Turn Your Back, Look Away and Blink
Chapter One: Weeping Angels
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who and gain nothing from the creation of this story
AN: Almost five years old and this remains one of my most recommended stories. Thank you to all the longtime fans of this story. I am cleaning it up and doing a little expansion so it matches my current writing style a bit better. If you are reading it for the first time then please remember that it was written during season three so Journey's End had not yet happened.
Senior Torchwood Agent Rose Tyler breathed in the fresh earthy smell of the grass as she sat down on one of the low benches of the park. She pushed a few of her dark blonde hair from her face and sighed softly. Taking a walk instead of going out to lunch was proving to have been a good idea despite it leaving her with her thought. A morning storm had cleansed the earth making it smell so alive.
Rose pulled out a small sandwich from her bag and unwrapped it as she looked around the park. It was close to Torchwood and she had often retreated here from work over the course of the last five years, but something new caught her eye today. It was a statue on the other side of the flower gardens and was about human height, but she couldn't quite make out the shape of it. Rose stood up from the bench, still nibbling on her sandwich and walked toward it.
Rose blinked in surprise at the appearance of the odd new statue when she could see it clearly. It was a full sized angel in a draping robe with feathered wings but held its face in its hands as if crying. Turning slightly, Rose could see three almost identical statues only a few feet away. She shrugged off the odd additions to the park and turned to start back to work. Suddenly, a cold rush overtook her and she slammed her eyes shut, dropping her purse in the process.
Falling was the only thing she was aware of. Ice was washing over her and Rose couldn't breathe at all. Then it all stopped as suddenly as it had started and her legs gave out underneath her. Rose sucked in a greedy breath and shuddered as the cold began to dissipate from her body. Opening her eyes, unsure of when she'd closed them, Rose found herself in some sort of field.
Rose leapt to her feet and spun in place as she tried to take it all in. She was no longer in the central London park but was instead in a large open farm field. A scarecrow hung not ten meters from her and Rose could make out only a few small buildings nearby. After taking a deep breath, Rose took another look around and recognised that her location had completely changed. London was gone, the statues were gone and even the purse that had fallen to her feet was gone. Rose pulled her black suit coat tighter around herself to fight the early morning chill.
"Oi, what are you doing out here my field?" A masculine voice called out suddenly to her right.
Turning, Rose saw a heavyset man in a brown suit. Judging from his clothing, Rose was already beginning to guess that something had gone very wrong with her lunch hour. She wrapped her arms tighter around herself as she started moving toward the man, grateful that she was at least wearing sensible shoes.
"I'm sorry sir could you tell me where I am?" Rose asked as politely as she could manage.
The man baulked at her question for a moment before he answered her, "You're near Farringham miss." The look of shock on Rose's face must have alerted him that she wasn't just an insane woman standing around in a man's suit since he asked, "Are you quite all right?"
Rose shook her head and looked around before asking, "Pardon me sir but what is the date and year?"
The man raised his eyebrows high at the woman's question but answered gently, not wanting to alarm the clearly ill woman, "November 1, 1913."
"And I'm near Farringham?" Rose repeated uneasily, biting her bottom lip.
His whole bearing changed as he said, "Yes miss now come along, it is clear you need some rest and warming up."
The gentleman gently took her arm and began to lead her towards a well-trod dirt road running along the field. Rose nodded to him as her mind raced. She was almost a hundred years in the past and couldn't be certain what universe she was in. They'd never been certain how that all worked and she doubted she'd get an answer now. The safest option was to play the part of a woman in need of help until she found the source of or a solution to her problem. She whispered an apology to her mother under her breath for vanishing again as she allowed the man to lead her toward his home.
"I am Mister Clarke," her escort suddenly offered as they walked slowly. "Might I inquire your name and where you are from?" He asked politely.
Taking a moment to think, Rose came to a fast decision to fake it and answered, "My name is Rose . . . " she trailed off, " . . . I think but I can't remember anything."
Her guide stopped suddenly and exclaimed, "Nothing?"
Rose meekly shook her head and looked down at her clothes, "I can't even recall how I came to be in these clothes or in your field."
Looking back at her Mister Clarke gently said, "Well don't worry my home is just a little further. My wife will get you cleaned up and warm. The school has a nurse, I'm sure she'll take a look at you since our village's doctor is travelling."
Nodding Rose put on a genuinely grateful face as she replied, "I cannot thank you enough for your help."
Mister Clarke straightened up and firmly informed her, "I'm a gentleman Miss Rose."
They walked in silence until they reached a small house at the junction of two fields. It was an old stone building with ivy growing on one side and surrounded by a small yard. Smoke was curling up from the chimney which only made the place seem all the more charming and invited to Rose. The chill of however she'd been pushed through time was still clinging to her bones.
Mister Clarke opened the door and motioned Rose inside. She sighed in relief as she stepped into the warm air and felt it start to seep into her body. A middle-aged woman with dark brown hair piled atop her head stepped into the main room, her eyes widening at the sight of Rose. Mister Clarke cleared his throat to regain his wife's attention.
"Anne," Mister Clarke said with an air of importance, "I found this girl out in the fields, clean her up while I fetch the school's nurse to look her over."
Anne nodded to her and held out a hand to Rose as Mister Clarke turned and left the house. Rose blushed as the woman's eyes swept over her pants suit. Travelling with the Doctor it always seemed like only this era had problems with her wearing the wrong thing.
Seeing the look Anne shook her head and said, "I'd say the first thing is to get you into some civilised clothes and burn those horrid things."
Nodding quickly in agreement, Rose commented, "I do wish I knew how I came to be wearing them."
Anne raised an eyebrow in alarm and replied, "Goodness don't you know Miss . . . "
"Rose, my name is Rose." Rose gave an exaggerated sigh, "That seems to be the only thing I remember. I'm not even sure where I'm from."
Anne's face instantly morphed into a gentle and concerned look as she pulled Rose gently into a bedroom and pulled a dress out from an old wardrobe in the corner set up next to a changing screen. The room was dim with the curtains drawn and seemed quite stuffy and deserted. None the less, Anne held the dress up with a soft smile.
"It's nothing fancy Rose, one of the dresses my daughter left here before her marriage," Anne informed her. "She married a well-educated lad only a few months back. He is in the army so she's far away with him now."
Rose nodded as she stepped behind the changing screen with the clothes, listening to the woman's voice distantly. What she really wanted to know was what had thrown her from 2012 back to 1913 and how she could get home.
Smiling, Martha Jones looked up as Professor John Smith walked past her and Jenny in the school's main hall. Her fingers were clenched around the scrubbing brush and her knees were aching, but she couldn't help but take in the sight of him. A sharp nudge from Jenny brought Martha out of her thoughts of the Doctor and his temporary human alter ego, John Smith.
"Head in the clouds, that one," Jenny remarked with a smile. "Don't know why you're so sweet on him."
"He's just kind to me, that's all. Not everyone's that considerate, what with me being-" Martha explained as she motioned to her face with a hand but Jenny just smiled warmly.
"Exactly!" Martha laughed, "Good old London town."
Two senior boys walking past, Baines and Hutchinson, stopped and looked down at them. "Ah, now then, you two," Baines said raising an eyebrow causing them to look up at them. "You're not paid to have fun, are you? Put a little backbone into it."
"Yes sir sorry sir," Martha replied quickly.
Hutchinson opened his mouth to make some remark when the door of the school opened and Mister Clarke entered. Baines straightened and turned to the man who merely glanced at the young man, seemingly dismissing him.
"I need to speak with your headmaster and the school nurse," Mister Clarke barked at Baines.
"Of course sir. I'll fetch the Headmaster at once," Baines agreed before he looked down at Martha. "You girl fetch the nurse."
Martha ignored his tone of voice, deciding instead to answer to the urgency of Mister Clark's voice. It still stung of course, but she'd had much worse. She tossed her cleaning rag into the bucket and took off up the stairs. It only took her moments to reach the nurse's office and Martha knocked sharply on the door. A voice answered for her to come in a moment later.
Stepping into the small room, Martha gave the blonde woman seated at the desk a respectful nod. The woman lifted the pen she'd been using off the journal page and gave Martha her full attention.
"Sorry Matron Redfern but a man from the village has arrived, it seems he needs to speak with you," Martha informed her quickly. "He's down in the main hall ma'am."
Matron Redfern nodded sharply; putting down the pen she had been holding and closing the journal in front of her. She breezed past Martha quickly and down the hall. Martha followed her quickly, barely noticing the door of John Smith's room opening as he looked out.
They arrived back in the main hall in time for Martha to see Mister Clarke shaking the Headmaster's hand. She had to wait for the Matron to reach the bottom of the stairs but slipped to the side so she could listen in out of the way.
"Sorry to disrupt your school Headmaster but a strange ill girl was found in my fields this morning and Doctor Adams is in London. I was hoping your nurse could take a look at the girl."
"Of course Mister Clarke," Matron Redfern replied as she moved over to join the two men. "Where is the girl?"
"I left her in the care of my wife," Mister Clarke explained. "She was in a frightful state when I left her, seems she can't remember anything but her name."
"She may be in shock," Matron Redfern informed him with a thoughtful look, "I'll be but a moment."
Clutching her skirts, Matron Redfern rushed up the stairs to the infirmary to collect a few things. Martha looked after her with worry; in a village like this, strangers could mean the family had arrived.
"Is it just the one girl sir?" Martha asked making both gentlemen frown at her. "I mean no offence," she quickly added, "But is it possible she was travelling with others."
Mister Clark seemed to consider this for a moment before saying to the Headmaster, "It seems likely if there was an accident nearby it is our duty to assist."
"You're welcome to bring the girl here to the infirmary to stay until Doctor Adams returns," the Headmaster agreed with a nod. "Matron Redfern will tend to her and still be available should the students require her. I will take some of the older boys out and check the area. If this woman was travelling with others who are injured then we will find them."
Mister Clarke seemed rather happy with that arrangement as Matron Redfern returned with her medical bag, dressed in a coat and hat.
"Do you have what you need Matron Redfern?" The Headmaster questioned gently, Matron Redfern nodded to the Headmaster. "Excellent, now if the patient is fit you will return with her here. Until Doctor Adams returns, we will help see to her health and safety."
"Of course sir," Joan answered with a nod stepped up to the main doors.
With a nod to the Headmaster, Mister Clarke stepped out of the nurse's way to allow her to leave the building. Martha peered out through the main door and watched as Mister Clarke escorted Matron Redfern to a small one horse cart. He offered her his hand and helped her climb up onto the seat before climbing up himself.
"It is a short ride matron," Mister Clarke informed her and then they were on their way.
Sighing, Martha returned to helping Jenny clean up the main hall before withdrawing to the kitchen to take the midday meal to the teachers. She couldn't shake the bad feeling brewing in her stomach. Shock after an accident was certainly possible, but the timing was a bit much. Martha picked up John Smith's tray as soon as it was ready and climbed the stairs to his room. She shifted the tray to one hand so she could knock on the door. Martha relaxed when he called for her to come in.
Glancing up at her as she set the tray on his desk John asked, "What was the commotion earlier."
"Mister Clarke from the village sir found an ill woman with no memory," Martha informed him carefully. "As the village doctor is in London, Matron Redfern went to look her over."
"I certainly hope the woman is all right," John replied with a nod of understanding.
Martha nodded, still worrying about the family but answered none the less, "I'm sure Nurse Redfern can patch her up, they're bringing her back to the school to rest in the infirmary."
"Ah yes of course," John nodded quickly, "Best thing for this situation."
Nodding in response, Martha lingered near him by tidying up the room. There were books everywhere and Martha wondered if the Doctor was as untidy as this in his own room in the TARDIS. Standing up to stretch John walked to the shelf and picked up the fob watch. Watching him carefully, Martha waited for any sign of recognition, anything really to assure her that the Doctor was in there even though she knew about the perception filter. She lowered her gaze as he set the watch back down and returned to checking over homework. Martha risked one more glance at the watch on the shelf, wishing she knew what to do when the matron returned with the 'ill woman.'