Disclaimer: RTD's, not mine.

Author's Note: Written for orange_crushed, who challenged me back.


Little Favours


When Lucy comes in with a tray of food for him, he's still staring out the window of the Valiant. There is smoke and fire down below, and even though he knows logically that it's too far away, he imagines he can hear people screaming.

"I brought you some supper," Lucy says gently. "Harry would have brought it himself, but he has... things... to attend to."

It's a moment before he turns to face her, and he does so slowly, not quite knowing yet how to maneuver this body. He's gotten used to his share of new bodies, of course, but they've all been agile, supple, ready to explore things with eager fingers and quick feet. This one feels frail, and he knows she can see it too. She is trying not to wince as she looks at him.

"Things to attend to," he repeats slowly, through labored breath. He doesn't look yet at the tray.

She nods. "After all, it's been a big day. First alien contact and all. Well," she amends, lowering her voice conspiratorially, "first alien contact for them. Not for me, though, but we mustn't tell anyone, must we? Oh, Harry says he'll tell everyone eventually, about him being a Time Thing or whatever he says he is, but everything in its own time. We must wait, we must be patient, and everything will be just as we planned."

She stops, as if realizing for the first time that the Doctor is staring at her. She looks uneasy. "Where shall we put your dinner, then?" she says, all business. She looks around and, finding no better option, sets it on the floor at his feet.

He ignores it, looking instead at her. She is dressed in a thin shift, and if he cares to look closely, which he doesn't particularly, he can see the outlines of every curve on her body. He wonders if she chooses her own outfits, and if not, what exactly the Master had in mind when he sent her in here, dressed like this.

He wonders a lot of things about the Master, where Lucy is concerned.

"How did you meet him?" he asks suddenly.

She gives a little snort. "You're what he is, aren't you? Don't you just know things?"

Their relationship begins to piece itself together in his head. "No," he says carefully. "Why, does he? Know things?"

For the first time since she came in, she smiles. It's almost imperceptible, but it's there, like a sun behind a cloud. "It's like magic," she says, hugging herself loosely as she looks out the window. "He knows things about me that I never dared tell anyone. He doesn't judge me for it. He even helps."

"Helps with what?" the Doctor presses gently.

She looks sharply at him, and everything in her body bristles, but then she settles and sighs. "Just… things," she says, hugging herself more tightly.

The Doctor holds out his hand. There's a question there, but it remains silent between them. Whether or not she understands it, she does take his hand.

This sort of thing is always easier when he touches their foreheads, or their temples, or (more rarely) their hearts. A hand is a flighty thing, but it still carries memories if they're strong enough to travel that far.

"Show me," he murmurs to her, and just like that, the memories come to the forefront of Lucy's mind, traveling through her veins and her skin and shimmering before him. He sifts through them gently until he finds pictures and scenes and feelings that tell a story.

A girl, terrified of a man who came in the night, did things that made her cry, and left. A teenager, sullen and angry, but putting on a good face for all her teachers and friends and everyone else who said things like "good family." A young woman, seeking closure and finding none. Toying with the idea of ending it herself: sneaking into his house with a gun, a knife, a wire. Realizing she can't go through with it, because she still somehow thinks he deserves better than violence.

Then, a familiar face, touching her, comforting her, telling her that he knows what she wants and he can make it happen. He can bring death, but peacefully, so she won't have to feel guilty about it. She doesn't know how Harry does it, but when she goes to the morgue, her father has a smile on his face, like he's finally found peace. She never leaves Harry's side after that.

After that, the pictures become more scattered, more excited, more frantic. There is lovemaking and the Time Vortex and the end of the universe and despair. There is a wedding ring, but no wedding. There are promises, and she still thinks Harry will keep them.

The Doctor drops Lucy's hand. "He killed for you," he says softly.

She smiles at him, glancing at the window again. "He still is," she says, sighing as she takes in the smoke and fire and ash. "I can tell you don't like it, but he means well. He really does."

"Millions of people," the Doctor whispers, wondering how he can still be surprised by anything. "That's what you want?"

"We're setting them all free," she says. "No more pain, no more loss, just…nothing. It's so much better than trying to make sense of it all."

Even though they're not touching anymore, he feels it when she shivers. Or maybe it's him that's shivering. He remembers what it's like to want that kind of freedom, and the feeling still haunts him. He wonders if Lucy wants to die, but doesn't ask.

"Thank you for the food," he says softly.

"My pleasure," she says warmly, and leaves him alone again.

He watches her go, and turns back to the window. His supper grows cold at his feet. He doesn't care.