so.