I’ve uploaded photographs to go with this fic of where (yes, the real life place) the action happens, you can view them here and my complete DW fanfiction is also on this site:- http://tangentialtypingsofatimetraveller.blogspot.com/2011/05/photographs-for-fearful-child.html
Title: The Fearful Child
Genre: Episodic, Introspection, Romance, Spooky Ghosts
Summary: The TARDIS picks up an errant transmission of a terrified child that chills Rose’s heart. Together the Doctor and Rose investigate the ghostly goings on and strange disappearances in an old world village but as even the Doctor is effected by the visions and possessions, can the dynamic duo save the day before they join the ranks of the restless dead?
Chapter 2 – Spirit of a Tear
“Oh ‘ello!” the Doctor bubbled with a mega-watt smile as Rose peered over his shoulder, just shy of the threshold of their peripatetic home. “Sorry to barge in unannounced, but that’s us, always gate crashing the best parties.”
A young, blonde haired, blue eyed boy blinked at them, mouth ajar and pupils blow wide with startled indecision and a white knuckled grip on a TARDIS blue, sleeping bag.
Slowly and carefully the duo stepped into the dorm room and quietly closed the door to the mysteries within. “I’m the Doctor and this is Rose. Don’t suppose you need a doctor? No?” The boy was unresponsive.
A delightedly smirk at rendering the kid gob-smacked and speechless passing over his face, Still got it! and the Doctor’s expression quickly morphed into a friendly, encouraging smile. He walked casually over to the child and hunched down on his knees, extracting the sonic screwdriver and waving it over the statuesque boy with a contemplative tongue resting on his top teeth. He loved those teeth.
The sonic beeped and he frowned in consternation, springing to his feet and looming over the bed. “Now that’s interesting? What are you?” he asked more curiously than demanding but when no answer came he grabbed the limp body by the shoulders and repeated the question more firmly.
“I…I’m Timothy,” the captive squeaked.
“Timothy from…? Planet, destination, origin, intergalactic co-ordinates?”
“Hmm…Saul near Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, Earth?”
The Doctor regarded him with an intense tilted and sceptical expression, peering into the boy’s eyes like an alien lie detector. “Say Ahhhhh!” he stuck out his tongue and the boy hesitantly copied. Nothing. He roughly inspected the boy’s ears and felt for lumps through his hair.
The screwdriver bleeped and the Doctor looked at it in arched eye-browed surprise, slowly straightening and following the whir around the room as if he was a puppy on a lead.
“Interesting…” he mumbled.
Rose having had enough of his parlour tricks piped up, “What’s interesting?” following behind him. When he spun around he almost crashed into her, wincing an apology.
“It’s not just the boy; it’s the entire room, the atmosphere.” He strode purposefully back to the shell-shocked resident and buzzed at him with a flick of the wrist.
“Oh, sorry! Human!”
“What?” Timothy choked.
“Human. Homo sapien, early 21stcentury. Sorry about all that. Ha, April Fool’s, gotcha!”
“It’s the end of May,” Timothy replied in confusion as the Doctor ruffled at his rouge hair and jostled awkwardly.
“Right!” he beamed. “Just testing. Well done.”
Rose rolled her eyes and realised that maybe she should mediate the situation.
“Hey Timothy. Do people call you Tim, Timmy? Anyway, don’t mind him; he’s only out for the weekend. Completely insane, bless his cotton socks.” She flashed Timothy one of her universe saving, winning smiles with lots of teeth before roughly grabbing the Doctor by the arm and wheeling him back a few paces toward the demonstrative blue box.
“What’s going on? What did you find?”
“Infrasound 17.79Hertz,” he supplied, ever unhelpful.
“What’s that when it’s at home, then?” she tried not to sound too irritated at the infernal man.
“Infrasound is at a range beyond human hearing but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist or that your brain doesn’t react to it. Many species can emit infrasound, usually as a way to panic to even paralyse their prey, even the earth tiger roars at 18Hertz in the infrasound scale. It makes you feel depressed and afraid like that tickle in the back of your brain that screams stay alert, there’s foreboding, fear and danger ahead.”
“Oh silly me, I thought that was a response to the glint of mischief you get in your eyes just before we have to run for our lives,” she smirked.
“Oi! Don’t dis the science!”
“Dis?” she looked thoroughly amused.
“Yes, dis! I’m cool; I’m down with the kids. Oh, speaking of…”
She rolled her eyes good naturedly at him as he skipped away.
“Timmy, me old chum. Remember those fond nights when I would poke in your ears and call you an alien? Well I was wondering if you’d noticed anything strange happening?” He leaned in like he knew the boy’s innermost secret and wanted to play catch with it!
“The whole place is weird.”
“No, I mean it’s spooky. Out there, all those old houses and things. Michael says there’s a ghost of a blue nun that walks the folk museum at night.”
“Oh, please. I invented the blue nun story round a camp fire at the Hill of Tara in medieval Ireland. Wait, did you say folk museum?” And there was that mischievous glint! Rose glanced surreptitiously down to affirm that yes, she’d changed into her trousers and trainers. Thank goodness she wasn’t the type to obsess over designer high heels and the sartorial art of matching perfection!
“Yeah, old buildings and stuff from the past.” Timothy seemed to struggle to continue and the Doctor instinctively recognised that unsought touch of the otherworldly that vied equally for belief and avoidance. The sense tingling from the very pours of the skin for an audience and the sad loss of a hint of innocence and childhood. “They didn’t believe me,” he whispered.
“I’ll believe you”, and his voice was so soft and sincere, tinged with comfort and respectful attention. His smooth lips kinked in a knowing smile and were mesmerising like a tender caress in a sea of dispossessed souls or a single flame burning with hope and life in a darkened ballroom, drizzled with gossamer webs and empty chairs.
It warmed her somewhere deep inside to know that he would always listen, always believe, that this strange, ineffable alien, condescend to alight from his superior throne and champion the ridiculed and hopeless, the unheard and unheeded voice, finding importance in the smallest of lives and bravest of hearts.
“I couldn’t sleep last night, too many thoughts and pictures in my head. This place does that to you. I was so aware and so scared and then I heard it, the clanging peel of the church bell, but the church is locked up at night, no one is there, no one living and I saw something. I can’t really describe it, like a half remembered dream even though I stared at it afraid to move, even breath. I was like my brain was trying to recognise it but gave up and just showed me a dark blur and then it was gone and I didn’t even realise I’d screamed or was crying ‘til the lights come on and they started to laugh. That’s why I’m in here on my own tonight, I…I wet the bed,” A lone tear of shame and frustration glided from his youthful eyes like the dew of a bleak morning.
“I…I…don’t know why I told you that,” the boy sniffed and Rose’s heart went out to him hoping that the Doctor would notice the gravity of a seemingly trivial submission from a young child.
“Shush!” the Doctor soothed and caught the drip like a precious butterfly lighting on his finger. “You ever wonder about the spirit of a tear? I mean, it’s amazing. All that emotional energy colliding inside our heads until something has to give and we get this salty little droplet. It’s really quite beautiful. No tear is born without a lifetime of influence and experience teaching us what hurts, what scares us, what motivates and thrills us. This tear is not just one feeling, it’s like a memory book, a paradigm of all the times in your life that shaped who you are. You can’t truly feel happiness until you appreciate what is sad or feel scared until you realise that at some time you felt so safe. Look at you, what seven years old? And you’ve already lived so much. You’re incredible,” he stared at him wistfully and full of awe and affection, a small smile of wonderment and the realisation of some vast and incomprehensible design, starting to form on Timothy’s brightening face.
But suddenly, as if compelled to existence by sheer imagination and the telling itself, a haunting chime pierced the too still night and Timothy grabbed onto the Doctor’s woollen coat and buried his face in its comfort.
“I think that’s our cue!” The Doctor smiled quietly before gently extracting the small form and locking onto his expressive eyes. “Don’t be afraid. You’re not alone, and everyone gets scared sometimes, even me. But I get very angry at anything that would make such a brave and fearless boy cry and I’m going to go now and make sure that there is nothing out there that can touch you or hurt you. You’re so full of promise and potential, so much life and nothing has the right to take that from you, you’re life is yours and I can tell you’re going to do great things with it,” He winked cheekily and exerted a confidence and belief that Indiana Jones would be proud of!
“You stay here and look after my blue box,” He rose and patted the TARDIS affectionately.
“If she gives you any bother, tell her I’ll take her back to Hawaii and let the natives decorate her in grass, hula skirts and flower garlands again. I mean who ever heard of a Time machine with hay fever?” and with that he was out the door, a beautiful and vivacious blonde in tow, shuffling down the spiral staircase and unlocking the front door with his trusty sonic.