06 March 2007

The Desert of Einfuhlung - Chapter 3, Part 1

Saskia woke slowly, feeling pleasantly relaxed for the first time since she had met the Doctor.
The Doctor! Her eyes snapped open and met his deep brown ones looking down at her face. He smiled gently just as she realised that she really was lying next to the Doctor in her own bed.
He pressed a long finger against her lips and she raised her eyebrows questioningly.
"Good morning. Don’t say anything for a moment."
"he blinked, wondering what was on his mind.
"Thank you." He removed his finger.
"For what?" she asked, puzzled by his behaviour.
"For not expressing embarrassment because we’re in your bed. You’ve slept deeply for several hours, something you clearly needed to do, and I suspect you wouldn't have slept so well if I hadn't been here to hold you."
"Did you sleep?" she asked curiously.
"A little, but I rested, which was the more important thing," he answered.
She nodded.
"Breakfast?" he asked.
"Shower first, I think," Saskia answered and rolled onto her back, stretching her muscles.
"You have a shower, I'll get breakfast," the Doctor said, getting up from the bed and putting on his Converse shoes. "Fruit salad, as usual?" he asked at the door.
She nodded, then got out of bed, still feeling slightly puzzled by the Doctor’s relaxed manner. Had he made a habit of resting with Rose, she wondered, knowing that she would never dare to ask. She thought about it as she did her usual stretching exercises and went to take a shower. If she concentrated, she could search his memories, which were still clear in her head from their telepathic experiences, but she decided to forget it for now. She headed towards the bathroom, hearing music playing in the kitchen. She wondered if the Doctor would feel the urge to retune her radio from its usual classical music station in search of the kind of music he preferred.

Twenty minutes later, showered and dressed, she walked into her kitchen, determined to only worry about the mysteries she needed to solve. The Doctor was leaning against the counter by the sink, eating a banana. On the table was a bowl of mixed fruit and nuts, a plate holding two slices of wholemeal bread, and a pot of her favourite yoghurt and honey topping. Two mugs were standing beside the singing kettle. She smiled at the Doctor.
"What's amusing you?" he asked, smiling back at her.
"This is very domestic," she said, gesturing around the kitchen.
"You seem to have found your way around my kitchen very easily," she answered.
He shrugged, but she saw a certain smugness in his grin. She didn't comment however, choosing to sit down and begin her breakfast instead.
"What’s the plan of attack, then?" she asked as she waited for her bread to toast.
"I thought we could spend some time this morning in finding out as much as possible about our Professor Jackson."
She nodded. "OK. We can start online, but we might need to go to the Museum at some point. They've got an extensive permanent exhibition there, a record of his various exploratory expeditions."
"Good. We can drop by your office whilst we're there," the Doctor said.
Saskia looked up at him in surprise. "Why?"
"So I can apologise to Luca," he answered, as if it was obvious.
"Oh, OK."
"He may be a pretty boy, but he didn't deserve to get caught up in our friction," the Doctor said.
Saskia grinned. "He hates being called a pretty boy," she said.
"I'm not surprised," the Doctor answered, smiling back.
Saskia gathered up her breakfast things and put them in the dishwasher, with the dinner things from the night before, then turned it on.
"Come on," she said, heading into the main room to her desk. She turned on her computer and offered the Doctor a chair. He sat down, put on his glasses and watched as Saskia began searching for information about Professor Jackson online. The printer was soon churring quietly, printing off information, which the Doctor quickly read.
"This looks like all the standard sort of stuff," he observed, after he finished reading the last page.
"I know. Do you want to try the Museum? Luca might know more actually, since he did a lot of the work putting it together."
"Then let's go and talk to Luca," the Doctor said.

They got their coats and went downstairs, both grimacing slightly at the rain that was falling. Saskia looked across the city. "I don't think this will last long," she said, pointing at the horizon where a break in the clouds was visible.
"Probably not," the Doctor said. "Come on, let’s go see your man."
"He’s not my man," Saskia said.
The Doctor raised his eyebrows at her emphatic response. "He's more your man, than mine. How long have you worked with him?"
"Three years now. He's a nice guy."
"I daresay he is. I hope so, anyway, since I need to apologise to him."
"He's less likely to hit you than I am, at any rate," Saskia said, half smiling at him.
"Good! I don’t enjoy getting slapped – and why is it always women who slap me?" he asked rhetorically.
"Perhaps you should only travel with men in future?" suggested Saskia.
"Knowing my luck, they’d start slapping me too," the Doctor answered.
They passed the TARDIS, which somehow managed to look innocuous even though it clearly didn’t belong in the street where it stood. Saskia gave it a pat as they passed and murmured something which the Doctor couldn’t hear.
"What was that all about?" he asked as they approached the Museum.
Saskia looked slightly embarrassed. "Just saying hello and telling her we'd come and see her soon," she answered.
"Mmm." The Doctor was surprised as most of his Companions had never bothered to talk to the TARDIS, even when they knew she was sentient. Of course, most of his Companions hadn’t been empathic.
They went up the steps and took a right turn through the entrance hall to a discreet door.
"We're through here," Saskia said, entering a code on the keypad by the door. "Behind the scenes at the Museum." She opened the door with a small flourish and gestured to the Doctor to precede her.
"Thank you my lady," he said with a grin.
She half bowed to him, then led the way down the corridor. "Luca's in Philip's office," she said.
The Doctor quirked an eyebrow at her. "Oh?"
"I can sense their thoughts," she said, answering his unspoken question. "As well as yours."
"Oh!" The Doctor looked thoughtful. "I hope that's not going to become a problem," he said.
Saskia shook her head. "I've got the capsules in my pocket," she assured him.
"Have you taken any more since last night?"
"Not yet," she said.

"Do you want to wait in my office and I’ll get Luca?"
"Are you sparing my blushes," the Doctor asked quizzically.
"Actually, I was thinking about the necessity of being discreet," Saskia answered. “We don’t know what’s going on or who we can trust, after all.”
"True. OK then." The Doctor followed Saskia into a large room that was predictably almost entirely filled with bookshelves. In the centre of the room were two large, functional desks that faced each other.
"Have a seat," Saskia said, pointing at the tidiest desk. "I'll be back in a minute."
The Doctor chose to wander around the room first, peering at the bookshelves. Then he approached the desks. Luca's had a friendly sprawl of books and paperwork spread across it, plus two snack bars and an empty mug. In stark contrast, Saskia's desk was aggressively tidy. There were two filing trays on the left side, the top one of which was empty, and the bottom one of which contained one envelope file. Although the Doctor knew that Saskia had been with him for the past week and a half, he suspected that her desk was always very tidy, given the extreme tidiness of her apartment.
The door behind him opened and he turned to see Luca following Saskia into the office. Luca's eyes widened in surprise and the Doctor guessed that Saskia hadn't told Luca that he would be there. He stepped forward and held out his hand.
"I owe you an apology," he said. "I shouldn't have snapped at you yesterday." He smiled and Luca smiled back as he shook the Doctor’s hand.
"I'll forgive you,” he said, "But only because Saskia likes you. So what are you doing here, Saskia? Philip said you'd be off work for a few more days."
"We wanted to ask you about the Jackson exhibition," Saskia answered.
"What do you want to know?" Luca asked as he perched on his desk.
"What information did you turn up that you didn't use in the exhibition?" she asked.
Luca shrugged. "Not a lot. If you want to look at it, it's down in the Archive Room."


Weimlady said...

Great exchange!

"Good! I don’t enjoy getting slapped – and why is it always women who slap me?" he asked rhetorically.
"Perhaps you should only travel with men in future?" suggested Saskia.
"Knowing my luck, they’d start slapping me too," the Doctor answered.

I'm really enjoying this. Thanks for writing it and posting it.

Michele said...


Anonymous said...

This is hilarious, Great story.
I'm enjoying it loads and i love reading them (i also love the Doctor), please continue to post more.


Michele said...

This is it, I'm afraid - all the stories in this series are on this blog and there's no more with this character.