Disclaimer: Dr. Who owned by the BBC, title obviously pinched from the Beatles.
Thanks to: Kathy, for beta-reading.
Author's note: This one is a one day early present for Honorh, who wanted a New Who fanfic from me. Happy birthday!
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Harry told her, early on, what she'd have to do in the extremely unlikely case he'd be defeated by the Doctor.
"But," Lucy protested, "would it not be simpler to, well, kill him? If there is even the slightest chance he could undo your work, Harry?"
The thing that struck her about her husband's expression was that there was no laughter in his eyes, no smirk curving his mouth, as he replied: "Oh, but I couldn't possibly kill him."
She was suddenly very aware that wearing an evening dress in a permanently air-conditioned environment made her feel cold. Then the twinkle returned to Harry's eyes as he continued: "Where would be the fun in that?"
Lucy had thought the fun would be in ruling the Earth, with her at his side, but apparently Harry didn't see it that way. She didn't say anything out loud, though. She just gave her promise.
"My faithful companion," he said, and embraced her.
Lucy used to love that phrase, right until the moment she discovered where it came from. There were a lot of UNIT files accessible on a former UNIT carrier, and she didn't have to do much day in, day out while Harry ruled the world, taunted the Doctor and found other ways to amuse himself, ways that did not always include her. It wasn't that she was going behind his back, it really wasn't. She was being a protective wife, looking for a way to kill the Doctor that wouldn't make him regenerate and would not make Harry angry with her. That was why she looked for the files. She didn't find what she was looking for. Instead, she found a list of "known companions of the Doctor" and photos of "the Doctor and his companions". None of the photos showed the man currently kept prisoner on the carrier, but Harry had explained about regeneration, so she did not expect them to. But she kept coming back to the one which showed a man with grey curls and a cape just like the one Harry had worn for meeting the American President at the air port, and the blonde girl gazing up at him, adoringly.
The Doctor and Jo Grant, the file said, his faithful companion.
She never looked at another file again.
Harry talked about drums in his head; not to her, to the other , but she listened, nonetheless. Lucy didn't hear drums, but sometimes, she imagined she could still smell the furnaces. That had been her first impression of the future, when Harry took her there: the horrid stink of burning flesh, and somehow mixed with that the mouldering dampness of decay.
"Utopia," Harry had muttered, then laughed. "Oh, Doctor, you're going to love this!"
That was one reason why she never went down on the surface, though she could have asked. The one time she had done, early on, she had encountered the same smells, and the air was clean, so clean in her castle in the sky. She insisted on it. It was always clean.
The staff still managed to smell. "Can't we get better people?" Lucy asked, and Harry patted her cheek and told her she was adorable. He didn't seem to understand that it was deliberate sabotage, especially by the Jones family. They did it because they knew it reminded Lucy of Utopia. Somehow, they knew, even though she never spoke of it. They probably imagined it would make her feel guilty, which was ridiculous. She had made her choice. She was the most envied woman on the planet. Why would she have regrets?
Nonetheless, she didn't like the way the Jones girl and her mother smelled, and because Harry wouldn't get her replacements, she got them good, new uniforms, and insisted they showered each morning before coming into her presence. She even gave them soaps and deodorants, which were hardly manufactured on Earth anymore, only for her, because Harry wanted her to feel pretty, of course. One would have thought Francine and Tish were grateful, but no. Somehow, they still managed to smell of steel and burning flesh and the sweet, foul scent of decay.
It never stopped. It never, ever stopped.
"He didn't hypnotize me, you know," Lucy said to the old man sitting in his wheelchair. It was night, well, what passed for night time on the i Valiant /i , but Harry wasn't in her bed, so she found herself wandering to the one person she knew wouldn't be asleep, either. "You mustn't think that."
"I don't," he said, and though his voice, that old-man-voice, reminded her of her father, she did not like it at all. It was whispery, like a fly's hums in a spider's web. Lucy did not allow for any spider-webs on board the Valiant, of course. No insects would ever get up here and spoil everything.
"I'll be with him always. Forever."
"Child," he said, "you don't have forever to give. Be grateful."
"I suppose you think you do?" Lucy said archly, using her most disdainful tone, the one that used to have great effect on the servants, back when there was good service and not people who were ungrateful for her efforts to keep them clean. "But you don't. You'll see."
He probably thought she was harmless, too, just like Vivienne Rook had done. None too bright, harmless, decorative. He probably thought she was expendable. Interchangeable. A pretty toy, just like the billions of spheres who had made themselves so pretty in the stink of Utopia.
"I'm sorry," he said.
"You will be," Lucy replied, and left.
Finding the pyre wasn't that hard. Harry had told her it would be in Tarminster, which she had thought to be a tribute to herself, given her father was Lord Cole of Tarminster, until the UNIT file featuring that photo of the Doctor and Jo Grant had pointed out this was where "the Doctor crossed swords with the Master when the Master visited Earth for the first time".
Oddly, the smell didn't bother her, though it was exactly the same as in Utopia. She waited until the Doctor had gone, and then took the ring. It was still warm against her palms, and she heard the laughter, quite distinctly.
"I made my choice," she told it. "I keep my promises. We'll be together forever. Just like this."
She was supposed to get the ring to Cardiff; there was a rift there which would allow Harry to reconstitute himself, that was what he had told her. Unfortunately, she would never get to find out whether it would have worked. Lucy opened the necklace she wore and slipped the ring on it, then put it around her neck again.
"An accessory, darling," she murmured. "A truly decorative accessory. I'll never put it off. Together, like that, forever."
The laughter stopped; instead, she could hear a low hum. Quite like a fly trapped in a web. Well, there would be insects down here, of course.
"I can't tell you, Harry," Lucy said serenely, "how happy I was that you didn't want to spend eternity imprisoned by him. Now that all those nasty misunderstandings are cleared up, I must confess I was a bit worried, at times, that you really did it all for him, every single thing from the time you came to this planet. Silly old me. But that's the past now. We'll be together, like you said. You and me. A Time Lord and his faithful companion."