Actions

Work Header

Degeneration

Work Text:

ONE - DESTINY

Recently, unmentioned to the children, he has gone blind. No matter; he can see the future flipping like pages before him, and he is chained to it as surely as he is locked into place in this chair on the Cybership.

He wants his own Ship, wants the comfort of that tiny stolen sliver of home. Yes. Back to the Ship. And then . . .

Briefly he imagines walking the paths of an ornate, peaceful garden. He shuts his eyes, slumping with the relief of acceptance.

Young Polly shivers in her own chair. Yes, he mustn't forget to keep the children warm.

 

TWO - DREAM

The Time Lords have taken away the rest of his life, cut his story short.

They put their hands on him and re-shape him, a forcible metamorphosis that he cries out against. Then he spins off into the dark, into a kind of terrible sleep.

Like Alice's adventures in Flatland, little Taren's with the Wonderful Golden Robots, Reepicheep's in the Utter East, the adventures he will never have are put away on a shelf in the greatest of all libraries.

Sometimes, after telling stories to his children, Jamie dreams of the little man, but he is never allowed to remember.

 

THREE - DESIRE

As during his exile, he's forgotten how to steer. Then he only wanted to leave Earth. Now he just wants to get back.

He falls to the floor of the console room, each individual cell sending shrieking signals to his brain -- too many to handle.

When he manages to open his eyes, a golden-eyed hallucination of no specific gender is sitting on the edge of the console, looking down at him. In its long colorless hands it holds all the secrets of the universe. And one dead spider.

It smiles, a smile like a knife, a radioactive smile. "Got you."

 

FOUR - DELERIUM

He falls through blue soup of sky, toward earth green as a krynoid's bum. Oh well, he's had a good run, a mad ramble, a bit of a laugh.

An old friend's grin above, black with malice and insanity. Humans below, the size of jelly babies, calling his name in piping frightened voices like dormice.

A white man-thing is coming, made of sugar candy and time. Is he still falling? Will he always, always be falling?

Is that Romana laughing? She was a delight. The world is a lunatic smear of color and it makes him smile a Cheshire smile.

 

FIVE - DESPAIR

His last desperate effort simply wasn't enough.

Should have known about the spectrox beforehand. Jumping in and improvising doesn't work any more. Is it the universe that's changed, or is it himself? Why do none of his stories have happy endings?

The girl's alive, but her voice is just one in the chorus, and there isn't one of them he hasn't failed.

Time to give up.

Dying on the floor, filthy, he feels a tear slide across his face, and the salt on his skin feels as if someone has slipped a hook into his flesh and dragged it down.

 

SIX - DESTRUCTION

He's broken a lot of things. Computers, dictatorships, rules, and silences, mostly. Also golf clubs, tension, friendships, and, perhaps, a heart.

He honestly doesn't know if the trouble with the TARDIS at this moment is because of something he's broken and not yet fixed. He's been making changes. It was time for changes. Throw away a bit of the old, clear it out for the new.

He refused to settle down, make peace or friends or plans or anything but trouble. Maybe his volatile approach doomed him.

But really, the universe needs a good shaking up, from time to time.

 

SEVEN - DEATH

Aware of the pale, black-haired girl waiting for him, he stops to mop his brow theatrically with a paisley scarf, "Well that might have been nasty."

"I'm afraid it was," she says kindly.

He fakes a double take. "Ah, but I," he confides, "have a plan."

With a stage magician's pass, left hand over right, he produces: playing cards, frilly panties, a purple plush drashig, a ham sandwich, more, until his tattered brogues are buried in his worldly effects. And finally a single white lily. Which he gives her.

She smiles for him.

"Success," he whispers, and there's an end.