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The Scientist, the Student and the Puddle

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Osgood gasps, pushing herself free.

She falls to her knees and looks around in confusion at the sand everywhere.

Missy is gone but so is the plane and the Doctor and- oh god! Where are all those cybermen?

Osgood grabs her pocket and fumbles for her inhaler, breath coming fast.

But she feels fine.

No pain. No shortness of breath.

She’s dead, isn’t she?

That’s the only explanation- Missy killed her and this is her weird afterlife simulator. She’s probably just put her on a beach to mess with her.

Okay- it’s not the only explanation. It’s the most obvious explanation. Osgood reminds herself, a little disappointed by her own jumping to conclusions.

The scientist adjusts her glasses, frowning and begins to analyse her surroundings properly.

The sea isn’t far away and judging by the position of the sun it’s around two to four in the afternoon.

She recognises this beach. If her prediction that little time has passed since whatever happened with Missy is true that means there’s another three or so hours until high tide.

Osgood turns.

A younger woman is standing behind her looking vaguely worried but more excited than anything. Osgood notes the multicoloured top and smiles a little in reflex at the familiar colours. Over it she’s wearing pair of denim dungarees with pins that only confirm her suspicions on the girl’s sexuality.

Behind her is a girl dressed in darker tones. She wears black jeans with neat black chelsea boots, a burgundy top and a navy blue jacket. Her shoes are far cleaner than the other girl’s doc martens.

The smarter looking girl is far paler than the other and much less easy to read by facial expression.

She is smiling a little which Osgood hopes means that she’s benign. The scientist has dealt with too many difficult aliens to want to deal with a difficult human.

Something strikes her as off about the two girls though.

The yellow star shape in the pale girl’s eye is clearly a birth defect of some kind- although a subjectively pretty one- so it’s not that.

Something about them just reeks of extraterrestrials and she would know- it’s her job to know.

The more brightly dressed one smiles, one side of her lips curling up more than the other as she suddenly looks unsure, bending the knee of her right leg which is a fraction in front of the other.

“Hey- are you alright?” She asks.

Osgood flashes a smile which fades quickly, looking down for a second and inspecting the floor before she returns her gaze to the girl whose eyebrows are drawing towards each other in apparent concern.

“Yeah- just a bit confused.” Osgood says, tucking some hair that’s fallen loose back behind her ear, “You wouldn’t happen to have seen a plane around here or even how I got here? I’m part of Derren Brown’s show and I’m afraid that I’ve got a bit lost. You can probably guess how often that happens working with him.” She lies, smiling a little more embarrassedly and holding their gaze for enough time that it shouldn’t be suspicious but should help to make her seem believable. She makes a meaningless hand gesture at the end to speak to being flustered, nose crinkling as she grimaces.

The definitely gay one raises her eyebrows and crosses her arms, hips cocked, clearly disbelieving.

Her possibly gay friend- maybe girlfriend but Osgood doesn’t want to presume- just tilts her head to the side a little, eyes narrowing in- Osgood thinks- amusement rather than annoyance. Her lips quirk a little and the scientist leans towards that conclusion.

“Uh. No you didn’t. We just saved you from being killed by Missy.” The brightly dressed one says, forehead creased. She barely finishes speaking before she starts again, arms unfolding as if to take a box, hands splaying and rotating slightly as she tries to clarify what she’s just said.

“Well- not really. You did die. Heather just put you back into a human shape so you’re kind of alive again. It’s confusing- a bit like when you’re in a dream and your hand just goes through solid things and you aren’t really freaked out but you know you should be because it’s so weird. It’s that kind of confusing.” The darker skinned girl says.

Osgood finds herself  both moderately confused by everything the woman has said and entertained.

“Or like when you meet a really cute girl and you don’t know if they’re gay but you really think they might be and they react in the ways you would expect but you just aren’t sure and there’s something off that you can’t put your finger on.” The girl points at her, waggling her finger a little for emphasis as her eyebrows rise again.

The more she talks the more endearing the scientist is finding this strange woman.

Also the confirmation that she’s gay is quite reassuring but Osgood really needs to focus on things which aren’t how much she likes the girl already.

“So you guys somehow brought me back to life even though you don’t know me and I’m not a human anymore.” Osgood summarises, arching one eyebrow and looking at them both skeptically.

The two girls look between each other and the confirmed gay one lifts her arms in a strange shrug, blowing out her cheeks.

“Well. Yeah- basically.” She says, looking impressed.

“Right. Assuming that you’re telling the truth I’m going to presume you are aliens?” Asks the scientist, eyebrows raised in question.

“You could.” Says Heather, smirking with a twinkle in her eye that has nothing to do with the defect.

“Shut up!” Laughs the other, smacking her gently on the arm.

The scientist is thinking that same thought at her brain which can’t stop staring at them both when it really needs to be doing the important task of figuring out what’s going on.

“We’re human.” The other girl continues, focussing back on Osgood.

Almost immediately she pulls a strange face.

“Well- we used to be. It’s a long story but we’re the same as you- we used to be human then stuff happened and now we’re almost human. We explore stars.” She says, shrugging again as if what she’s saying is completely normal.

“I could make you human again if you wanted.” Offers Heather, extending a hand and smiling gently, “I could put you back with your sister and you could keep working with UNIT.” She says.

“Oh god- my sister!” Says Osgood, feeling worry fill her.

Does her sister think she’s dead?

Is she actually dead?

Where was she when everything happened?

“Your sister is fine.” Heather soothes, “We can visit her if you like- let the both of you talk before you make any decisions.” She says, hand still extended.

Osgood nods, pale.

“Yes. I think that would be a good idea.” She says, swallowing.

“Why are you still holding out your hand?” Osgood asks, eyes narrowing slightly in confusion.

“Why don’t you take it and see?” Heather says, smirking and Osgood knows it’s a bad idea because the two women are probably lying about being human and skin contact with unidentified aliens could carry so many kinds of risks the risk assessment alone could take years of research just to gather enough information to know how much of a risk the action would be.

So Osgood knows it’s a bad idea.

Unfortunately whether Heather is an alien or not she currently looks like a rather attractive girl with a really pretty smirk which does bad things with the scientists impulse control.

As much as she normally slots into the Ravenclaw mindset quite well there’s always been a bit of Gryffindor in her.

Osgood takes the strange star-eyes girl’s hand…

And nothing happens.

Heather smiles, staring into Osgood’s eyes and the scientist thinks that she is glad she doesn’t currently need her inhaler because normally right now she would be crouched in the corner, desperately trying to recover.

That defect is quite striking.

Osgood can’t quite find it in her to let go.

“Bill?” Says the girl and Osgood stores the name away as a much shorter reference than ‘brightly coloured girl’ or ‘girl who is most-likely-probably-almost-certainly gay’.

“Yeah. Coming.” Bill says, taking the hand the pale girl has extended towards her.

“Wait- what’s happening- where are we-” Osgood asks, stepping towards them both, releasing her hold on Heather’s hand. The girl doesn't let go.

And then there’s the most strange feeling like having a deluge of water poured over her. It’s not entirely uncomfortable but it’s new.

The scientist closes her eyes, holding her breath and trying to remain as calm as possible until the sensation fades.

When it finally does she opens her eyes to the inside of the flat she shares with her sister.