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30 July 2009 @ 08:00 pm
Fanfic: A Paradoxical Meeting - Part 1  
Title: A Paradoxical Meeting (1/2)
Author: abbyromana
Character(s): Jenny, Susan
Pairing(s): none
Rating: G
Genre: temporal crossover, domestics, hurt/comfort, general, interprespectives
Warning(s): Spoilers for The Doctor's Daughter and The Unearthly Child
Disclaimer(s): All characters and things of Doctor Who belong to the BBC, I'm simply borrowing them for creative output.
Author note(s): This story is part of the gijenny Summer Challenge. It was inspired by the prompt: A21.) Jenny meets Susan Foreman
A huge thank you to clocketpatch for betaing this story for me, so any mistakes you find are solely my fault.
Summary: Two of the most important girls in the Doctor's life meet, but is it an accident or was it always meant to (not) happen?



Part 1 | Part 2

 

 

Part 1


There wasn’t much about the five-foot tall slug being that didn’t perplex Jenny. Besides this being’s bloated, inhuman looking form, it spoke a bizarre alien language. It sounded like little more than innate noises to Jenny’s ears, but when she heard other aliens speaking the same way, she guessed those noises were the local language. That was what was proving to be the problem.

When Jenny first spotted this slug-like vendor’s three stands, she’d been very excited. Each stand held different foods, all tantalizing her taste buds. In particularly, she liked the warm smell wafting from the three large pots on his centre stand. She didn’t have a clue what was inside the pots, but the smell made her aching stomach rumble excitedly. Thus, she’d been more than willing to attempt communication with the slug-like vendor to buy or trade for a bit of the contents of one of the pots. Now, she wasn’t so sure.

Jenny narrowed her eyes and strained her ears to discern what the long line of clicks and grunt-like sounds meant, but she couldn’t figure out whether the slug-like vendor was trying to help her or it was telling her off for wasting its time. Even the volume and tone of its voice left her baffled. Still the slug-like vendor continued to speak to her, only occasionally turning away to serve other slug beings and alien-like visitors to its food stand. All of them seemed to have little to no trouble communicating with the slug-like vendor.

So for a bit, Jenny tried to figure out any of their alien tongues, hoping that if she could communicate with one of them, they could in turn help her with the slug-like vendor, but their languages too were beyond her. She was left frustrated, feeling even hungrier and quite isolated in the bustling marketplace. Of all the troubles she’d considered before leaving Messaline, the language barrier wasn’t one of them. It was one factor that her soldier skills couldn’t overcome, at least, not without unpleasant consequences

Jenny wasn’t a linguistics expert. When the progenitor created her from her father’s DNA, it had downloaded known, active human-based languages and the bubble language of the Hath into her brain. Unfortunately, this planet, which her ship identified as Belaciss, was the first planet she’d visited where they didn’t speak any variation of either of the language types she knew.

Rubbing her eyes, she felt a headache forming in her temples. Its throbbing echoed the ache of her grumbling stomach. More than hundred hours ago, she’d left the planet of Risan, where there had been plenty of humans and food. Everything had seemed fine. She hadn’t a concern in the world about food, but forty-eight hours ago, some Tralorian Pirates attacked her ship. Her ship was no match for the pirates’ sleek, fast cruiser. She had to try a tricky slingshot manoeuvre around a large asteroid to escape them, but in her haste to do so, a stray piece of the asteroid had punctured her holding bay. All the food and a significant portion of her fuel had been sucked out into space.

Belaciss had been the first planet within safe distance to get help to fix her ship, to refuel, and to restock. However, the lack of ability to communicate was hindering all of that. She had hoped going into the city would prove helpful, but so far, she’d seen no one who could help her, making it seem an impossible task. If she knew about any human colonies nearby, she’d have left some time ago, but according to her ship’s star charts, there were none within a week’s flight. An impending feeling was quickly growing over Jenny as she realised she might be trapped on this planet, where she couldn’t communicate with anyone. She’d never felt so alone and in need of a familiar face.

Cursing under her breath, Jenny tried again to communicate through physical gestures what she wanted from the food vendor. Pointing at one pot repetitively, she drew the slug-like vendor’s full attention. She brought that hand up to her face, and then opening her mouth widely, she pointed at it, occasionally making a scooping gesture into her mouth with a cupped hand. Finally, she brought that hand down to her abdomen and started to rub it, while putting a big smile on her face and making yummy noises.

The smooth area above the slug being’s pinprick-sized eyes wrinkled. It cocked its head to the right side for a moment. Jenny held her breath as the slug-like vendor’s lipless mouth opened a bit. Involuntarily, her gesturing hand gripped tightly to her shirt, daring to hope she’d finally gotten through to the slug-like vendor. However, it only made a new series of grunting and clicking noises and pointed at the pot and then her. It stopped briefly, staring at her pointedly for a moment, and then it repeated the noises and pointed between the pot and her again. Jenny’s face completely fell. Her feeling of hopelessness bloomed over her, almost consuming the ache in her stomach.

“He’s saying it will be five micas for the food,” a voice from behind Jenny piped up suddenly, sounding very human.

Jenny spun around on the spot. The grinning form of a young human-looking girl about Jenny’s height greeted her. She had short black hair that framed a pair of bright brown eyes. Jenny gapped at the girl.

“But he says if you want to sample, it’s free,” she added, placing her hands behind her purple and white clothed form. There was still a pleasant, beaming grin on her face, which momentarily, reminded Jenny of her father’s smile

“Oh!” Jenny said, her blue eyes widening to take in the first human or human-looking person she’d seen on this planet. There was a mixture of shock and relief flooding over her. “You understand it, I mean, him?”

“Oh, of course!” the girl exclaimed, ambling towards Jenny. “I’m assuming you can’t.”

Jenny reluctantly nodded. “Unfortunately, not one of the languages I know.”

“First time to Belaciss?” the girl inquired with raised eyebrows. She leisurely moved around Jenny, keeping a bit of a distance. Her slender hands glided back to her sides.

Jenny watched her with great interest. She was trying to be cautiously watchful of the girl, in case she was some sort of theft looking to make Jenny her latest target. Still, some small part of her brain kept insisting that if Jenny looked away from the girl for even a second, she might disappear, leaving Jenny on her own again. She didn’t want to be alone again, especially now that she found someone she could communicate with about this world. All these silly thoughts were ridiculous, because the girl had done nothing to convince Jenny that she was capable of either. So, Jenny couldn’t help but nervously chuckle.

“That obvious, huh?” Jenny stated.

The girl just beamed back with her brilliant smile. “Can I be of any help?” she asked, stopping on the right side of Jenny, in front of the slug-like vendor’s stand.

“Uh, sure,” Jenny replied. “Do you know how I can get some of what is in that first pot?” She pointed to the pot that perfumed the air with a rich, mouth-watering smell of meat and spices.

“Sure!” the girl said. Not wasting a second, she turned on the spot towards the slug-like vendor behind the stand. Then in a series of very deliberate clicks and grunts, she addressed him. A short exchange of sounds continued as Jenny noticed the girl reach into her right black, form fitting pants pocket producing five elongated strips of dark blue metal.

Jenny bit her lip, feeling self-conscious that the girl was about to pay for Jenny’s meal. She appreciated the girl’s help, but she didn’t want to make her use her own money. More than likely, the girl had better things she’d needed to use that for then helping out a wandering do-gooder like Jenny.

“No, you don’t…” she started to say, but stopped when she saw both of the vendor and the girl were staring at her.

“Do you have some micas on you?” the girl asked, raising her eyebrows again at Jenny.

“Well, no, but…” Jenny admitted, shifting nervously from foot to foot. That was something else she hadn’t really considered before leaving Messaline: money, particularly on alien worlds.

The girl just beamed a huge smile at Jenny. “Then allow me to help,” she said, sounding more than happy as she placed the alien money into the slug being’s outstretched tendril. “Besides Grandfather gave me too much anyway to use, and it’s unlikely we’ll be coming back here anytime soon.”

“Oh, thank you then,” Jenny said simply, still feeling nervous about letting the girl pay for her. The girl didn’t know her, and she didn’t know the girl, so it felt odd taking her money. Still, the girl wasn’t going to let Jenny stop her from helping. She acted as if it was the most natural thing to do. That puzzled Jenny as she watched the girl continue speaking to the slug-like vendor.

He nodded his head, accepting the dark blue, metal strips and responding with a few clicks and grunts. A moment later, he went about filling up a bowl with some of contents of the pot with the aroma of beef and spices. The action was enough to distract Jenny from those puzzling thoughts as she felt her mouth grow suddenly very, very moist.

“You made a good choice,” the girl said, straightening the purple vest covering her white, button-down blouse. “The vendor said it is an old family recipe that he made fresh this morning. And it is the best selling, supposedly.”

“Oh! That’s good then?” Jenny inquired nervously, glancing between the girl and the vendor.

“Oh, family recipes are always the best,” the girl stated with a grin. “I remember Samantha Thompson once brought some home-made chocolate chip cookies that were made from her mum’s family recipe. They were loads better than those I use to buy down from the shop on the way home sometimes.”

"School?” Jenny said questioningly, letting her gaze sweep over the girl. Now, thinking about it, she did look young enough to still be in school, Jenny supposed. Still, she couldn’t imagine even the most advance schools in this time period, taking children to this sort of world, so far from a human colony. “Is that who brought you here?”

“No, I’m with…” the girl laughed, but paused for a moment, nibbling on her lower lip. “Well, there are teachers travelling with my Grandfather and me, but it isn’t as if we’re on a school outing or anything. They just sort of…”

The grunts and clicks of the slug-like vendor interrupted her, and both she and Jenny turned to see him, holding out a steaming bowl of delicious smelling food. Jenny gladly took it and quickly took a spoon full of the lumpy brown contents. Despite its plain, bland appearance, it was spicy and rich against Jenny’s graving tongue. She couldn’t help but make yummy noises as she started to scoop up another spoonful immediately. She had just placed it in her mouth, when she heard both the slug-like vendor and the girl make a soft chuckling noise.

Jenny’s gaze flew towards them, seeing they were watching her with smirks on their faces. Jenny blushed as she watched them once more speak to each other but in quieter clicks and grunts.

“What?!” she exclaimed angrily with a mouthful of food. “What’s so funny?”

The girl smiled at her, shaking her head. “Nothing,” she said simply, returning her attention back to the slug-like vendor, who was speaking to her.

Jenny’s brow furrowed as she placed yet another large spoonful into her mouth. It was so big that she had to chew the large chunks of meat a bit longer, and that’s when she realised what it might be that the vendor and girl thought were so funny. She quickly swallowed her mouthful and lowered her bowl away from her face, feeling her blush grow across it.

“Sorry,” she apologized, quickly using the back of her hand to remove any of the food’s sauce that might be there. “I must look quite greedy and sloppy.”

Turning towards her again, the girl declared with a sympathetic look, “Don’t be! On Belaciss, it is a great compliment for a cook to hear such noises from the eaters, and for him, to see you enjoying it as you do, is even better.”

She placed a hand gently on Jenny’s arm. That’s when Jenny felt a subtle and warm tingle radiate from the spot the girl touched her. For a brief moment, she saw images of Messaline: the dark tunnels, the vast performance theatre, and the luscious garden created by The Source, overlapped with images of another world: breath-taking mountains top with glistening snow, forests of silver leafed trees, and a beautiful orange sky warmed by two suns. When Jenny blinked, the images stopped, and she found the girl had pulled her hand back, but she was still speaking. Only slightly disoriented by the experience, Jenny tried to refocus on what the girl was saying:

“...In fact, it is a great crime on this world to let someone go hungry, if you can feed them. That’s why he was so worried about communicating with you. He wanted to make sure you weren’t starving.”

Jenny’s eyes widened. It had been a long time since someone had been worried about her well-being. “Me? He was worried about me?” she asked, swallowing down another chuck of meat.

“Yes,” the girl explained. “In fact, he was just asking me if there is anything else he can do for ‘the golden girl.’ Is there anything else you need?”

“Um, sure,” Jenny said, lightly tapping her fingertips against the bowl. “If he could, I’d love to get some extra food supplies for my ship, about a week’s worth, if at all possible.”

“Sure!” the girl said with a beaming smile, already turning back to the slug-like vendor. As she explained Jenny’s request to him, Jenny continued to enjoy her food.

oOo

Susan had seen and done much in her young Gallifreyan life. She had visited many worlds and times, met numerous beings, and experienced more than almost any Gallifreyan since the Dark Times. Still, when she spotted a long, blonde haired, human-looking girl standing in front of a Xuianx food vendor on Belaciss, she suddenly felt the powerful mental tug of a new telepathic bond forming between them. It was a strange but familiar experience.

On the one hand, the girl was a complete stranger to Susan. She had no clue of the girl’s identity but noticed that there was an ever so subtle telepathic barrier, as if someone was trying to purposively keep the girl hidden. Still, she felt the girl couldn’t be a complete mystery, since there was also something familiar about her and the telepathic bond between them. It was as if Susan should know her but at the same time shouldn’t. Of course, since Susan wasn’t a full Time Lord like her grandfather, she couldn’t precisely put it into words. However, if she tried, Susan would have guessed that it was as if the universe was bending in on itself. A temporal paradoxical point had formed here with the girl being the epicenter. Something was going to occur here that should never happen and never did happen. Susan suddenly felt a great chill sweep over her, and yet, she continued towards the stranger.

Barely a couple long strides from the girl, Susan recalled why the sensation of the telepathic bond felt familiar to her. She’d felt a similar drawing connection when she was on Gallifrey with her family, and sometimes, she felt it when she stood close enough to her grandfather. Except then, it was usually an active one, but this one seemed untried and frail. From what little she knew about telepathy and Gallifreyans, such a bond in the mind should only happen between those of the same close bloodline. Yet, Susan couldn’t fathom why she should feel the telepathic bond with this complete stranger, unless there was a relationship between paradox and bonding.

That is why Susan dared to meet with the girl. She aided the girl in procuring food, which proved relatively easy for her. The Xuianxes of this world were very friendly and the TARDIS translation circuits made it easy to communicate with them. In fact, Susan made very quick work of that and soon found herself falling into easy conversation with the girl. It felt natural and eye opening whenever she came in close proximity with the girl or as the Xuianx vendor referred to her, ‘the golden girl.’ For brief moments, Susan saw blended images of Gallifrey and a dark but no less gorgeous world. She hoped these images and further conversation would help explain whether the golden girl was the focal point of this paradoxical event or only a subpart of it. Susan briefly considered the possibility that the golden girl was a Time Lady, but that only brought up more questions in Susan’s mind.

During the brief flight in the Xuianx vendor’s transport to the spaceport, Susan talked with the golden girl in the most casual manner possible in hopes of getting a better idea on her identity. For the most part, the golden girl was asking questions about Belaciss. Susan happily answered them to the best of her ability, and learned that the girl was lacking in experience as a traveller, despite her desire to travel.

“I wouldn’t say I haven’t been anywhere,” the golden girl stated, turning her seat to face Susan. “I’ve just not been to many alien worlds. I’ve stuck closer to human colonies.”

“Then not much of an experience there for a girl of the 61st Century who considers herself a traveller,” Susan stated, leaning forward in her chair.

The golden girl shrugged and said simply, “I suppose.” Her gaze briefly shifted towards the Xuianx vendor in the pilot seat, and then, out the front window.

“So what did bring you to Belaciss?” Susan inquired, sitting up attentively in her seat.

“Ah, an accident, actually,” the golden girl said, looking a bit uncomfortable. Her gaze shifted back to Susan.

“What happened?” Susan asked worriedly.

“My ship was attacked... by pirates,” the golden girl explained, fidgeting with the upper part of her seat belt across her chest. “I had to make a rash manoeuvre to escape them, and I ended up losing my cargo: food and fuel, and doing significant damage to my ship.”

“Your ship?” Susan inquired, leaning forward, towards the golden girl. “So you travel alone? No companions, friends, or family with you?”

The golden girl looked up suddenly at Susan, making her hearts momentarily skip a few beats. There was something in that serious stare, in the way the telepathic bond suddenly flared with a bit of energy. It was not so much mistrust towards Susan, more an unspoken fear or discomfort related to her question. She was sure Barbara would have immediately knelt before the golden girl and done something only a mum might do, comfort a terrified child.

Considering the golden girl a bit more, Susan realised that the golden girl might be as much of a child as herself. She might act mature and independent, but the golden girl could be a lot younger than she appeared. After all, if, as Susan was starting to suspect, the golden girl was of blood relation or at the very least a Time Lady, her appearance could be hiding much, but Susan wasn’t really sure what it was hiding.

“No,” the golden girl said suddenly, drawing Susan from her musing. “My father isn’t with me. We... we were separated after a violent confrontation between two warring factions on another world, the world of my creation.”

“You were shot at!” Susan exclaimed, just as a shiver of fear ran down her spine. She didn’t know why she suddenly was so nervous, but it felt like knowing this was important to both figuring out the golden girl’s identity and Susan’s own future, so she inquired, “Were you two alright?”

“My dad was okay,” the golden girl explained, “but I was ...”

Suddenly, a roar from the hover transport’s engines muffled the girl’s next few words. The ship banked right sharply. The Xuianx vendor called from the front, informing them that they’d reached the landing pad with the golden girl’s ship.

Quickly, they were once more on solid ground. The Xuianx vendor quickly squirmed out of his seat. The golden girl followed closely after him. Susan sighed, unbuckling her seatbelt and following after them. She wanted to talk to the golden girl, but the only thing she seemed interested in was getting the supplies aboard, so Susan had to stay with her to help translate. The more Susan got to know the golden girl, the more she found herself drawn to her. Susan just couldn’t shake the feeling that this golden girl might be related to her, but how precisely, and with such a lack of ability to communicate and knowledge of other races, how could she be Gallifreyan, much less a Time Lord like her grandfather?

To be continued...

 

 
 
 
Mindset: TARDIS
My Mood: tiredtired
Musical Muse: Innocence by Avril