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22 January 2008 @ 09:32 pm
RP for timewill_tell  
The interior of the TARDIS is, for lack of a better term, white. Little has been changed from the days when she traveled with her grandfather. There is perhaps a more modern feel to the instruments around the console now, and the white hue itself is more of a cream. Still, there is very definitely a nostalgic aura. Susan moves over to the console and flips a switch to lock the interior doors, before leading the way into the recesses of her ship. Several corridors, and about five minutes of walking, lead to the galley and the promise of tea.

"Here we are. Welcome to my home."

She busies herself with the selection of two mugs and half a dozen canisters of loose tea.
The Doctor: smart is sexytimewill_tell on January 23rd, 2008 04:47 am (UTC)
The Doctor smiles tenderly at her as he stares thoughtfully at the canisters she's placed before him. Every decision has an impact, even one as slight as what sort of tea he's most in the mood for; after all, one flavor will leave a far different aftertaste than another.

"I love what you've done with the place," he announces, bearing in mind the similarities to his own TARDIS, and disregarding the slight arrogance that would imply in his compliment. "It suits you perfectly. What sort of tea are you in the mood for?"

Perhaps his own indecision will be tempered by her decisiveness.
Susan: contentunearthly on January 23rd, 2008 04:55 am (UTC)
She glances around the room, noting the prints of faux Japanese design purchased on a whim in SoHo, and the row of lighthouses that she's been collecting each time her ship decides it needs another trinket.

"Thank you. It suits me for the moment. Might redecorate once I've gotten a sense of who I am this go 'round."

And now for the important thing - choosing tea. Each canister is picked up and inspected; including the removal of tops so that the aroma may waft out and attempt to seduce her into choosing it. In the end, Susan opts for "Jasmine, I think. Very soothing. Would you like some?"
The Doctor: thoughtfultimewill_tell on January 23rd, 2008 05:26 am (UTC)
"I would. The taking of tea -- one of life's simple pleasures. A panacea to all ills, temporary though it may be. Jasmine," he smiles, "yes, perfect."

With that settled, he removes his hat and sets it down on the edge of the table, running his hand once over his hair and then disregarding it entirely. The Doctor moves over to study the lighthouses, touching the intricate design on one of them with his forefinger.

"Marvelous things, lighthouses. Calm in the tempest, a guiding beacon -- where you've been, where you should go, where you might be that you never would have considered going. And when you consider that they do their very best to keep the darkness from consuming us entirely, well...they have my admiration."
Susan: watchingunearthly on January 23rd, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
That is similar to how Susan views tea as well, but since the Doctor put it so marvelously, there is no need for her to expound on it. Rather, she sets a kettle to boil on the old-fashioned stove in the corner, and shakes a small amount of tea leaves into two holders before setting one inside each mug.

"You have described them far better than I could myself. There are several lighthouses along the eastern seaboard of the United States, one of the places I explored after escaping captivity, and they were so silent, standing tall against the sea. A keeper let him come with him while he changed out a massive light bulb. The view from the top, with the salty breeze and the blue horizon..."

Right. Enough wool-gathering. Susan shrugs off her coat and hangs it on a rack near the kitchen entrance before settling in one of the two chairs that were not there a few seconds ago.

Her ship does take care of her.
The Doctor: calmtimewill_tell on January 23rd, 2008 05:59 am (UTC)
The Doctor notices the change, and thinks of the constant companionship his own TARDIS has always provided him. A veritable touchstone itself, really, especially contrasted with the so frequently ephemeral friendships his mostly human companions offer.

Shrugging out of his coat, and down to his pullover, the Doctor slides into the other chair.

"Susan, tell me about your travels, your loss, what's made you so sad. Tell me everything. Take your time; after all, we've plenty of it, don't we? We make it our business."
Susan: pensiveunearthly on January 23rd, 2008 06:18 am (UTC)
"I'm not quite sure where to begin."

She remains silent for a long time, so long that the kettle begins to whistle before she even utters another sentence. The reprieve is welcome, allowing her to rise from her chair and fiddle with the mugs, pouring boiling water over the contained tea. Only after retaking her seat does Susan begin to speak.

"I went back for the key I'd dropped about an hour after you had vanished. David came looking for me, because he was worried, and proposed to me on the very spot that your TARDIS had stood. To me it was a good sign."

She exhales to loosen the knot in her chest. "Within a year we took in two children who needed homes, and gave them the last name of Campbell. I'm afraid to say that we also gave them first names, and you can probably guess which ones."

"I grew older with him, Grandfather, and our children matured into a beautiful young lady and handsome gentleman. Barbara was the eldest, and she married a local boy. They were expecting their first child when I was abducted to the Dead Zone."

Susan's tone is now carefully neutral.
The Doctor: ruminativetimewill_tell on January 23rd, 2008 06:37 am (UTC)
The Doctor had applied a bit of sugar to his tea, opting for no cream in conjunction with this particular flavor, and idly stirred in the white crystals. As Susan spoke, he gently removed his spoon and set it down.

Mention of the Dead Zone halts him completely.

"I remember that time, of course. You were there with my first incarnation, but...I thought you'd been safely returned to your time. What happened? The Daleks..." he trails off.

Edited at 2008-01-23 06:38 am (UTC)
Susan: seriousunearthly on January 23rd, 2008 06:51 am (UTC)
"Have no fear on that account. I was safely returned to my husband's side and there was hope that we would live out the rest of our lives, or at least his, in relative quiet. With the grandchildren we were sure to be gifted with."

She moves out of the chair a second time, and adds a tiny dollop of honey to her own mug, before settling back in the chair with her tea.

"That was the hope, anyway. But it had been so long since I had stepped foot on Gallifrey that I took to taking a walk in the evenings, just to stare up at the sky and wonder ..." Susan pauses to take a sip of tea. It is probably only coincidence that her hands have begun to tremble.

"And then one such night, when I popped down to the local pub to place a few bets on the local football club for David, they came back. I'm not sure why, or how, only that you could smell..."

The mug is gently returned to the counter, and the former Mrs Campbell finds it easier to pace while she speaks now, full of nervous energy.

"By the time I returned home, there was little left. He was lying on his back..." Another pause, to tamp down on the silly, stupid, human emotions. "The entire locality was wiped out that night. Men, women, children. Everyone. Barbara, her husband. Ian."

Edited at 2008-01-23 06:52 am (UTC)
The Doctor: tendertimewill_tell on January 23rd, 2008 07:12 am (UTC)
The Doctor draws in a breath, his tea forgotten now for the moment. It was inevitable that she would suffer tragedy in some manner, but that such an abundance should befall her all at once makes him feel wretched. Even his own miseries seem to come in small doses, generally, amounting to an overwhelming accumulation after centuries.

"I'm sorry," is his first, quiet response. He laughs once, miserably, shaking his head. "Words, Susan, words come so infrequently when they are most desired. But what could I say that would do anything? Words don't remove the events, only speak to them."

The Doctor rises slowly, nearing her and reaching out to touch her shoulder, to still her movement.

"I can't take away your sadness. I can only share it with you."
Susan: tearsunearthly on January 23rd, 2008 07:32 am (UTC)
Despite her occasional flair for the dramatics, Susan would have never asked such a blow to be brought down on her head either. And to see her dear grandfather after so long, even if it is not the incarnation she most expected to see, it rather tips the flow of emotions right over her little damn.

"Grandfather..." She bows her head, somewhat embarassed at the tears falling freely now, but they can't be helped -- and she did warn him. It takes a few minutes to control the raw hiccups, but Susan does manage to quiet them in time.

"I rewired a radio tower a few villages away, and sent out a distress call. Fred--" She catches herself, "Romana picked me up a day later."

[ooc: must beg slowtime, will tag in the morning]

Edited at 2008-01-23 07:33 am (UTC)
The Doctor: sadtimewill_tell on January 23rd, 2008 08:11 pm (UTC)
The Doctor carefully pulls her into a hug -- it's a belabored action, careful that she doesn't stiffen up or resist the affection. But he's more tactile now than he's been in a long time, so it comes naturally to him.

While he's holding her close, his quietly commanding voice searches out further details.

"And what happened after that? Did you travel with Romana, did you return to Gallifrey?"

He can't help the burgeoning, feeling of guilt threatening to overwhelm him.
Susan: pensiveunearthly on January 23rd, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
Twenty years of marriage has aided Susan in adopting human customs, and apparently sniffling on her grandfather's shoulder is one of them. It shouldn't be this hard, the retelling, but it has been at least one lifetime between the last time she spoke with him, and now.

"I did not know who she was then, you understand, and it really was a one in seventy-three trillionth of a chance that the signal would work. But there she was, opening the door to an invisible spaceship, and beckoning me inside."

She straightens up then, or tries to, without endangering the hugging process.

"We checked the area for any residual traces of Dalek technology. One other village to the north had suffered the same fate as ours, but freedom reinforcements from London had halted their advancement, and more were on their way. So she was kind enough to give me a lift home."

Susan offers a small, wry smile then, "Where I found, to my absolute shock, my grandfather had donned the title of Lord President."

Edited at 2008-01-23 08:39 pm (UTC)
The Doctor: pleased + amused + contenttimewill_tell on January 23rd, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
In response, a slight chuckle ripples through him. "Yes, well, circumstances being what they were...and I was deposed. That would have been my...fifth incarnation, I believe. Romana was more than welcome to the position of Lady President, I thought. What have you been doing in the interim, then?"

He pulls back carefully to look at her, offering her a handkerchief from his voluminous pockets.
Susan: thoughtfulunearthly on January 23rd, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC)
"Yes. The blond gentleman, and you are always a gentleman, even when you don't think so. We never did run into one another while you were on Gallifrey, and I never did get around to asking Romana if she told you."

Susan clears her throat and accepts said kerchief, blotting the tears from her eyes before offering it back. "Thank you."

"I won't lie and tell you things were easy. Frankly, I was a bit of what humans call a 'drama queen' at that point, but Romana was very patient with me and I eventually did gain some semblance of self."

The Doctor might not believe the next part, or he might believe it completely. "Romana took me under her protection, and taught me some of the skills that I would have learned at the Academy, including regeneration, had I not dropped out and fled with you. And don't feel bad about that. My choice."

"And then I was tagged as one of the private assistants for the Lady President."

Edited at 2008-01-23 09:09 pm (UTC)
The Doctor: fascinatedtimewill_tell on January 23rd, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
The Doctor draws back to his memories of the Dead Zone, though they remain far more muddled than others, and he isn't surprised at that. Regardless, he feels some semblance of comfort knowing that Susan was seen to after such a tumultuous time. The fact that it was Romana, who had been, and still is, a trusted friend, heartens him.

He tucks the kerchief back into his pocket, his eyes distant with rumination as he curls his lip, taking in her words.

"So you were instructed in the ways of Time Lords...I have to feel pleased with that. How long were you Romana's assistant? And might I also ask what caused you to regenerate the first time, and how you further came to be on your third incarnation?"
Susan: unearthlyunearthly on January 23rd, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
She nods, leaning back against the counter to regard her grandfather with a very serious expression. "I can tell you most of how I came to live in a second body, and the events after it. But ... I cannot tell you about how I managed to end up with this ginger hair. You may not believe me, but I think I am from your future."

Susan pauses, tapping her bottom lip with a finger, then continues. "I was sent on an extremely delicate mission for the Lady President to find a man who I probably would not have been allowed around under different circumstances. But there were rumors and signs pointing to something terrible in the future, and she did not want to leave any stone unturned."

She admits this next part in a very quiet tone, "So I went to find your --- Romana gave me his name as Koschei, but you would obviously know him as the Master. We.. there was a chance we'd need his help. Only I was exceptionally green at espionage, and he ended up abducting and trying to brainwash me."

"It was a very unpleasant experience, but my abilities were stronger than he accounted for and I managed to free myself and steal his TARDIS, leaving him on a planet I don't remember the name of. Unfortunately, I was very much a novice at flying and I crashed. End of ship, end of my first incarnation."
The Doctor: calmtimewill_tell on January 24th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)
For some reason, a feeling of rage begins to roil within the Doctor. He knows why, of course, but this particular brand of vehement anger has been absent his emotions for quite some time. The Doctor cannot help but feel warring feelings of pity and loathing for his old friend turned nemesis. The idea that he came in contact with his granddaughter is altogether unsettling.

"It's very possible you are from my future, though any attempts to ascertain the validity of that could further tamper with the timeline, so we will have to assume so and remain silent on the matter. Am I to assume you're no longer assistant to Romana?"
Susan: watchingunearthly on January 24th, 2008 05:56 am (UTC)
Susan manages to keep her face almost completely calm, more from knowing she can't give anything away than an inate expertise at 'poker face', which she really does not have. Still, she takes another sip of tea before answering.

"No, my association with Romana ended when I regenerated into the body you see now. And I've been on my own for the last year or thereabouts." That much she can answer honestly. Actually, Susan's also begun to seriously think about taking on an assistant of her own soon.

Provided she can find someone crazy enough for the job.
The Doctor: thoughtfultimewill_tell on January 24th, 2008 06:20 am (UTC)
The Doctor feels slightly more at ease; at least this is a subject he can speak of more confidently. He can relate to this life far more than to the experience of someone who lost loved ones in such a manner.

"And you've been traveling about the universe like your old grandfather, have you? Where have you been? Where do you hope to go?"
Susan: thoughtfulunearthly on January 24th, 2008 06:42 am (UTC)
"I have, and, starting to understand a little of why you never did want to settle down." Just a tiny smidgeon, though, because Susan still has that romantic nature buried somewhere inside this incarnation.

"I spent several months exploring thr early 21st century on Earth, then a small span of time on Traken. Recently it's been one hop after another for a few days at a time."

Translation: Susan is restless.
The Doctor: curioustimewill_tell on January 24th, 2008 07:15 am (UTC)
At the mention of Traken, a ripple of nostalgia and familiarity suffuses his mind as he recalls his old companion, Nyssa. Broadly, the Doctor knows that sentiment well, and can recognize the wanderlust in Susan's eyes, much like his. However, there is more to her spirit than a desire to travel, it seems.

"Then what do you desire now, Susan? You're not the nomadic wanderer I am, not for any length of time suitable to qualify as a lifestyle. You would prefer to settle in somewhere a bit more, am I right?"
Susan: unearthlyunearthly on January 24th, 2008 07:25 am (UTC)
It is an inescapable fact that Susan still yearns for the home life. Unfortunately, due to circumstances that she can't reveal to her grandfather, she doesn't exactly have one anymore, except for her ship.

Thus, necessity breeds wanderlust.

"I wouldn't mind traveling with someone. An assistant, I suppose, similar to how the four of us wandered the universe."

Ian. Barbara. Susan. The Doctor.

"On the other hand, I still haven't quite shaken the longing for a stable place to call home."
The Doctor: uncertaintimewill_tell on January 24th, 2008 07:42 am (UTC)
The one constant feeling that the Doctor seems to have, among a few others, is that of loneliness. He seeks ways to quell that feeling for a time, never allowing himself to believe he can reverse it outright. As such, friendships are sought after anytime he finds himself alone for too long. Once again, he finds commiseration with his granddaughter.

"The TARDIS has always been my home, though I can understand the unique feeling of desiring a solid place to rest the soul. Traveling through the vortex, to other planets, other times -- yes, it can be disenchanting to always wander."

He taps his pointer finger to his chin, considering her other statement.

"An assistant would certainly fill the void that loneliness begets. Or would you prefer traveling for a time with someone more familiar? Is that an option for you?" He questions, slightly uncertain himself, though marginally mysterious.
Susan: contentunearthly on January 24th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
Susan has only just begun that process, to want to fill the empty corners of her timeship with laughter and companionship. It seems a daunting task, to find the right people to travel with and her admiration for the Doctor slides up another notch.

"Not so much disenchanting as exhausting, that aspect hasn't changed."

She's feeling oddly content. A whole Earth year, perhaps more, has passed since her escape and regeneration. Meeting up with her grandfather has muted the roaring silence in her head and she's grateful for it.

"Hmm. I'm not sure my ship would ever talk to me again if I abandoned her. But what, or who, did you have in mind?" Susan is curious despite herself.

Edited at 2008-01-24 03:06 pm (UTC)
The Doctor: smart is sexytimewill_tell on January 24th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC)
Of course, his own TARDIS would behave similarly, so he does broach the subject with careful thought.

"Well, time being what it is, perhaps it's precisely 'time' that I lingered about longer, rather than dashing off for another century or two. Circumstances have changed, after all."

He smiles gently. "Given, however, that neither of us can be around the other indefinitely -- you have your own life, of course -- perhaps a K-9 unit would prove useful, and companionable, as well."
Susan: scarfunearthly on January 24th, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
Intrigued is a very descriptive word for the expression replacing much of the lingering sadness on Susan's face. And, while the references to time and himself try to whisk the rug right out from under her feet, it is easier to dwell on the offer of,

"One of those robotic dogs that Fred had? Are you serious?" The offer wouldn't have been made if he wasn't, of course, but still-- she can't quite help the grin spreading across her features.

"That would be fantastic!" Pause. "Wait. Are you offering to come with me, or vice versa? Or neither one?"
The Doctor: enthralledtimewill_tell on January 24th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
"I'm always serious," he affirms, though the cheeky grin playing at the corner of his mouth belies that assertion. "Helpful creature that it can be, in a number of situations, I believe it would quite perfectly suit you."

And then he chuckles lightly. "I am offering to come with you, in a manner of speaking. Rather than remain so separated from one another, perhaps it would do us both a bit of good to be in each other's company more frequently. I pop in on you, you pop in on me, and we work at eradicating our mutual loneliness."
Susan: wide smileunearthly on January 24th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC)
Timelords are very serious people, so if the Doctor thinks he's watching his granddaughter practically vibrate right out of her chair in no small amount of glee, then he's very much mistaken.

"Thank you, Grandfather. Being able to travel with someone, or something, that can hold a conversation..."

There aren't words to express her emotions at this point, not without hand flailing, or more tears, or nattering on at light speed. For now, her smile will have to suffice.

"That would be lovely. You must have seen so many new planets, met interesting people. Tales I'm sure are old hat to you, but entirely new to me."