andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
[personal profile] andraste
So I've been meaning to write something for who-at-50 all year, and I finally did! Even if it's just a ficlet. Hooray?

Summary: Every journey starts somewhere. This one begins with an unlocked door.

Rating: G

Word Count: 500-ish

It shouldn't have been unlocked.

He can't believe his luck. That odd girl who pointed them towards this ship instead of the one next door must have done it.

He pauses inside the doorway. He doesn't even know if the ship will work. Presumably it's been abandoned here for a reason. Yet he has no other viable choice - there's no chance they'd let him get away with something that's still in service. This ancient Type 40 will fly them somewhere, and the Time Lords won't look too hard for it.

His granddaughter enters behind him, and gasps in surprise.

"Amazing! I had no idea they were so much bigger on the inside!"

"You should have paid more attention in your transdimensional engineering lessons," he says, but he smiles to let her know he doesn't mean it. He's trying to take her away from endless dry lessons, out into the universe of experience.

"Can it really take us through the barriers?"

He can't be sure, but he's hardly going to admit it.

"Run along, child," he says waving a hand. "Go and see that the food machine is working." The very first time he ran away from home, he had to go back when he got hungry. It wouldn't do to have that happen again. Besides, he needs a moment alone to see if he can even work this antique. His driving lessons took place on a much newer model.

She hesitates for a moment before the inner door, but she goes, and leaves him alone with the console.

Touching the panels gingerly, one control at a time, those long-ago lessons come back to him: always run the pre-flight checks. Turn off the hand-break. Don't treat it like a pet.

He can't help it, though. He murmurs, "beautiful," but that isn't enough. "The most beautiful thing I have ever known," he amends, hoping that it can still hear.

The ship is freedom, inside a box. He won't have to watch at a distance any longer - now he can see the universe as it was meant to be seen, walk among her people instead of staring at them like specimens in a miniscope.

"Grandfather! The food machine is working perfectly, and there's two other rooms in here."

Two other rooms is nothing. This TARDIS has folded all of her capacity away, left here to rot. Rotting as he himself has been doing.

"In time, it may grow larger," he says, although it's hard to tell for sure. It's possible that it's too far gone, that it will burn out altogether the moment they dematerialise. He has to believe it's worth the risk.

Without his pressing any buttons, the lights are starting to brighten. The ship coming on line, sensing life within.

"It's as if it's alive!"

"You mustn't get into the silly habit of thinking that the ship is intelligent, child," he chastises. "Certainly, a TARDIS is organic and has a brain of a sort, but it can hardly think and reason as we do." He sounds like one of his Academy lecturers, but it has to be said. Amazing though the ship is, he cannot have her getting sentimental about it. Especially if it's going to die and leave them stranded on the next planet.

Whatever happens, at least he won't be spending another twelve lifetimes as he spent the first, watching from a distance and never reaching out to touch the wider world. He won't let all their futures go to waste.

His granchild stands beside him at the console, regarding the controls with the wonder he's trying to keep from his own face, although his remaining functional heart hammers in his chest.

"Where are we going to go first?" she says.

"My dear child," he says, "I really don't think it matters!"

He throws the switch without even attempting to check the co-ordinates, and the machine makes a wheezing, groaning sound as they're hurled into the void bound for nowhere and everywhere.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-11-05 07:07 pm (UTC)
lizvogel: Real Doctor Who ended in 1989. (Real DW)
From: [personal profile] lizvogel
Ooh, very nice!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-11-17 06:45 am (UTC)
cmattg: Teyla is awesome (Default)
From: [personal profile] cmattg
Terrance Dicks made "wheezing, groaning" so much more memorable than it had any right to be. :)


andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)

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