The Other pushes the doors to the gala open with quiet hands, and rustles in, robes lilting.
He looks to the left and right.
Everyone, everything, stands still.
He could snap his fingers, will them to move, if he wished. But no.
Here, to the left of the doors, is Koschei, the Master, wearing the golden sash of Rassilon and waving his drink around, pointing with the royal three fingers at his girlfriend, the Doctor. Himself.
His younger self, the Doctor, is halted in his raise of the glass full of striped wine, the tumbler half way to his lips. The rosy stripes coupled with a mint inclusion do little for his complexion, which is the pale cream tone of the thoroughly bored.
But that is a lie. He knows, of course, that boredom has always been his favorite mask.
The Other turns himself, bending slightly behind himself, to peek through the glass as well, and see, from the safety of his memory.
Slowly now, he guides his eyes along the line of the glass, lingering only a moment over the rim before diving his senses through the stripes of liquid and spies...Her... through its unswirling presence.
White. All white. And not Flamina, either.
Long hair like milk against cream porcelain.
Her face is twisted like a spin of sugar, and around her white neck...
Not an ellipse of shady lavender, but a tiny elongated cube.
A blue box.
The bluest box in the world.
The light of his universe.
Hanging around someone’s neck like a thoughtless bauble.
He’s found her again.
His fingers twitch against his golden robe, as if atrophied.
One of his heels lifts to the toes, unbidden.
He closes his eyes.