Chapter Two, Part Four: Dirt FacesMature

“What passage, Doctor?” said Rassilon, as he flutters meat-clad phalanges over the dusty old sepulcher claiming to be a book and straightens. 

The Time Lord on the bed, his back against the wall still, just watches the other man moving. Watches him stiffening, like a bag strung up in a tree, hit by a sudden gust. Or a stick. 

Then Rassilon spins. The book flies out of his outstretched hand, slicing an arc toward the Doctor’s bed. 

The Doctor covers his hand, the one with the ring, turning the band with a brush of his palm. It shifts himto the left, his muscles quivering as he practically vibrates in the proper direction, that was, ever so slightly, to the left. Without looking down, he dabs at the thin slice of blood that had erupted across his side just as the book had smacked past him and into the still shiny but no longer quite so white space behind his skinny, white-draped silhouette. Remembering all, the Doctor’s eidetic, inhuman senses soak themselves in the impact of the book, memorizing the dent the old and looking-like-it-ought-to-have-been-rotten thing has made in the polyglass structure of the wall, cataloguing the hairline scratch the pages have cut into his skin. In his mind, he holds the older-seeming man’s burning cold gaze like a glass sculpture for the longest time as a matter of course, as regular for the first and mere few seconds of any impromptu staring match. And, the innocent smile he gives Rassilon is new-fallen snow, on a planet neither one of them has ever seen. 

Why, then, does it remind them both of the absence of light?

The End

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