*Laughs nervously* Heh heh ... eh ... I kind of wrote another one. Don't blame me! I'm listening to all of my Simon and Garfunkel songs, and each one makes me write another oneshot! I kept yelling in time with the song, "The Boxer", and my sister got annoyed so I took out my frustrations in this. Oh, and, for those of you that catch the Doctor Who reference, you guys get extra cookies. I hope you like it!
Clockwork was never one to meddle, the one rule of Time that had been stressed so many times throughout his ghostly life. It was the first thing he had learned, when he first opened his blaring-red eyes to find one green one staring back at him. He had learned, through all of those years of training, never to ever meddle – he's got the scar to prove it.
And yet, the Master of Time was left, contemplating his options as he stared at the table across the room. Or, more specifically, the thermos standing uncharacteristically innocuous, excluding the small rattle now and again.
Finally rolling his eyes at his antics, he flew over to the cylindrical container and twisted the top, fear dissipating as fierce determination took it's place.
Dan didn't move much when he planned and plotted – Er, I mean, slept. He had to keep quiet, after all. Wouldn't want Clockwork to find out anything about his plans to escape. For once, he had the advantage, being out of time, and all, and he wasn't going to leave the element of surprise out of his arsenal.
But, that same element was used rather slyly against him as there was suddenly a large whoosh, and the pressure that Dan knew came from the thermos abruptly lifted. Laying in shock at the bottom of the thermos for a few moments, it finally dawned on him what must have happened. And so, Dan burst from the thermos, the cap shooting off probably into some corner – but no matter. He was finally free!
And yet, the first thing he saw as he was set free was Clockwork. Now, it wasn't only that Dan had not expected to see Clockwork – he had thought someone else had let him out, because Clockwork was gone. However, it was even more puzzling to find Clockwork sitting at a small table, staff leaning against his chair as he held a book in one hand and a cup of steaming tea in the other.
Clockwork barely looked up as Dan came out, his feet touching the floor and his muscles enjoying the stretch they hadn't been allowed in a long time. "Sit," beckoned the Master of Time. "Have a muffin. I'm also making some tea, if you'd like some."
Dan simply stared, unbelievingly, as Clockwork gestured soundlessly to a seat across the table, where a plate with a single muffin was sitting. "Er," he said rather intelligently. Clockwork looked up at him with red eyes lacking irises. Dan got the feeling that if he could, Clockwork would be rolling them in exasperation. His tone certainly implied that he was.
"Well? Are you going to join me, or are you going to continue to stand there like an idiot?" Dan blinked, slowly walking over to the seat opposite Clockwork.
"You set me free." It wasn't a question.
"I did," Clockwork answered anyway.
" … Why?" came the inevitable question, and the Master of Time sighed, waving a hand and making the book in his hand – Dan briefly caught a glimpse of Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix – vanish into thin air. He looked at Dan blandly and said, as if Dan was stupid, "It's your death day."
Dan blinked again, finally realizing what he meant. "So … you set me free … so we could dine … because it is the anniversary of the day I died? What kind of trick is this?"
The Master of Time simply rolled his eyes again. "I can put you back inside the thermos, if you'd like." At Dan's consequent huff of incredulity, Clockwork frowned. "I can assure you, this is not a trick. And, I can also guarantee you that I can and will suck you back into that thermos if you do not behave."
"I am not a child," Dan snarled, and Clockwork rolled his eyes, disappearing for a moment before reappearing with two cups of steaming tea. His first one was gone. And, upon smelling the calming scent of the tea, he decided to take it in stride.
"So … Do ghosts always celebrate their death days? I fear I might have been too busy destroying the world to notice," Dan asked evenly, sipping some of his tea and even taking a bite out of his muffin.
"Not usually. I simply found a coincidental excuse to let you out to find some company." Dan couldn't tell whether or not he was being sarcastic or not, as Clockwork took a bite out of his own muffin, washing it down with some tea as well.
"Well, I'm here. What now?" Dan asked, putting down his cup of tea. Clockwork looked up, and shrugged.
"In all honesty, I had originally wanted to discuss various philosophical theories with you. It tends to get boring, attempting to debate with yourself." Dan felt Clockwork gauging his reaction. Seeing nothing stopping him, the older ghost continued. "How do you feel about the theory of strictly progressional expanses of Time?" Dan stared.
"Hm," he thought for a moment. "Well, I feel that since I'm talking to the Master of Time, who should undoubtedly know the correct answer, I will be pressured into choosing the option with the most common sense, instead of my own thoughts." Instead of acting irritated or annoyed, as Dan had expected, Clockwork just nodded. "And if this pressure were to be relieved? What would your opinion be?"
Dan considered the ghost in front of him, and then said, "Although it does not appear to be completely sensible, I believe that Time is rather … a winding path. And, yes, the cliché idea is not lost on me.
"But, back to the point, I believe … there are different paths, different timelines that lead different worlds, and different dimensions. Certain worlds will take certain paths. However, instead of choosing … I believe that everything is set in stone. Even if some events cannot be seen by the Master of Time himself, everything is already predicted, and shown to only a select few."
Clockwork nodded, turning this idea over in his mind. "I can see how you would think that. However, I would like for you to explain, with this idea in mind, how, if every world has it's own path, that you were able to cross into another one?"
Dan took a small bit of his muffin and leant back in his chair, sipping a bit of tea as he thought. "I would explain simply that – it was meant for both of our worlds to collide – and, in doing this, it joined our paths, our worlds, for the smallest amount of time. However, the path would become too large for them to stay together, so they either had to be separated, or they would both just … cease to exist. Instead, the variable that had closed the bridge between the two paths, in this case, me, was taken out and placed outside of any other paths, and put on one of my own. The two paths were separated, and the two worlds went their own ways."
Clockwork stared at Dan for a moment, putting down the cup he had been drinking out of down on the table with a soft clink. "I see," he said, and Dan was a little satisfied to find that he had rendered the Master of Time speechless – or, at least, made him give the impression that he was. "This has been most enlightening."
Dan nodded, surprising himself as he stood, closing the space between him and the other ghost. "This was … nice," Dan commented, holding out a hand for Clockwork to shake. Instead, the other ghost simply laughed, picking up his staff.
"My apologies, Dan," Clockwork said, chuckling at the look of frustration on the ghost's face. "But I'm going to take my chances and keep it safe. If you would, please." Dan sighed.
He looked back at Clockwork, saying, "Will we do this again?"
Clockwork tilted his head at him, saying, " … Perhaps."
Dan decided to take what he could get and sighed as he was sucked back into the squished thermos. It was then that he realized three things.
One, Clockwork might not be that bad. The tea and muffin surely weren't bad.
Two, he really should have stretched his legs more. It was extremely uncomfortable in such a cramped space.
And three, he was going to reiterate number one. Clockwork was the absolute worst ghost in the history of ghosts, Dan figured, as he hit his head against the metal walls of the thermos, yelling "Let me out!" Only one other voice echoed out into the room where the Master of Time was floating, with a definite smirk covering his features.
Ah, how I love annoying people with the Box Ghost. I hope you liked it, I'd love you if you reviewed.