A/N: Seeing as series 1 has finished I thought I'd end Fragments because... well, I won't be writing any more Doctor/Ashley stories. At least I'm not planning too any time soon (-insert shifty eyes here-). And plus I need to keep any ideas I have for the actual stories in series 2 because I only have ideas for five episodes so far and, well, I'll need 13. 13's a big number y'know :(
Seeing Your Face Again
The Doctor sat at the console, reattaching the lever that had snapped off earlier. He played with the idea of replacing it altogether, but decided against it. The reason being that whenever he opened up the TARDIS to fix one thing, he found something else that needed fixing and before he knew it he had been in orbit of a small planetoid for two weeks after stopping to fix a dead bulb on the console.
He groped behind him for his spanner, but it was just a little out of reach.
'Ashley, could you just-' He stopped and closed his eyes.
It had been two weeks. Well, something like that. It was always hard to judge time in the TARDIS. Two weeks and he still found himself calling for her and talking to her when he got too excited about something. Then he remembered, and each time it seemed harder to pull himself out of the deep pits of his own guilt.
With a sigh he reached back and got the spanner himself, returning to the console. It was always hard to readjust to being alone again, but he always managed it. Losing people he cared about wasn't exactly new to him. How was that for a depressing thought?
He reattached the lever and tested it twice, pleased with its smoothness. He half smiled, proud of his handwork, and then tossed the spanner back into the toolbox. Now maybe he could get out and mingle with some real life forms instead of moping around with his memories. He strolled around the console and thumped one of the buttons.
'Hello? Hellooooo? Ashley to base, come in base.'
The Doctor stopped dead at her voice. He glanced around, completely bewildered. What was this? Was he hearing things? Had he finally lost one person too many and toppled over the edge. He scratched his head.
'Ashley! Oh for… get away from there, will you?'
The Doctor frowned deeper at the sound of his own voice, and then realised what it was. Pushing his hands in his pockets he moved around to the screen on the other side of the console and looked down at it. On the screen was her face. A very close-up image of her face. One bright eye and half her nose filled up the screen as she inspected it.
'What is this anyway? A web cam?' she enquired. 'Oooh you know web cams were made for perverts, don't you, Doctor? Ha, Dirty Doctor – I bet that's what you call your chat room.'
The Doctor half smiled as she moved back and came into full view. She was grinning broadly at something off screen.
'How many times do I have to tell you?' his voice sighed through the speakers. 'Can't you do as you're told? Blimey I've met bricks with more obedience than you.'
'But really,' Ashley said, leaning on her arms and peering into the screen again. 'What do you use it for?'
'Lots of things.'
'Well I um… I leave messages for people. I use it for lots of stuff. Now turn it off, it's recording. One of these days I'm going to be doing something really important and then all of a sudden I'm going to be looking at your mug asking why I have a web cam!'
'Aw, it would make you feel better, admit it,' Ashley grinned, turning her face and posing for the camera. 'You're running around like a headless chicken and suddenly I appear in all my beautiful glory and tell you to push the red button!' She grabbed the screen and shook it. 'Push the red button, Doctor!'
The Doctor laughed and crossed his arms. He remembered this moment. It wasn't long after they had met, actually. He remembered being so irritated with her because she wouldn't turn it off.
'Stop it!' his past self cried. 'You're going to pull it off!'
'Oh stop moaning,' Ashley replied, moving back again. 'You're such a grouch. I was only playing.'
The Doctor blinked at his own face appearing on the screen. He readjusted it grumpily and then turned back to Ashley. 'Yes well I'd rather you didn't play with my frankly magnificent space ship. Go on, get out of the way for a minute. Preferably with your finger on your mouth.' He turned to the screen to switch it off.
Before he did, Ashley stuck her head over his shoulder. 'Bye bye, future Doctor! Hope I didn't disturb you from pretending to fix stuff!' The Doctor on the screen frowned and turned off the screen. The picture of the two of them disappeared.
The Doctor stood and regarded the blank screen for a moment. 'You didn't.' he said, softly. 'Not at all.'
The TARDIS hummed gently and he moved back to the console and started her up.