My breathing was hard, and it took me a few tries to get the words out.
‘Doctor, where are they?’ She looked back at me blankly, as if to say how should I know and I couldn’t help but flounce a little, beginning to get my breath back and hoping that she really did have a plan - or at least part of one.
‘We’ll meet them back at the Tardis. It’ll be fine. Come on.’ Without thinking I began to follow her down the corridor.
If I wasn’t becoming used to this, it might have occurred to me that it was a little odd to be running on a glass floor, but what would have been more surprising would have been the fact that beyond that glass, down as far as the eye could see (and all around us) was black. To the point that you couldn’t really be sure that it was glass until you saw a star shooting beneath your feet, or another ship in the distance.
It was eery but, at the moment, inconsequential.
Her coat flapped behind her and in the back of my mind I was wondering whether two hearts meant she was just that much better at running, or whether I was more unfit than I had thought.
I was used to having to keep up with others, prove myself, Yasmin Khan, female police officer of Pakistani descent. It wasn’t like it had been an easy journey.
But the doctor was way out of my league, and I’d known it from the first moment I met her.
Without even turning back to me she called out my name, motioning with her hand for me to catch up as she slowed at the end of the corridor.
She kept her hand held out behind her and waved it a little as though waiting for me to do something.
I looked at it wondering what she wanted, and checked my pockets for her sonic. Sometimes she forgot it somewhere and I picked it up, for someone so clearly a genius she could be a bit of a liability.
‘What?’ I asked, my breathing slowing, as I found nothing in my pockets to give her.
‘Don’t worry.’ She said, but I noticed a blush on her cheeks - feeling a little triumphant I followed her through the now unlocked door, wondering if this was a sign that actually she was getting a little tired.
‘One Tardis, safe and sound.’ She tapped it, but kept her hand resting on it, the relief palpable.
‘Thank goodness for that.’ I nearly laughed, my stomach unclenching for the first time in a while.
But a noise coming from behind the Tardis kept me quiet, the doctor moved in front of me, her hand outstretched behind her keeping me back.
‘Who’s there?’ She called out, and I looked down her figure to see her hand reaching into her pocket, resting on the sonic.
‘Doc, it’s only us.’ It was unmistakably Graham’s voice, and I went to move forward, but she put her hand out to stop me again, taking hold of my arm with one hand and putting her finger to her lips with the other.
Her hand slipped down my arm and came to rest on my wrist, me not moving next to her.
‘If you are Graham,’ she said, seriously, ‘what’s my favourite biscuit?’ I sucked in a breathe, not sure why it suddenly felt like there wasn’t enough air in the room.
When no sound greeted us, she moved her hand down again, and I relaxed my clasped hand, letting hers slip into mine.
She squeezed it a little and moved her head around the Tardis.
‘Well?’ She asked again.
‘Well, it’s obviously a custard cream, like the ones you used as cereal this morning.’ Her nose wrinkled as she smiled and I couldn’t help but smile too.
‘Oh, alright then. You are Graham. Can’t be too careful, did I ever tell you about the Teselecta?’ She said, turning to me.
‘I met them when I was with Hitler, could mirror your entire body in a heartbeat. Peacekeepers, they were, or something. Long time ago.’ She nodded, and I could see Ryan and Graham coming closer, my eyes darted back to our hands, still holding each other’s, and she followed my gaze. Looking me dead in the eye with a small smile before she dropped it.
‘You alright?’ Graham rounded the corner and nodded towards the two of us.
‘Er, doctor, we might want to head off?’ Ryan’s voice called out, still a few steps behind Graham.
‘Why?’ We all peered round the Police Box to see the outline of a man about to turn the corner of the corridor.
‘DOC-TOR’ The voice was loud enough that it bounced like a bullet around the cabin, and it was definitely not to be messed with. Something told me they had realised that we’d changed their flight pattern.
‘When you’re ready doc,’ said Graham, nodding towards the Tardis door.
She opened it with a click of her fingers and piled us inside before closing the door.
‘One second.’ She promised, slipping back through the door.
‘Doctor?’ My voice was screechy and high. I hated it when she did this, just when the danger was over she’d go out, try and reason with whatever was trying to kill us. I was all for giving people second chances, but surely at some point, self preservation surely should kick in?
Within seconds she was back in the Tardis, her blond hair messy and tussled.
‘Maybe not.’ She sucked in her lips as she shrugged off her coat, dropping it on the floor as she headed towards the console.
‘Is that a bullet hole?’ My eyes were still on the doctor when Ryan spoke, but they dropped to the coat, now on the floor, a dark burnt ring steaming a little above the pocket.
My legs had already started moving before I’d thought about it, and though I was sent flying when she pulled the lever I was next to her in seconds.
‘Doctor?’ She winced as I put my hands on her hips, checking her over.
‘Just a flesh wound.’ She flapped a hand at me, shooing me away.
There was a little blood on her shirt, but nothing much.
‘Doc?’ Graham said, warningly, his eyebrows raised.
‘Time for bed.’ She said finally, as though daring any of us to question her.
She strode purposefully towards our room, and I turned round to talk to Ryan and Graham.
‘Don’t worry, I’ll look after her.’ They nodded at me, and turned off towards their room.
‘Doctor?’ I called out after her, picking up the first aid kit before jumping up the stairs two at a time.
The Tardis was massive, and it didn’t take much to get yourself lost. I counted the rooms on the corridor as I went down, one, two, three, there. Fourth door on the right, and I let myself in.
The bunk bed dominated the room, but apart from that there wasn’t much there. We had a chest each for clothes, and the floor was made of a deep oak that always seemed to be warm.
‘Doc?’ I called, and her head bent over the top of the bunk.
‘Yes?’ Her voice was innocent, as though she hadn’t just possibly been attacked, and I raised an eyebrow, hands on hips.
‘What happened?’ I asked, and she flopped back on the bed, obscuring herself from view.
‘Nothing. I mean, well, I offered safe passage off the ship. They weren’t happy. There was a gunshot. But nothing else.’ She peeped over the edge again, her fleece pyjamas just visible beneath her chin.
‘Can I take a look? I am trained, you know...’
‘You really don’t need to - I am a doctor, you know’ She mimicked.
‘Doctor.’ My voice sounded more whiny than stern, but she relented, throwing back the covers.
I hauled myself off the floor and onto her bunk, tucking my legs up underneath me.
From the floor it had looked like there wouldn’t be enough room to sit upright comfortably, but as I did so, my head hit nothing - I wondered with Tardis rooms could change sizes, and pushed the thought to the back of my mind as I rubbed my hands together, trying to warm them up a little bit before I touched her.
Suddenly we felt very close, and I could see her holding her head up to watch me.
‘Don’t look.’ I said, more for her benefit than mine, and she settled her head back on to the pillow, her hair splaying out around her.
I swallowed and moved her shirt up a few inches, looking at the wound.
It was only superficial, but must have hurt, and my suspicions were confirmed when I went to touch the skin around it and she winced, I brought my hand back as quick as though it burnt.
‘Sorry.’ My voice was smaller than I meant for it to be, and I could already feel tears stinging at my eyes.
How could anyone do this to her?
I looked up at the ceiling for a second before continuing, taking out a dressing and placing it on the wound, using my hand to smooth it down.
As I finished I looked up to see her watching me, the same blush on her face that I had seen earlier.
I half-smiled, not sure of myself enough to talk, and pulled my hand away from the flat of her stomach, suddenly aware that it had stayed there, resting beside the dressing.
‘Yaz.’ Her voice was as small as mine had been, and my eyes flicked away from the dressing and up to hers.
I let out a breath I didn’t realise I had been holding and watched as she moved her hand from her side, reaching out and putting mine back where it had been against her.
With her elbow, she propped herself up and I reached out to support her, our eyes on each other, our bodies inches apart.
She smiled that little smile of hers, as though this was the most alien situation she could possibly be in, and a sadness rose inside me that she could get to such an age and not have anyone by her side when we met her.
I tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and smoothed it down, my hand trailing down to rest on her neck.
My heart was beating so hard that the whooshing of blood was all that was ringing in my ears, and as I felt her hand wrap round my waist there was nothing I could do but lean forwards, closing the gap between us, my lips coming to rest on hers.
I kissed her, and felt her tense for a second, long enough for me to begin to pull away, a flush rising to my cheeks, my hands letting go as I wondered if I had seriously misread the whole situation.
But then her hand reached up to my neck as I had done to her just moments previously, and without hesitation she deepened the kiss, pulling me back to her as though her restraint had weakened and she had decided to allow herself this happiness, if only for a moment.