Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Camera Lucida

Future memory- also, a flashback.

“Are you ever going to put that damn thing down?” he murmurs to her, adjusting the thing that he hides his face with. A line of reddish-orange trails down his flawless cheek where the side of the mask has cut into him, so perfect is its fitting to his face. His bared lower jawline rounded but firm, a bit sharp at the tip of the chin, but not too much, slides into her palm, the man of that auspicious bone nuzzling her fingers like one of the three-toed hind from the Northern Forest.

She hoods her eyes against the double-lights of their homeworld’s twin suns, then laughs and pulls long hands away again. “No. You gave it to me. I would sooner sell the sun.”

The man frowns, a grinning catshark upside down, his thin lips quirking as she flows from dance to dance.

“I did not. Give that. To you. Fail to succor me again and I may have to take measures.”

Her smooth body has been dancing in the daylight like this for hours. He has watched her for all of them.

A stone is in her hand, an unblemished egg-shaped stone on a small silver chain. Her silhouette catches it afire in the gleam of sunny daytime, and those fires leap from it, in licks of grass and egg yolk, of cloud and citrine and sky, of moonbeams and starshadow. Shafts of rainbow, they pour from her opening arms as she clutches the jewel to her white silked bosom and laughs at him where he sits still on the dark red grass.

“I should have father paint a picture of us- he’d enjoy that,” she says, parting her lips in another laugh that rings the hills with silver. Then her violet eyes fall on him- it’s like being washed in purple nacre, just in time for the Second Sunrise. “… and I should never fail to succor you. We are perfect, you and I, you liar. Be still- it is adored and in its place. Did father give it to you?”

As his father’s sunset of lavender petals falls on the two of them in a pleasant rain of purple, he lies back in the red and ruby and garnet blades of soft grass and gazes at her laughing, grinning, pirouetting self, and fancies that his love is a statue carved of pearl, spinning in a music box ballet.

“Oui, ma’ peche, oui…” he admits after a moment, feeling his mouth muscles rebel in a smile despite his best efforts to remain bearish.

His fingers drift along the edges of the thing on his face. Allowing himself to laugh at long last, he pulls it off.


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