“Are you all right now?” little Flamina asks her father softly as she sits in front of him on the white floor of the hallway.
“Did you pull me out, honey?” the Doctor asks, patting his daughter on her little olive head of snowy hair.
The child looks away, down the hall.
“We should go, Daddy,” she sings, prancing in place in front of his cross-legged form, casting little dancing shadows over his smooth, chinny face.
He stands up, and for a moment, a brushing of something touches his shoulder, flooding over a side of him, culminating across his back like the cascade of water over a falls. He reaches with a quivering hand to flick it away, but the sensation remains there, hovering. Touching. Then he remembers.
Flamina is ahead of him in the long hallway, shining like a dew-damp spring bird in the morning sun.
Now her foot is tugging into the white white floor.
He reaches out to her, waving her on.
Smiling as her small body is caressed by waves of milky marble.
The eyes are large marbles on a plate, rolling open- but in shock, not fear.
Her white hair is the last thing to escape his sight.
He sighs and runs forward, his chest heaving as his fingers attain a balcony.
The balcony looks over an entrance hall with stairs leading up through passages not accessible to his immediate area.
“It’s okay, sweetheart, just let it happen! Daddy’s going to...be along in a… you just… let it… happen. You just… it’s okay, it’s…”
The Doctor’s voice echoes in an empty hall, but for that sound of swishing.
Sheer surprise forces him to sway a little when he sees the signage on the wall, placed low near the handrail for one side of the balcony.
Two lines, three… all red paint- it reminds him of Tegan’s melting red lipstick, that time when the TARDIS was about to blow up, and... Suddenly the wall below the lines is made of rough grey swimming pool concrete where it was white marble before.
The fourth line reads:
It’s damp, darkened by years of…
My feet… he realises, as the cold, clear fluid creeps down his trouser leg, drowning his shoeless ankles.
…no shoes. Ah. Of course.
“Well, then,” he murmurs, placing his hand over his hearts, “...it won’t be long now will it, my little dollop?”
Shrugging once, he follows the left hallway off the main. He then follows the off-corridor to the end of that wing and down, to the top of the entry stairs, swishing his feet through the softly clapping water as it rises.