Matter of Trust
A Doctor Who/Ace of Spades Crossover
By Jill "Ace" Singletary
- I -
"...You're dating him?"
I took a deep breath, wondering how I was coaxed into spilling this information.
Dawn glared back at me with a look of half-disgust, half-surprise, and somehow or another showing a deep distrust—a look only she could give.
Athena's gaze was much less harsh, but even she looked a little wary about the news.
"You're dating a time-traveller?" Dawn repeated.
"Why is that so shocking?" I said, much weaker than my initial statement. I guess I should have known it was bound to come up. Athena, Dawn, and the others had noticed the Doctor and I were spending more and more time together when he came to Fortanya, so it was only a matter of time before the question was asked. I just figured it would go a little smoother than this when I answered.
"Because!" She paused, "He could be dating, like, three other people at this moment and you'd never know!"
"He wouldn't do that..." I winced.
"You don't think he would, but how do you know for sure? You don't even know his real name, just 'The Doctor'...and isn't he not even human?"
"That doesn't matter—"
"Well it should!" Dawn interrupted me.
"Dawn," Athena tried to reel our friend in.
"When have I ever been one to do what's normal?" I added quickly.
"Apparently never," Dawn rolled her eyes.
I huffed. "So give me a break! I found someone who cares about me—so what if he's a time traveler and from another planet? Why can't you just be happy for me?"
Athena grabbed Dawn's arm before the tall girl could reply. "We are happy for you, Ace," she said calmly, "We're just looking out for you. We're friends; that's what we do."
I was still fuming to an extent, but I suppressed the urge to yell back. "I understand that, but don't you think I've thought about this? I know what I'm doing."
"You do realize you just said you're dating someone from another planet." Dawn raised an eyebrow.
"Dawn—seriously." I shot back.
"Guys," Athena raised her hands. "All right—here's a concern I have—and hear me out." When neither of us spoke, she continued, "You travel with him to different places and times, and that's all right. But what if something were to happen and you got stranded somewhere? How will we know? How could anyone find you?"
I nearly found myself bringing up that I had been stranded and saved before, but I quickly decided that was not the best plan—especially considering it involved a regeneration, and I wasn't about to explain that one. I then thought I could just tell them about my own time-travelling abilities, but that was something The Doctor and I still didn't want everyone to know. The longer I thought over what response I could make, however, the more satisfaction filled Dawn's eyes, and the more concern showed in Athena's.
"That's why James travels with us," I finally said.
"James couldn't get you back through time." Dawn said with an air of superiority.
"Yeah, well I could." I blurted.
My two friends looked at me, fairly shocked. It was now or never.
"I a Time Lord, like The Doctor, only I'm still part-human. Not too long ago a dying Time Lord—Rovenna—crashed near me, and when I went to help her she gave me her consciousness. So I can do everything The Doctor can do if I need to."
I saw the distrusting faces of my friends, and I felt the burning of anger and anxiety in my chest. I knew I wasn't supposed to tell them, but I was tired of Dawn's criticism. I knew, however, that was also Dawn's personality. She was going to let you know if she didn't like something, whereas Athena would be much calmer about her concerns. But now that the word had been spilled, who knew where it would go from here. The other guys would know before long, and The Doctor would not be too pleased.
"I don't want this to alienate me from you guys; I apologize I haven't said anything sooner," I attempted to regain their trust, "I'm okay, and I'll be okay, but there's a lot more we don't know yet. That's another reason I can trust The Doctor—he's helping me figure this out. He wouldn't be doing this if he didn't at least care a little about me."
"Then I guess I just have to wish you good luck." Athena said softly.
Dawn wasn't going to respond. She had either said all she could say, or I had finally stumped her for comebacks.
Good luck... I thought about Athena's words as I quietly stood up and left the room, walking into the lobby of the Sirius—the theater James and I had been working to restore. Just like the circumstances that brought the two of us to the old theater, I had grown up knowing how much of a hold luck had on me. Luck was what kept me alive for so many years; luck is why I knew my friends now—despite our arguments like the one I just walked out of. The Doctor liked to call it the Time Lord's charm, since a Time Lord had a certain propensity to influence others when you'd least expect it. Either way, ending on that note of good luck was better than ending in a huff of anger.
I stepped outside, under the huge awning and marquee, and found James was already there, leaning against the ticket booth. He, Ed, and Dorian had been working on the roof, but it seemed like James was done for the time being. When I heard the rumble of thunder and noticed the dark clouds coming towards us, I realized why they were wrapping up.
"How'd it go?" he asked, not even looking at me.
I looked at him with my brows lowered. "Were you listening?"
"I w-walked by at one point."
I sighed a little. "It went as well as The Doctor expected it would—meaning it didn't go very well."
"M-must be on their brains today... Ed started t-talking about The Doctor too."
"To you? Why?"
"Just that I... I need to be careful. And Dorian made a statement that I needed to watch out for you. I don't see why they th-think I wouldn't..."
I leaned against him and crossed my arms. "I think since this is something they can't quite understand, they're just doing what good friends should do... worry."
James nodded. "Yeah."
"But it wouldn't kill them to trust us a little more..." I added.
We were quiet for a moment. Another rumble of thunder came to our ears, and the inaudible calling of Dorian to Ed was heard above us.
"...I may have told Dawn and Athena about me too." I added softly.
"The Doctor's not going to like that."
"He's not, but he'll have to get over it. I had to say something... I felt like I was on trial for a while there..."
"Well I sure walked in at a lovely time!"
We both turned to see The Doctor standing at the corner with his usual smirk on. He sauntered over and gave me a look. "All I caught was that I'd have to get over something. What do you two have planned?"
"We don't have anything planned, but thanks to you we may not have friends anymore." I exaggerated.
The Doctor frowned. "...What?"
"Dawn and Athena think I'm a fool to be dating you, and the guys think James and I are both fools to travel with you."
Silence ensued. The Doctor was clearly not expecting this, thought there was a look on his face that hinted he should have been expecting it. "And you told them about being part-Time Lord?"
"And that's what I need to get over. I see."
"I'm sorry," I said, stepping up to him. "I had to say something."
"No, I understand. It was bound to come out sooner or later." He turned and paced back towards the corner of the building and then wandered back. "So this may be a bad time to whisk the two of you off, then."
I shrugged. "I don't care... I'll go. They're not going to tell me what to do. If they think I'm making a bad choice then they can just tell me 'I told you so' if anything bad ever happens."
The Doctor didn't seem to like this statement, but he nodded anyway. He glanced at James, who merely shrugged without another word.
"So we're coming," I said, walking towards the side of the theater. His TARDIS was just around the corner, and I waited patiently beside it as he and James followed.
"Are you sure?" The Doctor asked, putting a hand on my shoulder.
"All right..." he said, putting his other hand on James' shoulder, "because I've got quite an adventure for us this time..."