The Doctor In The TARDIS
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Return to Gallifrey

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Author Topic: Return to Gallifrey  (Read 89 times)
Romana
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« on: June 21, 2011, 01:22:00 am »

 set after The Apocalypse Element after Romana had spent those 20 years as a Dalek prisoner. I have used the 8th Doctor instead of the 6th



Finally the Doctor's battered old TARDIS landed within the TARDIS bay area.

The Doctor stepped out first, frowning immediately at the throng of colourfully robed bodies jostling about in front of him.

"Welcoming committee I'm afraid" he muttered, more to himself than to his companion.

He stepped aside as Romana emerged from within the darkness behind the TARDIS doors.

Gasps and whispers ran through the crowd like a strong wind rustling paper.

She squinted, scanning the crowd as if trying to make sense of everything.

The other Time Lords gazed on in amazement.

There was no doubt about it she had suffered and she sensed that the crowd could see it too. She was painfully, almost deathly thin, with pinched, sunken features and dark heavy circles around her eyes.

But what an event! No-one could miss and it and judging by the size of the throng, no-one had. Twenty years their President had gone, replaced by a series of worthless caretaker Presidents. Twenty years and no sign of her in all of time and space. Her and Etra Prime, but the Time Lords cared little for the fate of other worlds. No, their President had been their concern, well, it had been for a while anyway.

She suddenly felt overwhelmed and very small as she felt crowded by the other Time Lords. They seemed to want to get closer, to look and to gawp at her changed countenance. She tried to look harder at the faces again, but the look on her face clearly said that she regretted doing so immediately. There they all were; some sympathetic, some smug. Others were just gazing in wonder.

She wasn't sure which expression she despised more.

She frowned miserably. She was an attraction, a joke, something to be stared at. Closing her eyes she let out a sad, heavy sigh.

The Doctor was eyeing the crowd suspiciously now.

It wasn't that he didn't trust his own kind. It was just that he didn't trust them at all.

He turned to Romana, reluctant to remove his stare from the others "Well here we are home. You will help these planets won't you Romana?"

Romana looked at the floor, nodding weakly "I will Doctor. Gallifrey will never be defenceless again. We will not tolerate a Dalek race on our door step ever again." her voice shook slightly but did not crack.

It was now that the Doctor was eyeing her with suspicion. Her response sounded auto-mated, like it was what had come out of her mouth due to a button being pressed somewhere. Her response was measured and calm like she wasn't thinking, just acting on auto-pilot. That was the part that made his lips become a terse line and his forehead become etched with concern. She was far too calm for someone who had been in captivity for such a long time.

He looked into her eyes sensing an overwhelming sadness and confusion.

"Romana," he said softly "you are safe now" he continued, stroking her face gently.

He gently brushed his lips against hers and for a brief moment the universe fell away and nothing mattered. He pulled away, smiling slightly at her then looking at the crowd who had begun muttering amongst themselves.

He turned wordlessly towards the doors of the TARDIS.

His sudden movement seemed to shake Romana out of her daze "Doctor, you're not leaving surely, there is so much to be done."

There was more conviction, more emotion in her voice this time.

He smiled broadly at her.

"And I'm sure you will do it brilliantly Romana, even with Vansel here doing his best to mess up half the Planet" answered the Doctor, casually jabbing a thumb in the direction of another Time Lord.

"You have messed up half the planet before now, Doctor, and left when the clearing up needed doing." Vansel pointed out, much to the amusement of some of the others..

"I aim to please" he answered with questionable sincerity, before turning towards another Time Lord who had emerged at the front of the crowd.

"Take great care of her, Braxiatal. She's going to need some time" he said, his voice laced with seriousness and concern.

Romana had been guided away from the crowd by a garrison of her personal body guards. She marched quickly through the grand and magnificent halls and corridors to her quarters. People had stopped to look, ordered to keep well back via shouts to that affect coming from the red clad security guards lining her route.

She had followed and done as instructed. Her mind was elsewhere.

Now days had passed and she had taken to simply sitting in her vacuous living room, amongst the scarlet velvet cushions on her long, wide sofa.

She remained there, just sitting, just breathing and occasionally blinking and that was it.

Her behaviour had greatly concerned her personal staff. They had worry constantly etched on their faces as they fussed and faffed over her. They tried to sooth with their familiar voices and cajole in every way they could think of to try and make her eat or even take a bath, but nothing had worked.

She simply sat.

Her private secretary had reached the end of his resolve. There was nothing else for it than to involve someone from outside of her inner household.

He quickly assembled a white, presidential message cube and sent it on its way. It wasn't the usual method of summoning someone, but it worked quickly and efficiently.

Braxiatel arrived minutes after receiving the cube and was admitted hurriedly by the Presidents secretary.

"She just sits, doesn't eat, drink, nothing. If we try and move her ourselves, she just flops back and becomes non-compliant" frantically whispered the little Time Lord to Braxiatal.

"We don't want to force her you see" he rasped "but, well well it's like she's given up on herself, you know? Like there's a lot that needs to come out and I don't think - " he paused, glancing worriedly over in the direction of his employer "I don't think any of us are likely to get anywhere with her" he finished.

Braxiatal nodded gravely, thanked him for calling him and asked for all of the staff to leave her quarters, apart from the guards outside. Having so many people around you when you are used to solitude could not help matters, he mused.

He walked over the brilliantly polished marble floor, his shoes clicking on its gleaming surface. It had been many years since he had been inside the Presidential office, let alone the lush and opulent accommodation afforded to the President.

"Romana," he called gently as he sat closely to her, their knees touching.

She neither looked up nor acknowledged him in anyway.

"Romana, please talk to me," he tried again, hoping for something, some glimmer of recognition.

He sighed audibly and then proceeded to lay his hands either side of her thin, fragile head. He pressed his index and middle fingers onto her temples and closed his eyes.

It was considered a great insult for one Time Lord to communicate like this with the other, without complete consent from both parties. But convention could not possibly be adhered to here. Romana's well-being was too important and a psychic link had to made to communicate with her. It was the only way.

There was the corridor. All acolytes at the academy are to taught early on to have one when developing their psychic skills. It organised your thoughts for you and most importantly, it protected you. You hid your feelings and thoughts behind different 'doors' and only unlocked the ones you were happy for others to see.

Romana's corridor was a rotting, almost grotesque affair made of putrefying wood and lined with broken, damaged doors. The light was from an unknown source and was a sickly and unnerving blue shade, giving everything it touched a sad, desperate appearance.

He had seen enough.

He removed his hands from her head and instead began to wring them whilst he thought.

"It was dark. Cold you see it was dark. Nothing just fear and and and the fear." She blurted out.

"Go on" he encouraged.

"You could hear them, their never closing eyes staring in at you, just staring and boring into you. You could hear them at night. I don't know if it was night it was always so dark and empty and the noise. The screams. I didn't even know if I was making them after a while."

A tear slipped down her cheek, but she made no accompanying sobs.

"I had nothing and no-one. No food even. No light. No exercise. I wasn't just their prisoner I was, was, was what they used for torture" she closed her eyes and paused for a moment, letting her emotions calm.

"Twenty years" she began "and no-one came".

Her chin and bottom lip were trembling now and her eyes shut once more. Her breathing quickened and a horrible, ugly sob came from her tiny, emaciated frame.

Soon she was shaking and gasping with each almighty sob and she gulped in the air as she wailed and keened.

Braxiatal pursed his lips and knotted his brow.

He wasn't sure what he found more disturbing ; the fact that it had taken his people so long to find and liberate her, or the fact that this strong and capable ruler and Time Lady had been reduced to such a state.

Out of all the years he had known and taught her for, he had never once seen her cry. That inward revelation made him feel sick to his stomach. What had they done to her?

"Romana you are safe now," he spoke in a comforting, calming voice, putting his arms around her and holding her tightly. He couldn't imagine what she had being through in the last twenty years.

"Am I?" she whispered between sobs, looking at Braxiatel.

"You need some time away from the panoptican, the capital. It's too soon for you to be back here." He began, his voice unrelenting in its affirming timbre "but right now, you need to sleep."

He waited a few minutes more until her sobs had died in her throat and she was calmly breathing once more.

"Sleep" whispered Romana eventually "not even sure what that is any more".

"Come" he said rising and offered her his hand.

She looked at his proffered hand and then after a moment of hesitation, placed her small bony hand inside its warm grasp.

He gently pulled her to her feet, but seconds after her knees quavered and she sank back down into the cushions below.

"I'm sorry " she began, utterly surprise seizing her reduce visage.

"Do not worry my lady" he smiled "allow me" and with that he gently lifted her off the sofa and carried her across the long room, past the tall and ornate windows that left in the soft afternoon light and towards her chamber.

He opened the ornate doors using his elbow on the handle and entered.

He lay her softly onto the bed, pulling a blanket over her slight form.

He crossed to the window and pulled across the curtain, blocking out the golden orange light coming through and then returned to her side.

Her eyes were already shut, but he sensed that she had not yet abandoned herself to unconsciousness yet.

"Sleep" he whispered, so softly that it could have been mistaken for a breeze.

He waited a moment and saw her visibly relax. When he was certain that she was asleep, he noiselessly left the room, closing the door with just as much care.

Braxiatel would get her away as soon as she woke she was after all still his president and he would do anything for his former student, his President.

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