Chapter Twenty, Part One: Gnossienne No. 1Mature

“I am uncertain what you mean, Doctor. But I understand. Will you take dinner with me after The Testimony? There are things about Pasmodius I wish to discuss.” Borusa adds, her plump child-cheeks rushing with blood again as she struggles to keep pace with her former charge. 

The Doctor stops in the middle of the hall, waiting, his longer legs crouching on the floor so he can be at equal height with his old teacher. 

‘Whyever did you choose that body, Borusa? It’s not very tall.” 

The old little girl casts sudden molten sapphires up at the Doctor; her merest glance is enough to set his bowtie on fire. He reaches up to loosen his collar, flexing his fingers. A good thing, he reasons with the inevitable penache of someone saved from the gallows or a gaol or a wedding or something, that he  isn’t wearing his bowtie at the moment. 

“Blimey, Borusa! What was that look for? And such a quotable, by gum! ‘My brother is coming, with many Fremen warriors…!’” the Doctor smirks, in her voice. “That little girl was adorable. Until she got the jump on the blind seer.” 

He grins that grin and bends down more and sticks a hand to her hair, ruffling it. Then his red-robed arms encircle her like a ring of rose petals and raise her to his bony shoulder. 

There is, strangely, none of the expected bouncing from the Doctor’s younger days; instead, the ride is rather soft and smooth.   

Borusa, drifting now with the sway of the hypnotist’s limbs and the height of her perch, remembers long unbroken days spent a boy, wrapt in wonder before a white tree in the northern forest. He had always known it had been a TARDIS. No-one had believed him. 

Funny, how she always seems to dream when the Doctor is around. 


The End

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