elisi: (Stepping Sideways)
[personal profile] elisi
So many horrible things have happened this week, and on top of that I have worked late three evenings, so not had any extra space for LJ/DW. And now I just want to hide in fic. So here you go...

Summary: How do you save people that don't want to be saved?

For notes etc, please see The Prologue, or just follow the tags.

Note: Gallifreyan will be indicated by the use of « and » any other language uses "". It seemed the simplest solution.

(As always, lots of thanks to luckweaver)



They were crashing.

Engines running on empty, no hope in hell of reaching their destination, the Captain had steered his craft towards the nearest planet within reach.

A quick scan had showed it had an atmosphere breathable by humans, plant life, a few indigenous species. It would have to do.

Whatever waited below, it couldn’t be as bad as what they were running from… Only five ships making the escape, and four of those minuscule by space travelling standards, cobbled together in haste and trailing in his wake like dinghies pulled by a boat.

He sent instructions to the other vessels, but knew that for the most part it would be down to luck. The anti-grav rotors should be able to cushion the blow somewhat, but that was all.

Bloody Daleks. Bloody Time Lords. War-mongering fiends the lot of them, creating nothing but destruction and chaos and death. Would peace ever return to the universe?

The planet rising below him - pale blues and greys, a world that looked like it had faded in the wash - he closed his eyes for a moment, praying to gods he barely believed in.

‘Save us.’

A vision flashed before his eyes;

his husband, body broken, murdered by a strange alien bird; their children ailing, sick, dying, small bodies swollen from something toxic and lethal

Eyes snapping open, his heart beating in sudden unvoiceable terror, he took a deep, shaky breath, hands trembling as he tightened his hold on the controls. The control room, as familiar as his own face, was the same as always, but he felt like it was closing in, grounded, decaying; anger and bitterness wrapping themselves around him like-

Forcing himself to focus on the steering (it was stress, the stress of fleeing, the stress of the war that had engulfed his home, the stress of being the one responsible for the safety of his people), he - bewildered - realised that they were no longer crashing. The planet was spread out below, but the panoramic view was receding, moment by moment, and they were merely grazing the atmosphere and sailing further on.

The strange vision faded from his mind as if never there, as he marvelled at the miracle before him. How was this possible?

Messages appeared from the other vessels, asking how he was doing it, and he had to be honest - he had no idea.

“Maybe the gods heard my prayer,” he muttered to himself, slowly letting go of the controls and watching as the ship continued as before. Was this what going insane was like? Was it a dream?

It didn’t feel like insanity. It felt like hope. Stupendous, impossible hope.

And for no reason at all he started laughing.


Roda watched the humans emerge from the ships; disoriented, but happy.

The Captain (younger, smiling) was the first to walk down the ramp, a young child held gently by the hand, and beside him another man with a baby.

The overlapping of what-had-been-but-would-now-never-be with what-now-was was not unfamiliar, but the joy of the new time line was like a fresh tank of oxygen after being stranded without air for days (months, years).

The Seeker had resolutely refused to be there.

«This is your victory. Enjoy.»

He was watching from a distance, ready to appear if she decided she needed him. And for a second she thought she might.

The man who had cursed them as they left, the man who had stabbed her through the chest with her own knife-

(She could do this…)

He approached her with wonder in his eyes, the child at his side tugging at his hand, and Roda felt something unfurling inside.

“Who is the lady, daddy? Where are we daddy? Daddy answer!”

“Who are you?” he asked (the old man she had known was not dead, he-would-not-exist). “Was it you who saved us?”

"Yes..." she replied, careful to keep the strain out of her voice. Still, looking at the children, alive, the hope and wonder of childhood still in them, she couldn't stop a genuine smile from spreading across her face.

(Jacob, Aisha, all the others - she would remember them always, the way she remembered all the victims of the War.)

Dropping down on one knee so she was face-to-face with the older child (four, maybe five by human reckoning?) she spoke:

"I helped your daddy steer the ship so you wouldn't get hurt. What's your name?"

“I’m Amaal. Who are you?"

‘Hope’ she translated. Fitting.

"I... my name is the Redjay."

Amaal studied her intently, eyes narrowing.

“Hi Redjay. I like your feathers.”

She smiled.

"I do, too. Do you like the new home I picked for you...? We can go somewhere else if you want."

The Captain had gone quiet, as Amaal looked around. The ships had landed on a large plain, a prairie covered in white grasses stretching out towards the horizon where it was met with a forest of purple ferns growing some twenty, thirty, forty feet tall. Above them a pink sky held two distant suns, a dusting of stars shining through the morning light.

Considering for a long moment, Amaal eventually nodded firmly.

“I like it. We’ll stay.”

This. This moment. This child. All the pain, all the heartache, it had all been worth it for this.

Tears momentarily blurring her eyes (she had saved them, she had people to look after, to help) she barely registered the Seeker’s TARDIS fading away.

Today was a good day.


The Seeker watched the unfolding scene, until he saw that all would be well.

With a quick flick of a lever, he soundlessly stole away. Hesitating a moment, he then jumped forwards a few millennia.

The humans had multiplied and spread out, the plains now dominated by a large sprawling city, busy and bustling and clearly well-to-do. Reminded him faintly of the Mayans, with a beautiful grid structure and many open squares.

At the centre of the town was a large temple. Parking unobtrusively in a quiet corner, invisibility shields on, he wrapped himself up in a hooded cloak and stepped out, blending in as he made his way up the steps to the temple entrance.

Inside the space was bright and airy and cool, sunlight falling through cleverly positioned windowpanes in the ceiling high above, illuminating the statue at the centre.

As he walked up to it, careful not to disturb the people praying or paying their respects to their deity, a data scroll unfurled and softly began speaking, reciting the history of the planet and their extraordinary origin.

But he wasn’t listening.

Studying the statue, he couldn’t stop a deep, contented smile.

Some of the details had been lost or altered in the intervening millennia, but as a symbol it still represented everything he could have hoped for.

A woman, simply clad in woodland clothing, feathers in her hair, was kneeling down by a child, studying the young face with love and devotion.

‘And thus it was that The Redjay, the Last of the Time Lords, a wonder of love and generosity unmatched in all of the galaxies, did not just steer our ancestors’ ships to this, our blessed home, but listened to even the smallest child, and left us her vision and her guidance….’

The data scroll eventually stopped speaking, but the Seeker only shook his head softly.

«Goddess,» he whispered to himself. Caan had been right all along.

Touching his forehead in a simple gesture of reverence, he too paid his respects.

He would not forget. And he would be sure to honour her.


Some time later, there was a knock on the door of Roda’s TARDIS.

Frowning she opened it, eyes widening in surprise when the hypercube flew in and landed in her hand, the Seeker’s signature easily visible.

His message was short and to the point, which was unsurprising; that was very much him after all. But what was odd to her was its point. She hadn't thought they had parted on the best of terms, but she'd been too busy helping the humans to build their lives to really have much time to think about him.

And yet, reading the two short sentences, she found herself smiling.

Thank you.
I will always remember what you taught me.

It was… gracious. Which she had not expected of him.

Suddenly laughing, she fell down into a chair, tossing the hypercube into the air and catching it again. The Master’s son sending her heartfelt thank you notes!

Whatever next?

Continued in Not What She Expected, where the Seeker meets Missy.
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