Word Count: 2072
Warnings: violence, noncon in some original characters' backgrounds, PTSD and associated flashbacks, and wounds and medical issues.
Characters: Jamie McCrimmon, the Doctor (eighth)
Summary: Jamie McCrimmon is wounded, exhausted, possibly doomed, and has an old song running through his head as if it's trying to tell him something.
Jamie wouldn't have been at all surprised—upset, but not surprised—if it turned out that the hospital was harboring evil alien beasties in the basement and feeding them the wounded, simply because (in his experience) that sort of thing went on more than you'd expect. When things did go wrong, it was in a fashion that blindsided him completely.
He was out wandering the halls at the time, which the nurses called exercising, and Jamie called if I have to stare at the same four walls for another eyeblink I'll not be responsible for any holes in them. The Doctor had made the scrying glass show some sort of forest, but he'd forgot to tell Jamie how to control it, and it didn't take him long to work out that it was just showing the same few moments over and over again. The pain in his head, which had been horrible but natural enough, had slowly transformed itself into a sort of bone-deep itching. And complaining to the Doctor was no good, because it just produced a giddy flood of words about nanny-mites or some such gibberish, and the mere thought of mites (nanny or otherwise) made Jamie itch worse.
The nurses had removed the ivy, at least. They hadn't removed the needle—they said there was always a small possibility he might need it again—and it was driving Jamie half mad, because it meant he couldn't move his arm properly for fear of damaging himself. Still, he'd finally got his clothes back, and he hadn't caught fever or any of the other nasty things he knew came with grave wounds, so he was altogether in a reasonably good mood when a bland, pleasant-looking fellow came up and said, "Mind if I walk with you a moment?"
"Aye, go right ahead," Jamie said cheerily.
"Thanks. My name's Oscar, by the way."
"Jamie McCrimmon," Jamie said, and shook the man's hand.
"Good to meet you, Jamie. I have to ask, where are you from? I don't think I've heard that accent before."
"Aye, well, you havna been to Scotland, then." Although he could have conceivably visited the Lowlands, which were technically Scotland. A little bit Scotland. In an England-y sort of way.
"No, I haven't. Is that a colony?"
"Never! We've been there as long as the hills." In other words, Jamie was very, very far from home. Well, he was accustomed to that, or he had been. "How about you? Where're you from, then?"
"Tiarda Dome, originally," the man said. "But I've lived in Diamond Point for years."
"You have no idea where that is, do you?"
"Of course I do! Diamond Point is here. In Moon-of-July."
"Yes, of course. My mistake." Oscar walked for a moment in silence. "Have you had a chance to see it yet? July, I mean."
"Nay, that I haven't . . ."
"Well, you shouldn't visit Diamond Point without at least taking a look. The view is one of the city's prime attractions, you know—center of Nearside and all that. Do you want to walk around the hospital grounds for a few moments? I promise, I'll call a nurse if you get tired."
"Oh, you don't have to worry about that," Jamie said. "I've been on forced marches. This is hardly a stroll. And the Doctor gave me new shoes. See?" He bounced a little bit. They had some magical springy substance in their soles, something that Jamie reckoned would keep blisters at bay for hours, if not days. Any man who'd marched with an army knew the value of decent footwear, and Jamie would have defended these shoes in single combat if he had to. "He says," he added, "they're a sort I liked before. But . . ." Probably best not to try to explain his word-robbed memory to a perfect stranger, especially since Jamie didn't understand the particulars himself. "How do we get to the hospital ground, then?"
The answer, apparently, was a small moving metal room. Jamie did his best to look unimpressed and worldly-wise.
Apparently the hospital grounds were a sort of courtyard. Jamie followed Oscar through doors that opened on their own and found himself in a garden. The vegetation was rather more pink than it should be, but the small winding foot-paths and benches made sense. He took a deep breath and was rather disappointed that it smelled exactly the same as the hospital air.
"Take a look," Oscar said, and pointed up at the sky.
It was night, although the lanterns around the garden made it much brighter than any night Jamie was familiar with. There was a great moon-looking thing hanging in the sky, far more colorful than the moon ever got; it had blue, purple, tan, and white, like some sort of multicolored gemstone. It was, Jamie thought, quite beautiful.
That wasn't the thing that made him stiffen in alarm. The sky itself seemed to be sectioned into panels, like panes of glass. Jamie knew it hadn't looked the same, but he had the distinct feeling that crystal skies were danger—crystal skies meant very bad things—
"You've never seen it before," Oscar said quietly. "Have you."
"And what if I haven't?"
"How did you get here, exactly?"
"The Doctor brought me. Ask him."
"Yes," Oscar said, "that's what I wanted to talk to you about. The Doctor seems to have total power of attorney over your treatment, but he won't tell us where you came from, how you got here, or how you were injured. He's also made several questionable decisions, including turning off your Wynd-O for the first few days and vetoing any use of surgical plastic, the latter of which will add at least a week to your recovery time. You're almost never left alone, and the young woman who watches you when the Doctor is gone seems cowed and fearful. Most disturbing of all, you seem to believe you deserve to be in pain; you demanded that the nurses reduce your DEM-17 dosage at a time when it would have caused unendurable agony. Jamie, you need to understand, the Doctor is not your master and he doesn't own you. If you're being abused—and being forced to march is abuse, however it was justified—my staff and I can help you. I can make sure that you never have to see him, or think about him, ever ag—"
He stopped, his eyes bugging out. Quite rightly, too, because the point of Jamie's dirk was resting delicately on his Adam's apple.
"I remember," Jamie said.
"Remember what, exactly?" Oscar's voice was even, if somewhat strangled-sounding.
"Crystal skies. The faerie castle lies beneath crystal skies." Not quite like the one above Jamie now—the faeries' skies were all of one piece—but close enough that his blood was rushing fast, his heart pounding, and his mind going no, no, never again. "You took me from the Doctor. You put me back beside a killing ground. You tried to steal my memories away. Flying beasties, men on the moon, nae problem. But some things should never be." He lowered the dirk, and Oscar took a relieved breath—which caught in his throat when he realized where Jamie had lowered the dirk to. "Someday," he told the man, "I'll leave the Doctor. But all the hosts of Hell canna make me forget him. I don't know how many bollocks the Good Neighbors are born with, but faeries who go after my memories have none at all. D'ye ken?"
"Jamie," Oscar choked, "you're very confused."
"I'm not confused," Jamie said, "I'm escaping. And you're helping."
"Jamie, please listen to me. I realize the Doctor is a very charismatic, attractive man, but he isn't worth—"
"He's worth a hundred of you. Now, you're going to walk just a bit ahead of me—like that—and look friendly, or we'll see what color a coward's liver is."
"How did you even get that knife?" Oscar hissed desperately over his shoulder.
Jamie poked him with it. "You let the Doctor give me back my clothes," he explained. "This is clothes. And it's a dirk, not a knife. March or bleed, your choice."
Oscar pinned a horrified-looking smile on his face and marched.
They made it to the edge of the garden without incident, which Jamie thought was shocking laxity on the part of the guards. He'd fully expected to have to clip Oscar behind the ear and run for it.
At the edge of the garden, there was a large, stony place with dozens of glass-and-metal beasties lined up in ranks. Jamie would have been at a loss except that he saw a woman settling herself inside one, apparently quite comfortably, after which the glass beastie broke ranks and zipped away. Jamie gestured to the nearest one. "Open it."
"Dirk," Jamie explained.
"I can't, it isn't my car! Look, I'm just an administrator, I don't have override codes—if you want something like that, you'd have to talk to the police. I can call them for you, if you—"
"I'm not thick. Take me to your car, then."
It was, inevitably, quite a ways away. Jamie kept expecting recapture with every step; all his muscles were tense. It was worse, in a way, than fighting for your life, because at least fights for your life happened so fast they were generally over before you had a chance to dwell on the fear. Oscar kept shooting worried glances all around him, but eventually he stopped next to a blue-flanked car-beastie. "I'll have to use my comp to open it."
A comp, evidently, was a sort of bracelet with a little window on it. Oscar tapped at it until Jamie was almost ready to poke him as a reminder, but finally the car flashed its eyes and squawked an acknowledgement, which very nearly earned the fool thing a dirk in the face—if that front bit with the glass eyes was its face. Jamie wasn't quite sure, and wasn't about to ask. "You're the one who knows how the reins work," he said, "you get in first. No sudden moves."
Oscar got in, and Jamie followed him, awkwardly. "What do you hope to accomplish with this?" he said. "Where are you going to go?"
"Somewhere," Jamie said, "where nobody puts Damn Seventeen in my ivy to make me sleep all the time while they do Lord knows what." And what they would have accomplished if the Doctor hadn't been keeping faithful watch—didn't bear thinking about, Jamie decided, so he tried very hard not to. He ripped the clear stuff off his skin with his teeth, preparatory to pulling the needle out.
"Don't!" Oscar almost grabbed at him, making Jamie's dirk flash back to his throat. "Please, don't, not like that. You could pierce a blood vessel, or—let me do it."
"No tricks," Oscar agreed. "Er, I don't have a microstunner, so it will sting, though—are you sure you want to—"
He was actually quite gentle about it, and it didn't sting at all, just a slight twinge. "Did I hurt you?" Oscar said anxiously.
Jamie flexed his arm, enjoying the freedom of movement. "What, with that?"
"Well, even if you can't feel it now, it'll bruise up. You should probably have a capillary fixative—we have some back inside—"
Jamie was quite sure he didn't have any caterpillars in his arm, and if he did, they didn't want fixing. "Now you're just making things up. Come on, get this beastie awake and moving."
Oscar stared at Jamie for a moment, ivy needle dangling from nerveless fingers. "You've never seen a car before," he whispered.
"Aye, and what if I haven't? You've never seen Scotland." Jamie didn't add I win, but only because he felt it was somewhat self-evident. "Wake him up."
Waking the beastie involved pressing a round green shape, which Jamie noted carefully for future reference. The reins were a sort of odd yoke—Jamie wasn't sure what else to call it, but he thought he could steer the creature if he had to. Faster and slower was a more obscure process, but Oscar evidently knew what he was doing. The beastie rose out of its resting place, hovered, and swept gracefully over all the ranks of somnolent cars.