|Erin Ptah (ptahrrific) wrote,|
@ 2009-03-10 06:12 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||story: george's world|
Warnings: Scares, swearing, character death (he gets better)
Series: The Colbert Report, Doctor Who
Spoilers: New Who S3, TW S1
In which the Doctor is chatty, Stephen is in no mood to talk, George is lost, Stephen is not technically alone but Jack is not great company, and the timey-wimeyness gets kicked up a notch.
Table of contents here.
George's World - Part 2
The Doctor was aware, somewhere in the back of his mind, that this wasn't Pete's World. Didn't feel right. Besides, if the TARDIS could punch that easily into the alternate dimension where Rose had been stranded, he would have done it a long time ago.
Still he jogged through the house of mirrors on the faint chance that he was wrong, or at least to find the exit so he could take a look around the planet and get his bearings.
It was in this state that the Doctor crashed into someone.
Or, to be more precise, he swerved to avoid Someone; but Someone swerved in turn, grabbed him by the lapels, and threw him up against the nearest mirror. Unnecessarily hard, the Doctor thought, and opened his mouth to say so.
"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY SON?" roared Someone.
"What?" said the Doctor. And then, as the face inches from his own wobbled into focus: "What?"
Stephen—for it was indeed his own Stephen, the adult model, pressing him against the glass—was too winded to shout an immediate reply.
"Aw, but that's great!" exclaimed the Doctor as he put it together. "I didn't know you had a son! Congratulations. I'm thrilled for you, absolutely thrilled."
Confusion took the edge off of Stephen's fury; he let his grip ease, so that the Doctor's feet returned to the floor. "You didn't know. You haven't seen him, then?"
"Then I don't have time for this," interrupted Stephen, shoving the Doctor aside and starting down the hall.
"Oh, do hold up!" called the Doctor after him. "You are Stephen Colbert, aren't you?"
"I'll sign something for you later!" yelled Stephen without looking back.
"But don't you recognize me?"
That stopped Stephen in his tracks; he whirled on the Doctor, rage pouring off him in nearly palpable waves. "My son is missing. The last thing I heard was him calling for me. I don't know who you are, and unless you can help me find my baby boy, I don't give a damn."
"I can help you."
Stephen was on him again in an instant. "What do you know? What's going on??"
"Haven't a clue. Not yet. But, Stephen, listen to me." The Doctor kept his voice low, all business now. "There is nobody in the world with a better chance of finding your son."
"—DDY!" finished George, as the whole world went out and came back again.
Only it was different now. There were still mirrors all around him, but he was sure they were pointing in new directions. And everything seemed darker, and kind of blue, like the sun had decided to set very fast.
"Daddy?" he asked hesitantly, turning around. His reflections in the mirrors turned with him, not a few seconds too late the way they had been doing right before the lights went out.
For a second George wondered if he was being punished for yelling and crying about not being allowed on the rides, but that was a stupid idea. Even if he were the worst kid in the world, Daddy would never just abandon him.
And since nobody was coming to get him, that had to mean Daddy couldn't hear him.
"Can anybody hear me?" he said.
It sounded awfully loud in the quiet hall, but nobody answered.
"I SAID," he repeated, "CAN ANYONE HEAR ME?"
George was starting to get scared now. (But he was not going to cry. He was five and three-quarters years old, after all. Way too old to cry just because things get a bit scary.)
Sniffling only a little, he started walking.
He had only taken a few steps when he heard a rough thud from somewhere very close.
Either the stranger who called himself the Doctor was incredibly secure in his child-finding skills, or he simply had no idea how grave the situation was.
Stephen was praying with all his might for the former. He wasn't at all reassured when the man started tonguing one of the mirrors.
"Can that wait?" he nearly yelled.
"Oi! Don't knock my methods until you see the results!" ordered the Doctor. "You just keep an eye out for anything timey-wimey, and I'll handle the rest."
"'Timey-wimey' isn't a word!"
"Anything strange, then," said the Doctor unhelpfully, now tapping his way along the glass with a little stick of metal. The tip glowed blue with each hit.
It was a lousy order, but it was all Stephen had. Trying to keep breathing, he turned in circles, watching his reflections do the same. They were at a place where the path bent, rows of mirror images branching off at odd angles in all directions...
...except that that one wasn't a mirror image.
"Doctor!" hissed Stephen, eyes never leaving the figure. "There's someone else in here!"
"There!" He pointed at the man in the reflected distance, only half visible, with a leather jacket and close-cropped hair.
"Oh my," said the Doctor, now at Stephen's shoulder. "This is certainly unexpected."
"What? Do you know him?"
"Know him? He's me."
"He looks nothing like you!"
"We-ell, not in a manner of speaking." The Doctor rolled the words around in his mouth as though he were too busy chewing them over to actually get them out. "Should say, he was me. Oh, well done!"
"What?" stammered Stephen for the umpteenth time. He wasn't sure why he was bothering; it didn't seem to be helping find George.
"Timey-wimey things!" exclaimed the Doctor, pointing the blue-tipped thing at the far-off leather-jacketed man and waving it about excitedly. "A mirror reflecting people not as they are in the present, but as they used to be—oh, that definitely qualifies!"
"Well, this is interesting," gasped Jack.
While Stephen had landed roughly but safely on the floor in the center of a chamber, Jack had not been so lucky. His torso from mid-chest up was hanging through a wall, just slightly too high to rest his elbows on the ground.
The kid stifled a gasp. "Jack! Are you okay?"
"Fine, fine," Jack panted. "Can't feel my legs...but that's probably...to be expected."
"Why? What happened?"
"No idea." Actually, Jack had a few ideas, but they were all long and vague and complicated and he was too far down the road to death by oxygen deprivation to waste time speculating. "Stay here...okay? Doctor will...find a way through. I'm...marking...the spot."
His vision was starting to tunnel; the part of his body in this dimension (or time pocket, or whatever it was) sagged bonelessly. Jack shuddered to think what his rear end was getting up to. Or would have shuddered, if his muscles hadn't been shutting down.
Then he was being supported by Stephen's knees, with Stephen's hand awkwardly patting his hair. "Thanks for trying to save me."
"Any time," said Jack. Or at least, he thought he did. It was the last thing he remembered trying to do, so, like the final frame on a roll of film, it might not have quite come out.