Chapter Twenty, Part One: And I Not Troilus, And You Not CressidaMature

“Hullo, Pasmo!” 

The Old Man looks up from his dark desk, and from the great work of translating Marnal’s Diatribe on the Naming of Constellations. His tree branch fingers slide across the black cover, obscuring the stars that shine from its hard darkness. 

“You’re late. For a very important date. What did you do with that librarian?” Pasmo’s voice is crisp, leathery. Even. It’s an effort of ages, tempered by regret buried so deep beneath purpose no eye can bespeak it. 

“Funny- that’s the kind of misty receive I’d expect from Old Blue Eyes down in the Nemean Lion’s den,” says the Doctor, with a soft sigh that might have been sorrow, if he hadn’t been smiling. “Regardless of the Fates’ intent, that shimmer dulls your girlish complexion. I’d get rid of it and save up my frequent fliers for a nice olive tone instead.” 

A hint of trauma, at last. Ancient blue stones stare out from merely old grey slate, and meet green ice at the usual point on the Doctor’s face. The man’s gaze is colder than he’s ever seen it. Were it a fraction more chill, a touch more frozen, even he, Rassilon, who claimed the name and face of Old Pasmodius, would have shivered. Could easily have trembled. And he, who had never been a superstitious man, would be the most superstitious of all.

The End

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