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Someone to Watch Over Me

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Summary: The Doctor has an unexpected meeting in LA. (Written for the dw_cross ficathon on LJ. Ninth Doctor & Cordelia)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Dr. Who/Torchwood > Cordelia-CenteredLylFR1312,0311102,1343 Dec 073 Dec 07Yes
Prompt: Doctor (Ninth) and Cordelia
Disclaimer: I don't own characters from either show, I just like to play in other's sandboxes.

~!~

“Well, that was a waste of a perfectly good pair of shoes.”

The Doctor looked up from the pile of purple goo currently melting into the asphalt, and sighed in annoyance. After a nasty confrontation with a Krirnal, all he wanted to do was go and wash off the oily residue off his skin before the smell seeped further into his pores. A shower, clean clothes, a cup of tea and maybe a banana or two - that's what he wanted right now.

Dealing with an air headed, LA party girl was not on that list. Anywhere.

Turning around, the Doctor looked at his newest problem with a scowl twisting his lips.

“Who cares about shoes?” he asked, rising from his crouched position.

I do,” she said, glaring at him in that way Rose did when she felt he was talking down to her. “Those are Farragamo's! Do you know how many things I'd have to file to earn enough to pay for a pair of those?”

The Doctor looked back down at the pile of clothing left behind when the Krirnal had disintegrated, noticing for the dark red pumps peeking out from under the skirt, covered in the disgusting purple slime.

“Such a waste,” she mourned, and the Doctor looked at her incredulously as she added, “Not that they really went with that outfit.”

The Doctor looked back to the discarded clothing and then back to her.

“Excuse me?”

“Well, really. I mean, the skirt is so 2003, and the top did nothing but make her head look big,” she added before turning her dark eyes on him, raking him up and down. He was sure he should have felt a sense of violation at the once over he got, but extended time around Jack had given him an immunity to that sort of thing.

“Not that you can brag,” she continued, arms crossed and eyes narrowed. “at least she-” motioning towards the pile of slime, “-added some colour to her wardrobe. What, do you think a little colour will spoil your complextion? Cause this 'rebel, biker boy' thing is so last year.”

“Oh, like you can talk, Ms Fashion Sense!” he retorted, nodding in the direction of her own outfit. He might be dressed in black trousers and a black jacket – the jumper was green, thankyouverymuch – but at least he wasn't wandering around LA in hospital scrubs and booties.

“What-?!” she screeched, looking down at herself quickly before she froze. Her dark head raised slowly, causing the Doctor to reassess his assumptions fairly quickly. She didn't look like a nutjob – despite the poor choice in clothing – and the look in her eyes definitely didn't say 'unhinged'.

“You can see me?” she asked slowly, and it was all the Doctor could do not to fidget under her gaze. Very few people could make him this uncomfortable and wary with a single look.

“There a reason I shouldnt' be?” he asked carefully. She was odd, this young woman, in more ways than her attire would suggest. She hadn't shown any surprise or fear at the sight of the Krirnal disintegrating, in fact, she had been more concerned with the fate of those blasted shoes than about seeing something alien. It wasn't a normal human reaction, as even Rose had been taken aback the first time she'd been confronted with something not-of-Earth.

“Nobody can see me,” she said, again very slowly, as if speaking too fast or too loud would scare him off.

“I'm not nobody.”

Nobody can see me!” she said, louder, as if he hadn't heard her the first time.

“Well, fine. If 'nobody' can see you, then I'll just be off then.” he announced, deliberately using the tone of voice he knew drove Rose into an uncontrollable rage. “Alright? Have a nice night.”

Grinning his manic grin, the Doctor brushed by her and headed out down the street. Shower, clothes, tea, banana. In that order. None of this 'nobody can see me' nonsense.

“Wait! Get your ass back here!” she demanded loudly.

“Nope, sorry. Can't see you, remember?” he called back over his shoulder, keeping his stride brisk. In spite of everything, he did find her somewhat amusing.

A frustrated scream came from behind him, and then nothing until he saw her out of the corner of his eye, keeping pace with him.

“What do you want now,” he asked, coming to a stop in front of a restaurant's front window. She might be mildly amusing, but she was more than irritating, which cancelled out the amusing aspect of her personality.

“You can see me?” she asked again.

“Yes,” he said, using his 'stupid human' tone again.

“Nobody can see me. Or hear me.”

“Oh, to be so lucky.”

“You don't get it. I'm in a coma. My body's in a coma,” she said, her voice growing louder and shriller with each word. “I'm lying in a hospital bed down the block, and nobody. Can. See. ME!”

The last was accompanied by her swinging her arms back and forth in front of her. Right through the Doctor's very solid form.

“Oh,” said the Doctor after a moment, finally taking notice of the restaurant patrons and passersby who were giving him funny looks. “Why didn't you say so in the first place?”

~!~

The Doctor gazed down at the pale body in the hospital bed, covered in tubes and wires, then looked back up to the young woman standing next to the bed, identical in every way. Except one was awake, aware and tapping her foot in annoyance.

“Well?” she asked impatiently.

“I just got here. This'll take a minute,” he told her, picking up the chart at the end of the bed.

“We would have been here sooner if you hadn't taken forever to do your hair – what's left of it, that is.”

The Doctor sent another glare in her direction, but knew by now it wouldn't have any affect. They'd stopped off at the TARDIS so he could shower and change, because he wasn't going traipsing around a hospital with the invisible form of one of their coma patients, purple and smelling like rotting seaweed and caramel. She'd put up quite a fuss – the kind of fuss he hoped she was never able to teach to Rose – but in the end she hadn't had any choice.

'She' turned out to be Cordelia, and the Doctor had to give her props for her reaction to the inside of the TARDIS. He usually got something along the lines of 'bigger on the inside', but with her all he got was a mildly impressed look and a 'huh'.

It was as refreshing as it was annoying.

“I'm sorry, do you have somewhere you need to be?”

“Actually, yes!” She was glaring at him again, and not in the cute way Rose did, either. He was suddenly very glad that Rose and Jack had gone off to do their own thing, leaving him to tinker around the TARDIS. Until he'd become aware of the Krirnal skulking around the nearby streets, feeding off the self-images of others. In a town like LA, filled with models, actors, directors and other Hollywood bigwigs, a creature that fed off egos had an all-you-can-eat buffet.

“Your boyfriend can wait.” he snapped.

“Not really,” she said, seriously. The Doctor looked up, meeting her eyes.

“That vision, it was about him?” he asked intently. She'd told him about the visions she'd been having for years, and how in the last months she'd been having the same one over and over again, even though her body was totally unresponsive. He was the first person to be able to interact with her, and he could tell she was desperate to pass on the information of what she'd seen.

“In a way,” she nodded sadly, looking at her own sleeping face. “He's the centre, the fulcrum – everything depends on what he does.”

The Doctor remained silent for a minute, sensing that Cordelia needed a moment to collect herself. She cared very deeply for this man, whoever he was, and was determined to do whatever it took to save him. He couldn't find it in himself to fault her for that.

“He thinks he's on the right path, but it will only lead him further away from where he's meant to be. He's lost and doesn't even know it.” Cordelia said softly.

“Are you ready?” the Doctor asked, breaking the moment.

“There's no other way?” she asked him. He could see the anxiety in her eyes, because neither of them new what this would do to her incoporeal form.

“I scanned you when I first came in,” he motioned with the sonic screwdriver. “It matches what the chart says. Unless I find something radically different in there, you're not going to wake up.”

“Ok. Do it.”

The Doctor moved to the head of the bed, and gently placed two fingers on the side of her temple. He'd told Cordelia what to expect, so was unsurprised to see several closed doors along the corridor of her mind. He searched through what he could for some time, trying to find a small ray of hope he could impart on her, but there was nothing there.

”There's nothing here.” he sent out psychically from inside her mind, hoping that her other form would be able to hear him. ”No link to the outside world.”

“So I'm stuck like this? For the rest of my life – if you can call this a life.”

“I'm sorry.”

“So there's no way I can warn Angel,” She sounded so sad and resigned, and it pulled at the Doctor's hearts. He could feel the invisible tear that was tracing down her cheek.

“There may be something I can do,” he managed to force out, needing to fight his natural inclination to not do this. “But it has consequences.”

“What?”

“You've got a reservoir of mental energy in you – it's what's keeping your body alive when you should already be dead. This 'ghost' form of yours is just another manifestation of that energy,” he told her.

“Ok....” said Cordelia, drawing out the word.

“I can tap into it – open the reservoir, so to speak – and redirect the 'flow' to your semi-corporeal form.”

“And the downside?” she asked after a minute.
“It's the only thing keeping your body alive. Once it's gone, so are you. No more coma, no more wandering the street invisible. Gone. Dead.”

“Basically, using the last of my life to do...what, exactly?”

“I saw you because I have some telepathic ability. But you'd be able to interact with the outside world on a limited basis.” he told her, trying to send telepathically what he couldn't say in words. If she did this, then for a limited time, she would have the ability to talk to certain people, interact with them, influence the world around her. But only for a short time, and only with those who knew her before the coma. She would need that preconceived image of herself in their minds, for them to fully perceive her.

He let her access everything she would need to know and do, that his mind contained. He also let her see that he wasn't lying about the consequences. If she decided to follow this course of action, it would cost her her life.

“Is it worth it? Your life for this information? For a last chance to see – to talk – to your family and friends?” he asked.

Cordelia's response was to open one of the closed doors in her mind, and let him see for himself. She showed him the people she knew and loved, and everything that had led up until this point. Then she let him see her vision; a vision of unintentional destruction; of the slow slide to the dark side of the world, all the while believing that it was the right thing to do.

The Doctor understood, and granted her last request.

A last visit with her family, and the chance to change the future.

END

The End

You have reached the end of "Someone to Watch Over Me". This story is complete.

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