glinda: compassion - dr who extended canon icon (compassion)
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Seeing that a couple of people expressed interest in this comm becoming active I thought I'd share a couple of gen stories I wrote a while ago but never got round to posting on dreamwidth.

Title: Things Best Forgotten
Rating: 12
Character(s): Anji, Fitz, Eight
Warnings (if any): Spoilers for Earthworld only
Summary: Even things that never were leave their scar.
Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] tardis_gen


The TARDIS is under attack. The light in its corridors swings from green to red without warning, though whether in tune with the Doctor’s moods or with the waves of attack is unclear. The order of events keeps changing, as though her memories are being shuffled like a pack of cards. It feels like some kind of strange dream, except that no matter how many times Anji goes to sleep, she still makes up within the dream. It feels like a nightmare; even worse, it feels like reality.

Sometimes, before, she would lie on her bed in the artificial night, desperately trying to let the hum of the engine soothe her sleep. The more she wanted or needed to sleep the less easily it seemed to come. Just on the cusp of sleep she would hear it, the faintest echo of a lullaby from her childhood. Whether the accompanying memory of her grandmother brought her a smile or a frown it always kept the rough edge of grief from dragging her back into wakefulness. In the quiet between attacks, she misses the small comfort as she searches in vain for sleep.

She catches Fitz in the library, talking to the ship, his voice low and rough, fears and stress burned away to leave a calm desperation in his words. Lying on the floor, with a copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit inexplicably clutched to his chest. He looks up at her without a hint of embarrassment.

"It was easier to tell when Compassion was listening," he comments, obscurely, "what with the whole talking back thing."

She’s not sure what to say to that so she does the first thing that comes to mind: she sits down beside him. "Tell me all you know about Laura," she demands.

He stares at her for a long moment and she wonders if he’s going to ask where she got that name from; because honestly, she’d like to know too. He doesn’t though, just nods sharply and tells her about the girl who became a TARDIS. She doesn’t ask how it’s possible to miss someone you’ve never met; some things she doesn’t want answers to.

She seems to be living the same events over and again in dozens of different ways, until they all begin to blur together. She can’t bring herself to mind though, as they keep losing yet get to start over again. The Doctor appears to have no idea what she’s talking about and Fitz denies all knowledge in a decidedly shifty manner. He backs up the Doctor’s theory that she’s dreaming alternate realities as the TARDIS tries to negotiate their way out of this strange battle and into a stable reality. She’s fairly sure they’re right about the ship getting into their heads, and equally sure that Fitz is lying through his teeth.

She doesn’t call him on it until after the day that all she can recall about it is gold and fire. The fear comes off him in waves as she shouts at him, his denials pleading and desperate. She cannot let him off so easily, there is knowledge in her head that doesn’t belong there, and it is these stolen truths that finally bring his denials to an end. In the silence after she demands to know what the creatures are, and, stumbling, he tells her what he knows. It makes no sense, but little since she met the pair of them has. The idea that creatures could feed on other species’ sense of identity, gorge on their insecurities and grow fat on their spiral into crisis and madness, repels and baffles her. She focuses on what she can understand or at least rationalise. Neither of her two travelling companions - three if she counts the TARDIS, and it appears that she must – have much certainty about who they are, relying on each other to establish their own identities. She feels a distinct swell of a dark protective love for the Doctor and Fitz that is entirely alien to herself – and if she looks closer she can feel where it is beginning to be turned upon herself – and for a moment she shares the certainty that binds Fitz and the TARDIS together: the Doctor must not know. The TARDIS has been using Anji’s certainty of who she is as an anchor, allowing it to reset reality to keep trying different options to defeat the creatures. All have failed; just one last option remains.

The creatures tear into the TARDIS and it doesn’t fight them; it leaves them to Anji, trusting her with their safety. She stands alone in the console room, the heart of the TARDIS a reassuring presence a few feet behind her. The lead creature approaches and she barely flinches as it touches her cheek and climbs inside her head. She allows herself the briefest of smiles as she feels it run up against her certainty, her self-knowledge. The smile widens as it picks through all her doubts, fears and weaknesses, showing them to her as though she weren’t already intimately familiar with them. Whispering their soft lies and bitter truths about Dave’s death, only serving to strengthen her resolve, to reinforce her contempt for them. Is this, she wonders, the best they can do, with all their power? Haven’t they ever faced someone who knew in their heart who and what they truly were? Aloud she calls them cowards, challenges them to pick on someone their own size, and they do. The smile turns triumphant as she turns to the console, feeling the panels shift as she lays her hands upon them. There is gold and fire and victory in her heart; then darkness falls.

Anji wakes in her own bed, tired but oddly content. She catches herself humming a lullaby as she brushes her teeth and smiles at the memory of her grandmother singing out of tune in her mother’s kitchen. She wanders into the console room to find the Doctor and Fitz puzzling over some readings from the controls. She listens to the Doctor murmur on about them being under attack but the attack having been repelled only to never have happened. Watching for the moment when Fitz realises he’s been caught looking worried at the Doctor’s words and hides a smile at his attempts to hide it when he does. She’s suddenly quite sure she knew what Fitz is protecting the Doctor from, but the knowledge is gone as surely as their attackers, leaving only the certainty that he is right to do so.

“Even things that never were leave their scar,” she tells them.

The Doctor stares at her for a long moment before nodding and setting the TARDIS back into flight.



Title: Indefinte Futures
Rating: 12
Character(s): Anji Kapoor, Adeola Oshodi, Yvonne Hartman, Martha Jones
Warnings (if any): Only spoliers for Earthworld, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, Journey's End
Summary: Everything has it's price; even if it is only marked as 'too high'.
Notes: Written for the [livejournal.com profile] henriettastreet EDA ficathon.


It’s a mutually convenient arrangement. Government funding isn’t sufficient for the work they do, never has been really, so Torchwood have always had contingency plans. Using future knowledge for financial gain feels a little less ethically murky when some of the proceeds are helping to protect the planet from alien invasion. Not that that ever stopped her, but she should sleep better at night or something. Yvonne is a reasonable woman and their arrangement means that Anji doesn’t have them trying to recruit her or alternately locking her in a cell until she tells them everything she knows about the Doctor. Which honestly, given that he had fairly severe amnesia the whole time she knew him, isn’t as much as they seem to think.

The biggest advantage of the job is Adeola. It’s not as though Anji has this burning desire to rehash her accidental adventures round the universe. Just that its nice not to have to self-censor, to not need to stop an amusing anecdote half-way through because it refers to things undeniably alien, that will therefore cause whoever she’s speaking with to think she’s mad. She’s met a few people who are ‘in the know’ and they tend to the extremes; either bitter and broken by their experiences or starry-eyed and evangelical about the wonders of the universe. Adeola is a refreshing change, still too young to have gained that officiousness that goes with being a glorified, and very bored, civil servant. For all that Adeola’s nearly ten years Anji’s junior, her lack of experience and normality of her dreams and fears appeals somehow. They do lunch at least twice a week, blowing off steam about clueless bosses, irritating co-workers, pointless dates and whatever garbage R&D/actuaries have decided to spout this week. The fact that their conversation is sometimes held in whispers because the co-worker in question has turned out to be an undercover alien – tentacles and slime are optional extras – somehow just makes it all the more fun.

Plus, given how clearly demented Yvonne is, its nice to have someone else around who agrees, and is all in favour of a good bitching session, especially if it involves cocktails. With all Yvonne’s posturing about Queen and Country in the face of the vastness of the universe, it’s nice to know that someone at Torchwood is aware of how ridiculous they can be.

~~

There are holes in the tower. The official story is that there was a terrorist attack, though Anji is still too fried to begin holding forth on how farcical that is. As though the whole world hasn’t had great metal men stomping all over it, besides the damn homicidal pepper pots in London. One Canada Square is barely controlled chaos and she slips around the shell-shocked remains of Torchwood’s staff. So few people know about their base here that all she needs is to walk like she has every right to be where she is and they believe that she does. Logically given the scale of the carnage she can presume that Adeola is dead, but she has to know for sure, she supposes that in some way she owes her that much. She finds her eventually; she wishes vehemently that she hadn’t.

The funeral is a slightly strange affair, with a firmly closed coffin. Adeola has big extended family, and the wake swarms with second cousins, university friends and neighbours. Anji spends a lot of time avoiding people in the crowd, both those she knows and those she doesn’t. Adeola’s mother is on the verge of hysteria, and her aunt and uncle are attempting to have discreet domestic and failing miserably. She takes refuge on a seemingly forgotten flight of stairs, the cold of their concrete seeping through her suit and grounding her and freezing her both at once. She is free now she supposes; she certainly made sure to abuse the abandoned computers, deleting any mention of herself either as a source of financial advice or as an ‘associate of the Doctor’. For good measure she’d erased all mentions Fitz and Trix as well, Torchwood have had over a century to catch the Doctor without success so she reckons he’ll manage just fine on his own. She curses Fitz briefly as she fiddles with the lighter she found in her pocket, carried on instinct even now, years after there stopped being an unreconstructed 60s drifter to have it thrown at his head, or an irritatingly enigmatic alien to lecture him on his filthy habits. She left that life behind a long time ago, she just wishes the price wasn’t still always too high. When she looks up, one of Adeola’s cousins is leaning against the wall watching her, and Anji almost throws up from how like her she looks. Despite the first impression they talk for a while, maybe its because the other girl’s a medical student, maybe it’s just a sort of catharsis they both need. They speak of blood and metal, and the faint hope that Adeola never knew what it was that took her apart so effectively. It’s not until the girl has disappeared back into the crowd that it dawns on Anji that she never even asked the other girl her name.

Yvonne’s funeral is an entirely different sort of strange. It’s a bright cold morning, and the proceedings are carried out with the kind of military efficiency that would have warmed Yvonne’s heart back when she was alive. A fitting tribute then, she thinks, watching the coffin lowered into the ground; not only closed but also empty if she’s any judge. She watches Yvonne’s parents, grief carefully restrained, and tries not think cruel thoughts about their daughter’s cold determined mind, always bound with honour and duty and glory, now bound forever in cold cruel metal. Sense of duty and loyalty and self so strong it overrode emotional inhibiters and fearsome technology. She didn’t fear Yvonne in any tangible way when she was alive, so it makes very little sense to be even a little bit terrified of her in death.

~~

The sky is full of planets and the stars are going out. There’s an eerie pall of smoke around the building she instinctively knows is UNIT’s New York Headquarters. All around her chaos reigns as Wall Street spins into carefully controlled panic and it takes every last ounce of her self-control not to just sit down where she is and laugh uncontrollably at them all. Fussing around with their spreadsheets and predictions as the apocalypse breaks above their heads. This she thinks, is why she never felt any guilt whatsoever about using her future knowledge for personal gain. It’s all so petty and impermanent, all those imaginary numbers flitting about making up profit and loss. In the face of the vastness of space and time it’s meaningless. She walks quite calmly from the office heading for the roof terrace, pausing only to appropriate a bottle of champagne from someone in senior management’s abandoned office. Finding a comfortable spot with a good view of the unfolding carnage, she swigs the champagne straight from the bottle and raises a toast to friends and lovers lost or forgotten.

She props her feet up on the parapet and waits for the world to end, or not. She did her time saving planets from certain doom; she reckons she’s earned the right to a good view of the end of her own.

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