Four days, and still he does not wake, her Lord. Her Other.
The nurse dwells on this, remembering another time, long ago, when her Lord had drifted in another kind of coma.
A coma of desperate, creative vision. He had stood over his many forges for days… crafting his great works of subtlety and molten metal.
“Mamlaurea… I have a task for you… you are to be my special envoy to the Pythia and her Consort, to spy as you will -per my suspicions- upon the Pythia’s servant Meghudi. She desires power.”
Then he had given her the two gold rings, carved in the viney lines of roses. Carved through some unknown art by his hand.
How they had gleamed on the fingers of their chosen bearers.
With luck, and her task to-day, they might again.
And even further still, what debt perceived is now held tightly, she wonders, behind the eyes of her sleeping Lord Other, who spoke those words to her, he who once beheld these rings as nothing more than mere gold, before he shaped them with his hands and gave them to the two lovers, the two rings with which he would bear the two lovers through death along with himself.
She considers the ramifications of what she is about to do, as she reaches down and presses the burgundy velvet between her fingers. She folds it over the pair of rose-carved golden rings slowly, as if preparing a child’s rump to wipe.
Long, long ago, she tended –his- bottom in much the same way.
With the same great care she places the packet of velvet in her dress pocket and then applies her shriveled hands to the drawer’s silver handle, sliding the wooden drawer back into its recess.
She turns away from the chest of drawers, her grey eyes catching a swift glimpse of sunlight streaming in from her Lord’s window as she crosses the room to the door.
Yes. After The Testimony before the High Council of Time Lords, she will visit him, and wipe his bloody nose again, just like before.