Queen of Hearts
A Doctor Who drabble
Cast: Peri, Yrcanos, 10, Jack, Martha

Summary: will be rewritten to include in Project Gallifrey. The Tenth Doctor, Jack, and Martha (the same pairing from Glitz and Glamour) find Peri years after he was taken away in his sixth life. Ignoring the events of Bad Therapy. I like happy endings to things.

-The planet Thordon, three days after the events shown in Mindwarp-

"Oh…my head…" Peri moaned softly, clutching it with a hand as she slowly regained conscienceness. The last thing she remembered was that horrible lab, Sil's hissing laughter, power flooding her brain like fire…Strong yet gentle hands grasped her shoulders, helping her to sit up as she tried to clear the fog from her mind.

"Take it easy my Queen, you are safe. The evil one Sil has been vanquished." A deep voice rumbled with pride and concern, as a cup of liquid was pressed into her hands. She lifted it up and sniffed the contents warily before gulping the water gratefully, the cool liquid soothing her parched lips and throat.

"D-doctor?" She stammered softly, blinking the haze from her vision, but the face that swam into view was not her companion; instead, King Yrcanos of Thordon was beaming brightly at her. She stiffened nervously and glanced around. Instead of the bright sterile white of the laboratory, or the dark caves she was expecting, she had been lain in a bed in a large, courtly room, quite luxurious for barbarian society standards, and the Doctor was nowhere in sight.

"Wh-what happened? Where's the Doctor? Where am I?" She demanded, clutching her fingers nervously onto the sleeve of the King's white tunic, swallowing fearfully. He grasped her hand firmly in reassurance and smiled a smile that wasn't entirely comforting, though it was softer then she expected.

"Please calm yourself, Perpegillium. You are on my home planet of Thordon, far from Thoros Beta, in the royal bedchambers of my palace. The evil Sil attempted to burn your mind away and make you as one of them. I and my men rescued you from their machine in time, but you have been in dreamstate for several days now."

Peri gaped at him in horror and reached up to run her fingers through her hair in nervous habit. There was only soft peach fuzz where her brown curls had been, and she made a small noise of alarm in her throat. Yrcanos's expression fell to a forelorn sort of apology. "They shore your beautiful locks in the machine, my Queen. I am sorry."

Peri swallowed, forcing back the rise of sickness and panic that threatened to overcome her calm, and closed her eyes. "Wh-where is the Doctor, Yrcanos?"

Yrcanos's eyes darkened as he frowned, growling beneath his breath. "That dirty traitorous slime, I should've torn his heart from his chest when I had the chance, the dastardly-"

"Yrcanos!" Peri interrupted in a voice far louder then she normally used, grabbing his shoulder and staring fearfully into his eyes. "What. Happened. To. The Doctor."

Yrcanos frowned, gazing into his would-be-Queen's brown eyes, and sighed. "He was taken, Perpegillium. One of my men witnessed it; a bright light, like from the very heavens, appeared, and a great blue box appeared from the thin of the air, and he was dragged within and vanished. He is gone, Peri."

As the words sank in, the last frail strand of calm snapped, and Peri broke into tears, sobbing into the King's crisp white tunic, and she found she needed the comfort of his arms around her shoulders.


-The planet Thordon, 6 years relative time, and 4 regenerations later-

The gentle strains of drumbeats and lutes wafted over the peaceful square as the people of Thordon lay down their arms and lust for the fight and celebrated together beneath the Harvest moon. Queen Perpegillium smiled politely at a few of her subjects as she leaned back in the throne chair, casting her eyes to the stars as the firelight danced across the faces of the dancers. A twinge of heartache touched her chest, a memory of the past, and she sighed softly, before looking to her left, at the laughing face of her husband. Yrcanos had proved himself to be a good man, and she had worked well with him over the years, even showing him a new way of life beyond the self-sacrificial lust for war. The culture was now an intermingling of the old and the new, and their reign was a prosperous one. Beaming as one of the courtiers offered a hand to dance; she glanced at Yrcanos briefly before letting herself be swept into the celebrations.

The dance was bright and the step lively, but she floated on the notes like a bird, finding her lungs breathless as it ended. As she pushed her brown curls from her eyes, she got her first good look at the young man who had pulled her into the tapestry of motion. Scruffy brown hair matched his soulful deep eyes, and his smile was unfamiliar and bright, but there was enough recognition, sorrow and pride in his expression that made her breath catch in her throat.

"Queen Perpegillium of the Browns. An honor it is." He spoke in soft tease, and she knew.

"Doctor," She said in confidence with a shocked fish-out-of-water expression. "How did you- Where did you- What did you…is it really you?" He grinned, his new smile of almost manic delight and swept her into a hug, promising to explain everything. Then he took her hand, and she followed the Time Lord across the square, towards King Yrcanos. His hand fit to hers like a glove, though it was new and unfamiliar. Her husband, who normally had a jealous streak against any man who dared touch her, seemed to know already who the young man was. Perhaps he had been told: he had been exchanging stories with a dashing young man in a World War II duster and a young, dark-skinned woman in a rumpled skirt that touched her ankles, two anachronisms amidst familiar faces. The Doctor's current companions, most likely.

Long after the dancers had retired, and the flames burnt away, and the pale of dawn touched the sky in gentle orange, Peri still sat with the Doctor, and talked. Resentment and sorrow were pushed further away as she listened to his story; she couldn't blame him for what he had no control over. After his trial, he had never been able to return, part of him afraid she had not survived as the Valeyard had said. The part that wanted to return was kept away, the TARDIS being drawn off course every time he tried, and eventually he gave up, having bigger things to worry over. His own path; Fenric and Ace; the Faction; the Daleks; the War. And then there was no more Gallifrey to interfere.

And when the day broke after their visit of several days, when she and Yrcanos came to wish them well on their journey, with Jack and Martha waiting in the background, he asked her a question.

"Are you happy here, Peri? I know it was a long time ago, but you're still welcome in the TARDIS…I can take you home, to Earth…"

His soulful brown eyes had gazed deep into hers, and she could see the glimmer of hope, and the sparkle of sadness. He missed her. And for a moment, she wanted to say yes.

But was she happy? She couldn't answer that. Happy had never been more then a gray area for her. And she doubted she could ever feel true happiness after what she had witnessed in her travels. But, she decided, she was content. And that was enough for her.

She gave him the gentlest of smiles, and reached up to kiss his freckled cheek. "Its not for me anymore, Doctor. This is my home now. Time has its Lord, and Thordon needs its Queen."

He smiled in understanding, and nodded, pressing a kiss to her forehead lightly before grinning his brightest, proudest smile. "Take care of yourself, your highness." He ordered mockingly, shaking his finger at her.

Peri grinned in amusement. And as he turned to go, unlocking the TARDIS and sweeping his hand to allow his two companions to enter first, she called out, "And if you wait another six years to visit, I'll have to thump you into your next regeneration!"

He grinned impishly, and raised his hand in a farewell wave, before ducking inside. Peri smiled, and leaned against her husband's arm, watching the blue box fade into nothingness with the old familiar song of time and space.