Tuesday, 18 December 2012
03:15:29 PM (GMT)
The thought had been playing on the Time Runner's mind ever since he had left, but
now it had really hit him. He had been sat in the same swivel chair for two days
straight now, and it was looking to be a third. He would answer to nobody but the
Doctor, and even then it was a simple nod or shake of the head. He was being spared
from work, and no one from Torchwood really minded, and honestly, no one really cared
enough to work out what was wrong, even if they could have reached through to him.
Late on the second day, the Doctor knelt down in front of Keith, one hand on his
"Hey, Kiddo..." He started gently, "I've seen that look in the mirror. This isn't
just being down, this is something particular. Something eating away at you. You
can't let it, Keith. She told you she'd wait. You know she wi-"
"What if she doesn't, Doc...? What if she forgets?" He asked, a hint of the Welsh
accent showing through after not having spoken for a week. "What if she's forgotten
and she's found someone else?"
"You can't think like that... That's what drives people like us to insanity. Heaven
knows I'm close."
"Prove it, then."
Determined blue eyes met kind old brown ones, and the Doctor narrowed his, "How?"
"Take me to her."
The Doctor planted one hand across the TARDIS door, blocking Keith in and fixing him
with an unusually sincere look. "You know that, whatever this future holds, it can
"And you know you can't speak to her? Or make contact?"
"Or seriously bad timey-wimey stuff can happen. You might both get killed"
"I KNOW. Doctor, let me out!"
The boy's mentor sighed heavily, reluctantly letting his arm drop as Keith pushed
past, stumbling out of the Police Box into the snow. Snow. Christmas. He looked up
at the home in front of him, decorated in lights and icicles.
He turned to look at the Doctor, raising an eyebrow at his pained expression (he knew
what awaited Keith) before turning to walk up to the window.
As he approached, his paced slowed and Keith felt his eyes widen and prick with tears
of disbelief, heartache and betrayal. No. This couldn't possibly be her home...
There was a head of black curls- Lyn's, surely. The girl turned around, but Keith
felt no relief as he saw her bright smile. There was a man next to her, not Gareth,
but someone new. Blonde hair like his own, but mucky green eyes and tanned skin. He
too turned around, and Keith ducked out of the way until he turned back again. As he
peered over the holly bush, his breath caught, and he let out a strangled noise.
She was there. The familiar smile, eyes- It was her. Emilie was in the room before
his eyes, and before his eyes, she skipped over to the blonde man, perched on his lap
and wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing him. No. No no no.
But now his eyes were glued to her, and no force on earth could tear them away.
He breathed the word and shook his head firmly as a child ran into the room. "NO!"
He screamed, finally burying his face in his hands and falling backwards into the
snow. Married and a child. No, this couldn't be happening. Not to her. Not his
Emilie. Not Em...
His entire body was numb, and the snow made no impact other than dampening his
jacket. He shrugged it off carelessly, hugging his knees to his chest and rocking
violently back and forth until the Doctor ran forwards and held him still. This was
why he'd never suggested it. This was why it was a bad idea. The elder man hugged
his friend tightly in an attempt to control the sobs that were racking his body and
the invading cold.
Wordlessly, he lifted Keith (with some difficulty, since his cries of grief attacked
his whole body) and headed back to the warmth of the TARDIS. As gently as he could,
the Doctor set him in the armchair and returned to the door.
A woman was in the opposite one, mouth hanging open in shock as her hazel eyes
scanned the bright blue box on her front garden. It couldn't be... It had been
twenty years... She locked eyes with the figure in the doorway, pleading silently
with him, but the bowtie clad figure shook his head, mouthing a quiet "I'm sorry, Em"
before carefully closing the door and locking it. He drew in a steady breath before
striding to the control panel and pressing the relevant buttons.
There was a loud bang on the door, making both the Doctor and Keith look up. It was
followed by several more, and a single cry. "KEITH!" Without hesitation, the Time
Lord pulled a lever, starting the TARDIS as she faded in and out of sight.
"KEITH WAIT! I love you..."