elisi: (The Master by kalinda_99)
[personal profile] elisi
Chapter 1 and explanations here.

Summary: “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard (or: The Seeker takes some time out to travel and think things over)
Setting: Between A Good Day and The Death and Life of Rodageitmososa. (This is AU, but within New Who between Name of the Doctor and The Day of the Doctor.
Spoilers: A Good Day. But can easily be read on its own.
Rating: PG-13.
Characters: This part: The Third Seeker, TenToo, Rose and a few others.
Beta: Um... That would be a no. All mistakes mine.
Feedback: Would be amazing. :)


Stepping Sideways: Pete's World

“I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.” – Lillian Smith

10

He was sitting in their living room, perfectly calm as the Doctor ranted. ‘Calm’ might not be the right word - ‘quietly amused’ came closer.

Rose wasn’t sure what to think. ‘Three people in this room have committed genocide’ still stung her. He made her feel uneasy, but not for the same reasons the Doctor was throwing a fit.

The Seeker had listened patiently, but when the Doctor finally ran out of breath he turned his head to catch Rose’s eyes.

“Rose... how do you cope? I know my Doctor’s wife only has him on a strictly part-time basis. You must be some sort of saint.”

“Excuse me?” the Doctor said, as Rose fought to find a suitable expression, and the Seeker tilted his head. He was so sleek - cool, calm, controlled - that it made the Doctor’s rather uncontrolled passion seem even more over-the-top.

“You are… so young,” the Seeker said. “I feel a little like I’m twelve again, the way you carry on. If I want to save the world, whilst doing a quite frankly spectacular impression of my father, I don’t see why you have to take it as a personal insult.”

The Doctor’s eyes narrowed.

“Because you did it for me. Don’t you deny it.”

A half-suppressed smile. “True, I played to the crowd. But look at me! I look pretty amazing, don’t you think? I always thought this face would look good with a beard, just never wanted to give my father the satisfaction. But he’s not here now, is he?”

A beat, as the Doctor glared, silently, then the Seeker lowered his eyes, sighing in something like defeat, or tiredness.

“Actually, you have a point. I have been… deliberately antagonising you I suppose. Here, I can pretend that there’s nothing worse on my conscience than being a brat, that I’ve not alienated everyone I care about. That the resemblance to my father is nothing more than skin-deep. I left to make sure I was on the right path, that pursuing my goals - despite everything - wasn’t a mistake, and to find the best way to make those goals become reality. I spent three hundred years running away from my ‘destiny’, and trying to get to grips with it now is… overwhelming, to say the least. Although I’ve gained some unexpected insights, for which I am very grateful. But overall this has been… nice. Fun, I guess, if I had to define our interactions in particular. I’m sorry if I upset you.”

“Fun? Fun? This was fun?”

The Doctor’s jaw dropped, outraged, but the Seeker studied him, still eerily calm.

“Yes, fun. And now I’ll get into my little capsule and fly away. Have a good life. Have the life you always wanted, but that I… cannot. And never could, I learned that much on this trip. And never really did, I don’t think, despite everything.”

He stood, held out his hand, but the Doctor merely stood there, staring, looking as if the Seeker had physically punched him.

They stood like that for a long moment, then the Seeker gently shook his head.

“Oh god,” he whispered. “You never had a clue did you? Like, ever. Sometimes it’s the most obvious things that take the longest to work out…”

Abruptly he pulled the Doctor into a fierce hug, as Rose stared, uncomprehending.

“Have some kids. You make a great father, despite what you might think, looking at me. Too much of my father in me, I know. And in case you’re wondering – oh who am I kidding, it’s what you’ve been worrying about since you first set eyes on me – yes, I am going to take over the universe, absolutely. Not because I want to – but because the universe is an unjust mess, and I can make a difference. Please, believe me?”

He pulled back, and for the longest time the Doctor just studied him, before replying.

“I want to believe you…”

“That’s good enough for me,” the Seeker cut him off. “If you have any questions – ask Doctor Whitwell…”

~~~

When he’d left, the tree-TARDIS disappearing soundlessly, Rose took the Doctor’s hand.

“Are you OK?” she asked, concerned. She couldn’t work out what was going on behind his eyes.

Eventually he nodded, and turned to her.

“Yes. Yes I am. Rose, I… I look at him, and I remember who I was. What I was. The things I could never have – the words, and feelings, I denied myself. The life I thought I could never have. Yet, here we are. And I wouldn’t want to swap, not for all the stars in the sky.”


End (this part)



Will be continued in 'A Jack in the Box'
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