The Storyteller

Intermission

Inside the dimensional hub there are limits to what you can see. The human mind can only see so much. Like an M.C. Escher drawing, you can only see the young woman or the old woman. The rabbit or the duck. You can't see both at the same time.

And like I said, the ship was partly telepathic: It could sense your commands, feel your destination and more often than not Jack's subconscious found him staring down the barrels of a dozen weapons. Maybe the prospect of immortality had made him yearn for death or possibly put the concept upon such a high pedestal that it could never be reached (but always be desired). Did he love death? Did he have a death fetish? I think he had a fetish for everything.

So we were on a ship, right? Alone?

What? Haven't you been paying attention to anything I've been telling you? Yes, you're on a ship. It's the ship that stole the Eiffel Tower and it didn't fly itself. Because it's dead, you see. It was dragged into orbit by another spaceship around Pluto at the far end of the galaxy.

Why Pluto?

I don't know. Poetic licence. Keep up, will you. Here I am spinning a web of tales involving complex themes, plot twists, famous characters from Earth history, challenging moral dilemmas and you can't even remember basic plot points!

I don't know why I even bother with you sometimes. I could show you the marvellous wonders of the Medusa Cascade and you'd wonder why there aren't any trees.

You just said you needed to be challenged sometimes.

Challenge? Yes, just don't ask stupid questions.

It's not my fault you're a bad storyteller. I zone out when you get all preachy and artsy. I like it when things blow up.

The Doctor shot her another look. A double take. "Bad storyteller?" Then he tutted once.

"My stories aren't meant to be told. They're meant to be lived. It's adrenaline!"

He got up from his stool, made laps around Amy's bed and popped his head outside the curtains as if to check up on something. Amy wondered whether the grandfather clock was still there or whether it had been something she dreamt.

"But all those things you said about me," Amy said. "About the present. You couldn't have been more wrong."

The Doctor promptly shut the curtains, turned around on the spot and placed both hands at the end of her bed.

"Really? Wrong?" he spoke offended and he gazed directly into her eyes.

"You may know all the numbers in pi," Amy simply spoke twiddling her thumbs. "but you don't know half about humans. Especially me."

"You're a complicated person, Amy Pond," the Doctor admitted. "But that doesn't mean you're unreadable. In fact, you're easy!"

"No, I'm not! -Easy?" she said.

The Doctor clumsily waved his hands about explaining things.

"You practically say everything that comes to mind. Not a thought left unsaid."

"That's so not true," Amy spoke. "You're quite the opposite. You think something and then say the exact opposite. You lie!"

"No, I don't."

"You just did there!"

"I might have. Look! We're getting off track. I was busy. What was I doing?"

Amy smiled. "Telling me I'm easy apparantly."

Suddenly the Doctor realized she was lying in a bed and the curtains were drawn all around. Whatever happened, no-one would see...

"No. No!" the Doctor told himself and he slapped his forehead. "I had a point with this. What was it?"

"Your point?"

"Stop it!" the Doctor said. "Not funny."

He started speaking softly now; almost to himself. "You were so much better before yesterday. So much stronger."

"What happened yesterday?" Amy asked.

The Doctor sighed.

"Did you know why you stepped into that hub?" the Doctor said.

"It's just a story, Doctor."

"You did it because you had to. Do something. Anything," the Doctor started telling. "Anything at all."

Amy disagreed. She tucked herself in underneath the sheets while rolling on to her right side and shoulder without moving her legs too much. Her body groaned with cramps of having been lying in the same position too long.

"I have a goal in life," she said. "I'm not just aimlessly wandering, like you."

"Am I?"

"I just want to see the world, I mean the universe, before I settle down. Maybe have kids. We all have to grow up one day."

"Just not today, I take it?" the Doctor said. "How does that prove me wrong, exactly? If the present was a location you'd practically be camping there. Pitching a tent. I should rephrase that..."

"No, I'm not!" Amy said. "I mean I wouldn't be. Whatever. I'm just going to use these travels as inspiration for the children's books I am going to write one day. With all this stuff I can make a fortune."

"It worked for Lewis Carrol," the Doctor noted and his voice turned down a notch as he reminisced and looked to the future. The end of the story.

Amy recognised that look on his face. Now who's easy? Gotcha!

"I'm kidding!" Amy said smiling but unconvincingly. "I love travelling with you. It's fun. Apart from the whole leg situation. Obviously."

The Doctor pierced through the cloud of comfort with such a simple question. It didn't even sound serious until an awkward silence fell.

"Why are you here, Amy Pond?" he asked. "Why are you really here?"

Despite everything the question still felt unexpected. The answer lingered in a half-drawn breath and an open mouth, but her eyes were void of thoughts. Her heart was blank as if she didn't mean any of her emotions. They were just there.

Was she crying?

"I don't know," she said. She couldn't bring herself to admit she couldn't remember.

The Doctor smiled. "Let's find out together."

He jumped next to her in bed, Amy underneath the sheets and he fully dressed on top of them and hands patiently lingering on his gut with his legs crossed.

He checked to make sure his bow tie was still in place.

"Where was I?" he said. "How many hours were there left? In the story, I mean."

He checked his wrist watch.

"Five? Maybe four and a half," Amy said scootching over slightly while the Doctor resumed to gaze up at the ceiling, lost in imagination. "I did pay attention, you know. If I don't you'll just make stuff up."

"What? Like a spaceship stealing the Eiffel Tower? I wouldn't dare."

He looked at her from the corner of his eyes and she felt safer, even though they both knew she'd never admit it.

"Go on then, Doctor. Tell your fricking story."

"I was just going to. Shush."

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