Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Rabbit Heart Eurythmetic

The room is a bit dark.

“Well, my little red hen,” the Doctor murmurs, with his face to the wall of his little darkened room, his torso uncovered by the sheet draped over his legs, “…I was only a little tired and now they’ve gone and put me on bed rest. How do you like them apples?”

“Well, my Johnny who’s gone to the fair,” River says, applying her hands to his shirtless back and rubbing a nicely buttered circumference into his shoulder blades, “… you know what they say. When life provides apples, one generally makes pie. And with the leftover lemon, who knows? It might be a bit sour, but you’ve always liked things tart. Do you want me to go lower?”

The Doctor nods a light, frivolous no with his hair, sinks a huge breath into his lungs, then heaves it out again. “I do so like a good metaphor. But don’t forget the crumbly topping of awesome! Let’s see, it takes butter, brown sugar, flour, some of that lemon you mentioned… what are you wearing?”

River looks down at herself and her eyes slip half-closed over her own form as her hands slide down a little further toward the small of his spine.

Her shoulders are bare, unsleeved; burgundy straps race cross country like wildflower street cars along her upper back. More burgundy flails in a miniature cowl-neck still life around her breasts, a tease of thick spa towel. The rest of the negligee continues down her musculature, tightening in silky ripples along the canals of her pectorals like a gondola through Venice.

“Made you look, beautiful girl.” The Doctor’s low, tenor chuckle returns her to herself.

“Oh, you!” She chides, but her hands find his hair, latching on like the myth of milking snakes. By way of that floppy brown fur, she travels through him- with him, for him perhaps, and soon, she imagines she has a pet bristly bunny named Endymion to snuggle with, for her head is pressed against his back, and her arms are wrapped around his body, her clean nails squeezing in gentle waves against his curve of hard stomach, adding her own light scratches to the Master’s outburst of finger pointing. Writing lines in the dark again.

Definitely bigger now, she thinks, though not by much; Rassilon had been right when he’d called it a growth spurt. How much different than humans, really? One day, she’d ask him. But for now, another question.

“What do you see when you look at yourself?” she murmurs, her swollen lips smushed against his nape.

A pause, then, “…you mean other than that Flamina’s grown a bit, I take it?”

“Tit for tat, my love; I want an answer- don’t skirt the question.” River says, fiddling with the tie on his sleeping trousers as though adjusting a fly for fishing.

“Easy question. Ex nihil, nihilo fit. Now I have one. Why did you plant that bug in…”

Her clean hands cease their dabbling with the corners of his slightly sweaty shirt; instantly, their precious little moment is lost forever as she rises from the bed, and his sense of smell leaves him, like a child off to school for the first time.

“Oh, of all the! Theta Sigma, you are the most… AGH. I’m going back to the gardens. And if you try to follow me, I’ll tell Rassilon to chain you to the bed.”

When she has padded softly out the way, and the door has slipped closed, the Doctor takes up a few of the thick pillows and bats at them, stuffing his fist over and over and over again in the casing full of fluffy down like the time lapse of a ricocheting bullet. Then he arranges the pillows across his lap and knees so he can lie on his stomach without juicing his displaced innards like an olive press.

A smile like delicate porcelain rests on his face as he considers his handiwork, as well as some blue flecks of paint from overhead. After wiping his eyes free of the paint chips and some sudden, unexpected hot tears, he lies down, easing himself into the wedge of pillows with his back to the chipped and peeling sky painted on the ceiling.

“I wonder,” he says, holding his breath against the pillow under his cheek, “... how they’re dealing with Jack in Research and Development? I did shoot him, after all.”

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