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  • Stitches in time 2.0 - Animus

    Title: Stitches in time 1.0 - Sophus.
    Disclamer:I have no rights whatsoever on anything Joss & co came up with first or Russel T Davies & co either for that matter.

    PREVIOUSLY


    Someone or something is attempting to alter history, seemingly to undermine the slayer. So far they have meddled in the history of Rupert Giles, trying to bring about his death before he even meets Buffy but thanks to the Doctor and Rose this attempt was unsuccesful.

    Now read on...


    *****

    Jessica Harris stormed into the room a rising tide of conflicting emotions bubbling up inside her. She slammed the door with fierce, passionate force, instantly regretting the noise, fearing what it may bring.

    She stayed frozen to the spot for a long second and then satisfied at last that she was safe, at least for the time being, she flung herself on to the bed. Hugging a pillow to her breast she finally allowed the tears to come, letting the fear and rage break free, letting her emotions consume her.

    This wasn’t right; this wasn’t the way it should be. Her marriage had never been perfect sure, Tony had a temper and she could always seem to find a way to set it off. Not that she ever meant to of course, she just wanted him to get on in life, to make something of himself and sure it might seem like she was nagging a little every now and then but really, the man had no drive, no ambition.

    It had never been like tonight though. They’d had arguments before, when she had overcooked the roast, when he had blown too much money at the track, when either of them had had a harder than normal day. Oh yeah, they’d had some real barnstormers all right, their yelling more than enough to rouse the neighbours from sleep, at least in the early days before complacency had overridden the poor peoples compassion.

    He’d never hit her before though.

    Her hand rose to her cheek at the memory feeling the still warm mark of his hand. It had only been a slap, short armed and instinctual, launched after one of her taunts had hit home just a little too well. It had been enough though; it was a line that had been crossed. She pulled the pillow closer, taking comfort from its soft embrace, a thousand thoughts racing through her strangely numb mind.

    Suddenly the sound of the front door being swung open broke into her thoughts and she raised her tear stained face, listening intently to the sounds of her husband, the man who had hit her leaving the house. She waited a few seconds and then heard the door close again letting out a breath she hadn’t even realised she was holding. He had gone, probably to meet up with the guys at some bar, to drown his sorrows, to forget his guilt.

    Still she lay there, thinking hard, trying to make some kind of sense of how she felt. And then the solution to her confusion came to her. If Tony could run away from his problems then so could she, only she would run faster, harder and further than he had ever dreamed. She would take Alexander and she would go, move to another place far away from Tony Harris and the town of Sunnydale. She would start a new life, a life without him. She rose from the bed and wiped her eyes, filled with a brand new resolve.

    It was around a half hour later and Jessica let her eyes linger for what might be the last time on the meagre comforts of the living room. Her hand held a large holdall and several smaller bags were draped and hoarded on and around the baby’s buggy. Jessica was ready, finally ready to take her leave.

    She manoeuvred the bulky pushchair awkwardly to the front door and paused once more, steeling herself. Maybe she shouldn’t be doing this, maybe it could be better between her and Tony, maybe leaving now would be a mistake. But no, she had made her decision, not just for her but also for her young son. If she wanted a better life, a life without the rows and frosty silences a life in which she was treated with respect, then she had to go. It was now or never.

    Her hand reached for the door knob, her body shaking slightly as she prepared to take the action that would seal her decision, which would change her life.

    Rap-rappity-rap-rap

    Jessica froze, the sudden sound of someone knocking on the door making her heart race. It was late and no-one was expected tonight, or were they? No, no invites had been given, no visits arranged. She realised her hand was still stretched towards the door and withdrew it looking speculatively over her shoulder to the kitchen door, wondering if she could somehow get by her unwelcome visitor.

    Rap-rappity-rap-rap

    The sound came again. This time there was a hint of impatience to the cheerful tattoo and Jessica realise that she could here hushed voices on the other side of the door speaking in low urgent whispers. It was at that precise moment that Jessica’s hand was forced. Young Alexander, woken by the knocking looked round with bleary eyes and began to cry. His loud wailing sobs breaking the houses hush.

    There could be no way that the people outside the door could have not heard those plaintive cries. They must now know that someone was home and not just home but right on the other side of the door. Reluctantly she reached out and opened it, forcing herself to smile in what she hoped was a warm and cheerful way.

    There were two people stood on the porch. A man dressed in a brown suit was busily forcing his hands through a shock of wild hair trying to smooth it into some kind of order. Beside him stood a girl with honey blonde hair, dressed in jeans and a bright coloured t-shirt.

    “Hi” Jessica said in a voice that sounded forced and ridiculously bright even to her “can I help you?”

    “I certainly hope so” Said the man with a bright smile “I’m the Doctor and this is Rose. We need to talk to you about your son.”
    tangent
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    Last edited by tangent; 01-09-08, 11:10 PM.
    JUST ENOUGH KILL

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  • #2
    *****

    It had taken some time to for Jessica to soothe young Alexander back to a state of peaceful sleep but finally he lay softly in his buggy, eyes closed, blissfully oblivious to the unwanted visitors that had intruded into their home. The intruders themselves had been shown into the living room where Jessica now joined them ushering them to take a seat on the couch.

    "Sorry about that" she apologised uncomfortably "Alexander is usually such a nice well behaved baby usually. I think your knocking must have startled him is all."

    "Yes well, as I said, it's about your son that we need to talk." said the man taking out a small notepad from his jacket pocket.

    "And you say your from Social Services?" she queried "Only you sound British and I never heard of British people working for Social Services before."

    The two seemed to exchange a look for the briefest of moments, and then the man cleared his throat.

    Yes well we're actually on an exchange program with the Social Services here and in the U.K." He said a little hurriedly. "Would you like to see my identification again?"

    Jessica briefly considered this. The man had shown her some identification at the door which she had immediately recognised as being issued by Social Services, although now she thought about it she couldn't quite remember exactly what it had said or even what form it had actually taken.

    "How about you just tell me what it is you want to speak to me about" She said instead, just wanting to get the unwelcome guests out of there, eager to take her own leave.

    The man rose from his seat and started to examine some of the ornaments that adorned the fireplace.

    "Well the truth is that certain? concerns have come to light about young, err, Alexander; concerns that could, in our opinion, seriously impact on his future development."

    Jessica looked up at him her eyes wide as a sudden fear seized her.

    "What do you mean future development?" She asked hurriedly "Are you saying something could be wrong with my baby?"

    "Oh no, no, no!" said the man whirling back round to face her, a crystal swan still grasped in one hand "Nothing like that, no. Young Xander is a fantastically healthy little chap, anyone can see that." His eyes dropped to the glass swan in his hand "It's just?"

    "What?" Jessica almost shouted at him, her alarm growing by the second "What is it?"

    The man lifted his eyes from the small ornament seeking out those of his companion. As their eyes met something seemed to pass between them; some brief, unspoken conversation that lasted only for the briefest or moments. Then he turned his attention back to her once more.

    "Well we believe that you and your husband have been having a few?words, lately." He said, obviously choosing his words with care and watching her intently, waiting for a reaction.

    "Words? You mean arguments don't you?" She replied avoiding his eyes "Well sure, Tony and I have our moments just like everyone else, and we might occasionally get a little heated, but, I mean, what couple doesn't?"

    "Yeeees but things have gone a little beyond just a little heated haven't they?"

    "And what makes you think that?" She asked in a voice that quavered ever so slightly, her eyes lowered, fixed on her hands as they lay fidgeting in her lap.

    "Well it looks like you have a mark on your cheek, one that isn't quite covered up by your make up and you've obviously been crying recently. Most of all though it's the fact that when we got here you were headed out of the door with your bags fully packed."

    She stayed silent, her head bowed, tears welling in her eyes like the first warning trickle of a coming flood.

    "You were leaving him weren't you?" the Doctor asked gently, kneeling before her and taking her hand.

    That was it. The tears came in a torrent of relieved emotion as that one simple sentence brought home the full enormity of what she had been about to do.

    "He hit me." She wailed, feeling like she needed some kind of justification. "I mean he actually hit me. "Don't get me wrong, we've always fought, ever since we first met. There's always been, I don't know?fire, in our relationship but never that, never any violence. She raised her head wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. "Lately though it's like he's a different person, like something's changed in him."

    "And what do you think might be responsible for that" the Doctor asked, his face intent.

    "Well work is hard for him right now. He's putting in so many hours right now, covering extra shifts so we can put some money aside. Everything's so expensive these days and there are always so many things to buy for the baby." Her eyes strayed to the door where her son lay, gurgling softly in his sleep. "It's funny you know Alexander was supposed to bring us closer together but the way things are going?"

    "It can be hard to bring up a child in this world, I know" the Doctor said sympathetically "but surely there must be something else to it. I mean your husband's always been a hard worker hasn't he? What's changed? What's new?"
    JUST ENOUGH KILL

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    • #3
      *****

      Jessica looked at him, wondering how this strange man could read her mind like that, how he could possibly know about the nagging concerns that haunted her thoughts.

      "Well there is that new guy that he's been hanging around with" she said "He's a bad influence if you ask me. but, I mean, he's just some new drinking buddy. There's no way he could be the reason Tony's changed so much."

      The Doctor looked over at the young girl again raising an eyebrow "you would be surprised Mrs Harris" he said with a hint of steel in his voice "you would be very surprised."

      Sighing deeply, he turned back to her, the spotlight of his gaze fixed solely on her face. "Now I need you to listen to me Mrs Harris. In around about an hour your husband will return home. He will be extremely sorry for what he has done to you and he will never, and I repeat never, raise a hand to you again."

      Jessica frowned at him, unable to comprehend what she was hearing. She opened her mouth to speak but the Doctor quickly cut her off.

      "No, don't ask how I know because I can't tell you and you wouldn't believe me even if I did. Just know that it's vital that you're here when he gets home, not just for you or Xander but for everyone." He took her hand in his once more and gazed directly into her eyes "There isn't any reason why you should take my word for this, I know, and I can't tell you any of the details. All I can do is ask that you trust me. Do you think you can do that?"

      She began to answer and then? stopped. What she as being told was madness but there was something about this man that made her want to believe him. There was something in his voice that gave weight to his words, some hidden authority that hardened the impossibilities she was hearing into something nearing a certainty. Jessica took one final look into his deep, earnest eyes and made her decision.

      "No!"

      The single word rang out with a clear, simple intensity, stopping both Jessica and the doctor dead in their tracks. The Doctor turned following Jessica's eyes to where Rose stood her face resolute.

      "Rose?" The Doctor said "what is it? What's wrong?"

      "I can't do it" the young girl replied "I'm sorry Doctor, I know what's at stake but what we're doing here is wrong. We can't just force her into this, not knowing what we know"

      "But what else can we do?" he stood and move over to where the girl stood "Allow the world to end in fire and blood. Let millions or innocents be wiped out. You know I can't do that Rose. You know I wont, not again.

      Rose looked up at him "I know, I've seen it too remember; but she should still be? aware, at least of the choice she's making." She gave him a brief grim smile and walked past him her shoulder brushing lightly against his arm.

      "You need to know," she said, now talking directly to Jessica ."You need to know what you're letting yourself in for." She took a seat next to her and continued: "Your husband is always going to have a temper, he's always going to drink and he'll always take out his frustrations on the people around him. If you decide that you're going to stay with him, it's going to be..."

      "Rose, don't."

      But Rose went on. "That's what your life's going to be. Arguments, just, all the time...fighting, until you forget there was any other way. If you stay, that's how it's... You have to understand that."

      There was a moment of awkward silence and then Jessica spoke her voice barely more than a whisper. "I know. Deep down some part of me has always known." She turned he tear stained face to Rose looking and smiled "The trouble is? I love him? I always have; I guess I always will. There's nothing I, or anyone else can do about that." She looked at the door to the hall where the laden buggy still sat. It's small passenger still blissfully unaware of the night's events. "I was leaving for him" she said "for the sake of my child I was going to sacrifice my marriage, the marriage he was supposed to help save" she gave a small snort of bitter amusement "ironic isn't it?"

      Rose said nothing, letting the woman speak, her eyes searching her face.

      "But even before you got here I was having trouble actually doing it. You see I know that Tony has a temper and I know he's not the easiest man to get along with, but I also know that part of the reason he's that way is that he spends all the hours God sends working, working just so he can earn enough to provide his son with a decent life." She raised her chin, defiance in her eyes. "I love my husband and I know deep down that my husband loves me; but more importantly than any of that I know my husband loves my son. My life might not be perfect, it might never be perfect, but it is my life and this is my family and that is why I'm going to stay."
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      Last edited by tangent; 23-08-07, 10:27 PM.
      JUST ENOUGH KILL

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      • #4
        *****

        “Well that’s another attempt foiled” the doctor said, with a broad grin as he and Rose made their way back to the T.A.R.D.I.S. “This might be a bit easier than I first thought”

        “You think that was easy?” Rose asked a flare of passion in her eyes “You find damning that poor woman to a life of pain and hardship, when she could have had so much more, easy do you? I thought you were better than that.”

        The Doctor stopped, coming to a complete and sudden halt. He took his hands from his pockets and turned to face Rose.

        “It isn't easy Rose, it's never easy, not in the way that you mean. Travelling in time means we can go anywhere, meet anyone. We could open up a history book at any page and the T.A.R.D.I.S could take us there in the blink of an eye. We can meet whoever you want to meet from Alexander the great to Ivan the Terrible. But wherever we go, whoever we meet we can't change what has hapened, not without affecting what will happen. Somethings have just have to be the way they are and those things aren't always nice.

        He took her gently by the shoulders and pulled her closer to him and she was struck by just how serious this sometimes eccentric man could be. He seemed so young in this new body but an eternity stretched behind his eyes.

        We're not the villains here Rose we’re just putting things back to the way they should be, the way they are, it’s important to remember that. There's never any guarantee of a happy ever after. No guarantees that leaving now would have led to any better a life than staying; none. And it's her choice. Jessica Harris chose to stay with her husband and son it's her choice and her consequences. We have to let her make that choice, we have to let her decide her own fate.

        "It doesn't feel like that. It feels like we're forcing her." Rose felt tears prickle.

        "No. All We're doing is giving her back her choice. The choice that someone else was trying to take from her."

        “You mean the new drinking buddy?”

        “Exactly, some kind of mind control or suggestion technique I think” said the Doctor thoughtfully “Some way of influencing Tony Harris to the point he hit his wife. There's something’s not right though, something I can’t put my finger on. I mean someone is going to a huge amount of trouble to get rid of the slayer here. Travelling back in time messing with the timelines of the people around her. Robbing her of the people who guide her, who support her, the people who save her life and bring her back. It's all so subtle, so careful and that takes a certain sophistication but the methods they’re using to do it when they get there, well they're bordering on the crude. It’s…weird.”

        Rose lifted her hand to his arm, any anger she had felt fading fast as she considered the truth behind his words. She had come so far with him, seen so much, but still she knew there were some things that she would never get used to, a way of thinking that would always remain alien to her.

        “Don’t worry” she said “you’ll work it out, you always do.”

        “Oh I know that.” he replied, a glint in his eye. “But more importantly, are you and I okay?”

        She studied his face, still so new, so different. “Course we are.” She said.

        “Come on then, last one back to the T.A.R.D.I.S. cooks supper.”

        As his young companion ran off the Doctor gave one last look back to the row of houses from where a single light shone and the smile faded once more from his lips.

        “I’m sorry” he said, in a small sad voice “I’m so sorry.”

        THE END
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        Last edited by tangent; 23-03-08, 11:36 PM.
        JUST ENOUGH KILL

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