Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Roman Midnight

The Flesh pool of 8th Doctor on the floor of the TARDIS console room rises up in the form of heavy, cream-like steam and clings to the underside of the main center column of panels, preparing to retake society from the floor, where it sank and waited after the TARDIS rode the violin to freedom.

“Well that was an engaging side trip…” it murmurs, manifesting a bubbly mouth, “…and this must be the way Shub Niggurath felt after the hjunottsmanathr. How lovely for good old Shubby!”

“Ahem…”a clearing of silvery throat arises from the now-open passage, bearing to mind the name of only one man unto its only less than star-struck other resident.

“Hello, Rassilon,” sighs the Flesh as it attempts to form hands again, to haul itself up from the goo it became.

Rassilon, who once was mere enterprising Dallyrasse, comes round the console with only the vaguest of subtle flourishes and kneels beside the industrious white pool of gluey wonder, leaning back on heels squatted and booted to engage in a bit of the idle theatre.

Slowly, slowly, it becomes a him again, and he attains the console top with two melty hands and a look of attenuate grace as two naked feet form under him.

The man’s big hand frightens him for an instant, until he realizes the gift isn’t German. Or ingestible. Or Greek. So he takes the fingers up in their offer, rising the rest of the way on partial legs. He’ll not be complete again, but at least he will last for the duration until time runs out.

“I was most interested in what your little missive might have said, before the mast. Do you care to enlighten me?” Rassilon quirks, eyeing the newly-recovered Flesh of the 8th Doctor with the spry care of a tafelshrew, willing and patient. Or perhaps a squirrel.

The Flesh then struggles for a moment, concentrating with fists down and eyes closed toward the sky. A pair of teddy bear pyjama bottoms are managed, then a moving picture pirate’s white blouson. He will not tell.

“Hayseed…” Rassilon smirks without a smile to lay it on, tipping his grey-nibbled jet black hair in fiery tribute.

“Inanimate object…” the 8th Doctor Flesh mouths softly, sensual red lips flattening in thorny treason against the icy innocence affixed on his still-translucent face.

“Your hair looks wet, dear Doctor,” adds Rassilon, reaching over to grab a fistful of slightly damp, burned carrot curls and piercing them with those cold, cold eyes of blue ice, “…why did you take this form, out of all of them? I admit to being a bit… intrigued.”

The Flesh turns away, not caring that bits of his hair come out, having not really been all that attached in the first place.

“Do you think you could leave us alone for a bit, my Lord General? I’d like to mourn it, my hair. It was good to me…” the Flesh pleads, the very image of the poignant dramatistic milquetoast with his fair hand dangling languid against his pale forehead.

Rassilon replies, “And that’s just like you, to whinge philosophic about your curls in an unfleeting moment. Still, the question must be asked.”

The Flesh looks up; his body heaves above itself, then sags, a heap of unnecessary breathing bothering to breathe. It says, “…you’re right. But if I’d stayed to be Lord President for any longer, it would have killed me, and that would have surely killed whomever I was forced to govern over, as well. And you killed people, too. We mustn’t forget just who you killed, either. That one will be a hard time washing off the walls of my memory palace, despite our working together at present.”

As the rational do, Rassilon considers this with a soldier’s vital detachment. Is the Doctor, no, the Other… his old friend… really that -he searches for the word for his own inner reasons- distracted? No… the word he wants is… unhinged.

“Your memory palace…” he adds as he walks around to face the man with earnest eyes set above a mouth suddenly hungry for the taste of ash, “… is noplace I should ever love to look for death without a guide. Can I help you scrub it clean?”

Suddenly the Flesh’s turning face is near his, blue-gray chariots of nitrous frieze plopping sideways at him in a rictus so dark even he feels shaken by what he might find should he truly look on those depths and pay them their due attention.

“I wouldn’t go in there alone either, really…” the Flesh chimes in a flat and dangerous tone, “…good call. We must away now, Dallyrasse- I have a stop to make before we spice the punch.”

After answering, the Flesh whirls on him, seeping against his clothing in a wet and living wind, leaving only a face as it moves over and through and between the folds of his robes before fully forming again in all his ginger scarecrow glory. Now on the other side of the console, the Flesh stalks away through the shuttle’s bay hangar door like Sergeant Pepper on a bender.

Only when he himself returns to the cockpit does he realize it, as his lips chill to white and his hearts beat like dying furnaces against the loss.

Something is missing from his person.

And it isn’t the clutch purse.

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