Beside the SeaPairing/Characters:
Five/Tegan, bit of Five/Turlough if you want to see it.Prompt:
34, not enoughWord Count:
Set after Resurrection of the Daleks.
Turlough was reluctant to tell someone seven-hundred-and-then-some years his senior to grow up and stop moping around, but if this went on much longer he was going to. He’d thought this trip to Earth might cheer the Doctor up a bit – though he wasn’t sure how anyone could be cheerful on Earth, let alone in Bournemouth, let alone in Bournemouth at the end of Queen Victoria’s reign, where the primary form of entertainment appeared to be riding a scruffy sort of pony up and down the grey beach – but he was as quiet and vague as he’d been for days, ever since Tegan had left.
It’s not as if I don’t miss her too, Turlough thought. He’d sometimes resented her, almost always fought with her, and he hadn’t expected to be anything other than glad to see the back of her; but he was realizing it was more fun when you had somebody to be bored with, and between the two of them they’d usually managed to bully the Doctor into picking destinations they’d all enjoy.
Rain started to drizzle from the sky. Turlough huddled closed to the little covered booth. Oblivious, the Doctor kept flipping through the meagre display of postcards.
“Can we please go back to the TARDIS? If we must visit this planet you could at least take us somewhere where it isn’t raining.”
The stall-holder gave him a hard look and then sidled away. So much the better. They didn’t have any money, and Turlough didn’t relish the prospect of being hanged or burned at the stake or whatever it was they did in this era to people who shoplifted postcards. “If you’re going to send one to Tegan, that one’s best,” he said firmly, taking the topmost card out of the Doctor’s hands and slipping it into the pocket of his blazer.
The Doctor looked askance at him, and Turlough rolled his eyes. All right, he’d never claimed to be the most insightful person, but it wasn’t difficult to read someone like a book when the writing was thirty feet high.
“Of course I’m not going to send it to Tegan,” he said, and he sounded almost convincing until he added, as Turlough steered him back towards the TARDIS, “I mean, we don’t know where she is. Or will be.” Hat twisted in his hands, hair flattened to his head by the rain, he seemed suddenly very young.
Turlough hadn’t cared for many people in his life, not before the war and certainly not after it. But the Doctor was an exception, and perhaps Tegan had been the other, and there was a kindness in his voice that surprised him as he asked, “Well, do you know where she was?”
The morning had been a flurry of lost keys and missing bits of uniforms and Auntie Vanessa’s dark warnings about mid-air collisions, and her cheeks hurt from practising her smile and she’d hardly slept last night for going over the words of the emergency exit procedure until she was sure she could say it backwards, standing on her head and unconscious, but she was finally ready.
“Watch out for rich businessmen,” Aunt Vanessa, woman of the world and still in her dressing gown, warned direly. “Only after one thing, the lot of them, and they’ll think they can get it from an innocent young thing like you.”
Tegan, who hadn’t been an innocent young thing since she was sixteen, said, “Yes, Auntie Vanessa.”
“And if it’s not fun, dear…”
“I can always quit,” she finished. “But it will be fun.”
Her aunt chucked her cheek affectionately. “Imagine, my little Tegan, off jetting all over the world. Go and put the kettle on while I get ready.”
“You will hurry, won’t you?”
Fat chance. Aunt Vanessa had never hurried anywhere in her life, except to get Uncle Roger down the aisle before her bump started showing. Tegan grinned, and then caught her reflection in the hall mirror and rearranged her smile into something more air hostess-appropriate. “Thank you for flying with us today…”
The letterbox rattled. A postcard dropped onto the mat, address side up, and she frowned as she spotted her own name. None of her friends back home had this address. No stamp, she realized, but when she opened the front door and looked both ways down the road, she didn’t see anyone. “Someone was in a rush,” she said.
Miracle of miracles, Auntie hurried. “What’s that?” she asked as she bustled down the stairs, and Tegan held up the card, laughing.
“Somebody’s idea of a joke, I think. Maybe my new bosses trying to chivvy me into getting to work on time. Look, there’s nothing written on it, just ‘Wish you were here’.”