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ArWen the Eternally Surprised
Author: Ria Time: 2007/11/22
Arwen encounters a strange monk and gains a little extra time.
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The Clash of Worlds: The Three Paths
Submitter: Date: 2011/10/30 Views: 390
Chapter 8

Tosh awoke in the shelter of the spreading branches and watches specks of light dancing between the leaves. She thought she should be frightened, knowing that she was at the mercy of creatures more powerful and confusing than she could possibly imagine, creatures she could never understand with a lifetime of study, but they respected the Doctor and even feared him, and Tosh didn't feel threatened. The sprites had led them through the forest since their meeting with the Doctor and brought them to this clearing, deep in the wood, where a grand oak towered over a pool, and the sprites danced between the standing stones. They'd sung in the fading light of day about the old ways of this region, when people had known and respected them, and left tributes when they gathered mistletoe for their rituals. Organised religion had swept it all away, but some of the beliefs clung on in the way people looked over their shoulders and stayed away from the woods.

Owen grunted and shifted closer to her, waking up when his movement stabbed a tree root into his side. He sat up and rubbed it, studying their surroundings curiously. "So, we're off with the fairies."

She smiled into her hand and uncurled slightly. "I've been saying that about you for a long time, Owen."

He snorted and poked her. "You got any food on you?"

"No, nothing." She squirmed away from the poke and sat up, pulling her clothes straight. "Can you see them?"

"Yeah, I see them."

"And we see you, children," the sing-song voice taunted them and 'their' fairy danced through the air from the stones. "We see you, you see us. Sing a song a sing."

Owen pulled back, but Tosh tilted her head. "What shall we sing?"

"We sing of war, Tish Tosh." The fairy's face grew angry and sad. "We sing of war and blood, and the great death that comes to this world. This is our world, and they will not have it."

"You will fight them?" she asked.

"Fight him, force him back," the fairy agreed. "Lord of time, time and space, should know better than to side with them. Should know better, but we will show him."

"Show who?"

"Show the Master," the fairy span and sat on the ground close to them, cross legged. "Not our master, but the Master. See all time, see all things, but not enough. Should have known, should have seen. Shouldn't have forgotten."

"What will you do?"

"We will remind him. Remind him we are strong."

Tosh hadn't realised how close they were to the UNIT facility where the Master was being held. After he'd regenerated unexpectedly too often, and crossed his own timeline to find ways to gain control, UNIT had opted to lock him up and keep a close watch on him. They'd all known that it would fail eventually.

The area around the facility was a ruin, with the forest ripped down and the ground ripped up to fuel fires and build an army. The army was gone, though, sweeping down into Greece as punishment for their defiance, and Tosh shivered at the gleeful laughter of the fey folk. She glanced behind her and saw more and more of them dancing from the trees and filling the air with the fluttering of barely-there wings. Their sprite tugged at her hair and grinned. "Time to play, time to stay. You stay here, little child. Too dangerous for you. We come we go, no one know. No harm to us. Rock and stone and metal don't bother us, bother you."

She nodded and took a step back, pulling Owen with her. "You'll come back?"

"Back yes back," the sprite span up into the air and faced the rising sun. "Last dawn on Timelord's reign."

From their perches on the edge of the wood, all Tosh and Owen could see was the destruction that was being wrought. Walls crumbled and fires blazed, and the sound of shattering and smashing drifted to them on a breeze. Tosh sat down and wrapped her arms around her knees, smiling when Owen shuffled closer to her and put his arm around her shoulders. "I think we're in over our heads," she confessed softly. "Do you think we'll see them again, Owen?"

Owen sighed and squeezed her shoulder. "We'll see them again," he promised, not sounding convinced. "They're out there somewhere, saving the world, and we're here watching Demolition Derby."

She laughed softly and leaned her head against his shoulder. "It's strangely beautiful, isn't it?"

"Yeah. Either that, or we're very, very sick people."

The sprites came back for them in the early afternoon and led them through the wasteland, laughing and tugging at their clothes to lead them on. Their sprite, who seemed to be the leader of all of them, was sitting on the ruins of a wall, turning her wings so that they caught the sunshine, and beamed at them as they arrived. "Mighty rise, mighty fall. Mighty crash," she laughed. "We stay, some go. His army will fall like his walls."

"Where is he? Is the Master dead?" Tosh asked.

"Dead no, no dead," the sprite sighed. "Master trapped, no escape for him now, not ever. We will watch him and keep him. Rose too high did the Master, silly Master."

"Silly Master," Tosh agreed. "Will we stay here with you?"

"Yes, stay here," the sprite agreed. "Stay here and wait for Doctor. Master is more than us, Doctor will know what to do. Then we collapse tower on him."

Tosh smiled tremulously and looked up at the tower, where a grim face could just be seen looking out of the window.

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