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Doctor Who: Needle and Leaf (Lucy/Tish)

mosca and callmesandy organized femslash08 (masterlist). I wrote a backup story for alixtii, who requested a Doctor Who fic with Lucy Saxon/Tish Jones.

Title: Needle and Leaf
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing: Lucy Saxon/Tish Jones
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: The eye you need to find them almost always fails.
Notes: Spoilers through 3.13



Lucy doesn't notice the new assistant for a week or so, aside from realizing there's a new face in the room. Security doesn't seem concerned about the new girl, and Harold just flirts with her, the way he flirts with all the pretty faces.

("You don't mind darling, do you?" he croons in her ear. "It's good for the voters." She shakes her head and smiles, because that's what he told her to do when they might be seen. "It's charming," she assures him. He kisses behind her ear, and she shivers. She looks to the doorway, and the new assistant is watching them, flushing.)

She takes to watching the new assistant, because she has to watch something, and her husband asked her, once, to stop staring at him all the time.

The new assistant is bright and helpful, with a background in administration, if not in politics. She glides through the office like she owns it, and Harold snickers at her when she's not looking.

So Lucy pays better attention to her, because Harold pays attention to her, and that means she's important.

One day, she brings a folder with the day's activities to Lucy, with a separate breakdown by location and travel time. Inside the folder, aside from pertinent data--names Lucy should know, birthdays she should let slip, donations to be gathered--is a clipping from yesterday's newspaper. It's a picture of her, hair swept back by the wind, her hand raised to wave at the crowd. It's the only photo she's seen in the past three months that didn't include Harold, too.

She traces the grainy outline of her face with her thumbnail, then looks up. "What's your name?"

"What?" The new assistant blinks. "Oh. Tish. Tish Jones." She extends her arm, palm facing inward. "We've never been properly introduced, I suppose."

Lucy stares at Tish's hand, and it takes her a moment to comprehend the gesture.

Tish's hand is warm and dry against Lucy's skin. Lucy smiles.

*


The day after they win the election marks the fourth time Harold hits her. It's the first time he doesn't place the blame, though, whether on himself or on her own stupidity. He just stares at her for a moment, and then she's reeling, mouth full of copper.

It's the first time people can see the bruises.

She's in her new bedroom, pressing a wet towel to her eye, when Tish finds her. She keeps her back to the doorway, but she can see Tish's expression in the mirror, the way she tracks the confines of the room, the lack of a closet, the plain cot in the corner.

"When he doesn't want me," Lucy says, letting the cold compress drop, "I'm supposed to wait here."

Tish's lips part, only slightly, and then she bows her head. She's been instructed to never speak to her superiors, Lucy knows.

"You can talk to me," she blurts out. "When he's not here, you can talk to me."

There's a long pause, then Tish raises her chin. "Of course," she responds, "ma'am."

The last word slices into Lucy, and she tilts her head. Her eye feels swollen, but she's tired of looking at herself.

"Whatever you want," she murmurs, finally.

In the mirror, for a moment, Tish looks sorry.

*


The second time they try to escape, Tish tries asking Lucy for help.

She's mending Lucy's dress again--Harold loves the red dress, and he loves to tear it away--and this time, Lucy stays in the room and watches her. Tish's room is much like Lucy's own, a metal cube with a slant of light shining above. Lucy likes it, because it isn't her own, and she can walk in whenever she likes.

She leans back as she watches Tish stitch. The metal is cool against her bare shoulders, and she rubs idly against the wall, soothing an old bruise underneath the band of her brassiere.

"You don't have to live like this," Tish murmur, and Lucy almost doesn't discern the words over the hum of the station.

She refocuses, down, and realizes Tish's hands are kneading the red fabric, idly. Tish is staring at her thighs, at the dark shadow against her hip.

Tish looks up, and it's a shock. "You don't have to," she repeats again.

Lucy curls away from the wall and takes the dress from Tish's hands. She lets it slide over her head, feels the drape of it heavy against her breasts.

"That will be all," she says, crisp as she can.

She doesn't want the details, doesn't want the words to fall from Tish's mouth.

He'll find it all out, eventually, she knows.

*


The year disappears, and so does Harold. And so does Lucy, slipping back in the sunlight. It's easier than she expected. Everyone's memory is fuzzy, at that seam between what is and what would be. Something went wrong with the election, and Harold is gone, and his name tastes badly in the public's mouth.

While she's shopping for groceries one morning, an old woman spits at her feet. Lucy startles, and the woman makes a sign with her fingers, something that sits burning low in Lucy's belly. She wonders if the woman knew her, in the year that was to be, and she wonders if she died. If she was there to watch.

She can't remember. She tries not to walk around the neighborhood too much, after that.

She can't bring herself to go back to their home, so she finds a flat in a bad neighborhood, and eventually, even the paparazzi ignore her.

She's lived a year nobody else remembers, and she hears screaming in her sleep.

One day, there's a knock on her door. It takes her a minute to answer it, because nobody ever knocks on her door. There are three latches she has to undo, and when she finally swings the door open, Tish is standing there.

"Are you all right?" Tish says, without preface, and that's when Lucy finally breaks down and sobs.


###

A/N: Title and summary adapted from Robert Wrigley's Morelity. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.

Originally archived at femslash08.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
such_heights
Jul. 16th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's just lovely, and makes a great deal of sense, that these two women would find a connection.
flo_nelja
Jul. 16th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
:-)
I love both the characters and I'm happy I read this!
alixtii
Jul. 17th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)
Still awesome!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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