Origins, Part 17

"...should be...."

"Perhaps the medication..."

"Maybe I.... some tea..."

Alecia found herself floating up from the turgid waters of an unnatural sleep, her heart gladdened by the sounds of familiar voices around her, even if she couldn't tell what they were talking about. It meant she wasn't dead, at least. Her mind finally seemed to reconnect with her body, and she stirred, mumbling, as she opened her eyes.

"Al! You're awake!"

She blinked, adjusting to the light, and focused on -

"Kris!" she croaked, trying to sit up and embrace the friend she had so nearly lost.

"Hey, easy, tiger!"

He pushed her back gently, into the hospital bed she now occupied. She acquiesced, and instead settled for sitting up. "Well, this is a reverse of positions," he teased.

Alecia gave him a withering glance.

"If it wasn't for the Doctor, you'd still be in hospital," she said.

"What on earth do you mean?" he asked, puzzled.

Alecia waved it off, too tired to deal with an explanation. "Here... let me go get you a cup of tea. You look like you could use the caffeine," he said, and, giving her hand a quick pat, got up and disappeared from the cubicle.

Alecia felt suddenly very alone and vulnerable in the bed. The pain was gone, the superbug had been eradicated, and... the Doctor was nowhere to be seen. So who had Kris been talking to?



He had poked his curly head around the curtain to her cubicle, a big grin on his face. He winked at her as he entered. She felt elated that he was back - as though his absence would leave an aching hole in her life. It sounded trite and silly, but she didn't want to be alone anymore, even if Kris was around.

"I went to ask a nurse about waking you up, but it seems you managed that on your own."

He made his way to her side, and picked up her hands, clasping them in his. Alecia again felt his cool, soft skin as it touched her own. She smiled at him.

"So, it's all gone?"

"Razed to the ground. Every last bit of it. Thank you."

Alecia frowned at him. "Me? What for?"

"For believing in me."

She nodded, and noticed several rapidly-healing scratches on his face, probably from flying debris when the blast shook the building. Other than that he appeared unharmed, his blue eyes animated, dancing, as they gazed at her.

"You won't leave, will you?" she asked, feeling silly as she said it, her cheeks reddening.

"No," he answered, softly. "When I do, though, you're welcome to come with me."

"Come with you? Where?"

"I'm a traveller," he said. "I travel through time and space. I can go anywhere, anytime I please. And... I'm lonely."

"I don't know that I - "

He swung away, his arms flung out, encompassing the cubicle in a grand flourish, his childlike enthusiasm shining in his face.

"We'll go see Leonardo, all the greats... visit art as it's being made, not hung behind glass in some museum collecting dust!" He looked at her again. "Would you like that? It'll be my apology to you for getting you in this mess."

Alecia considered this.

"I don't know, Doctor - I've got my studies to get on with..." she watched his face fall, and felt that internal panic that this strange man, this enigmatic, gorgeous alien would go away and never come back, swell in her stomach again. "But... I'd like that a lot."

He beamed, eyes shining, and gave her a gentle hug.

And silently, Alecia's fingers crossed themselves as her thoughts wandered to the pregnancy testing kit hiding in her closet at home...