agapi42: Livia from I, Claudius (Barbara)
[personal profile] agapi42
Title: Limited Perception
Characters: Ian, Barbara, the Rani
Rating: PG
Word count: 510
Summary: Humans have only five senses.



Smell

Barbara worked closer to home and often arrived back before him. She was in the kitchen when he returned, arranging bright flowers in a vase.

“Secret admirer?”

“Complete with cryptic note.” She passed it over.

“Keep these in a safe place. They’ll be needed,” Ian read.

Barbara carried the vase through to the living room, returned, and asked, “What shall we have for dinner?”

Neither of them mentioned, as they moved about the kitchen, preparing and cooking, talking of today and planning for tomorrow, the scent that hung heavily in the air, speaking of starbirth and the past made present.


Taste

They had bacon and eggs for dinner. Something wasn’t quite right with it, Ian noticed, and ate slowly, trying to work it out. Barbara cut a strip of bacon and folded it over twice.

“Did I overcook the eggs?”

“No, they’re fine.”

“Just fine? I’m wounded.”

She didn’t seem to hear him, sitting back and staring contemplatively at the bacon on her fork. “Oh, it’s so silly, Ian. It’s just - it tastes like it should, but the texture and...” She trailed off.

That was it. Something in his mind had been expecting a food machine block.

He opened the window.


Sound

The clock ticked, loud in the almost-silence, sounding reassuringly steady, regular and inevitable to Barbara.

A clock could be silenced, but not stopped: the passing of the seconds, minutes, hours marked by your heartbeat, the breaths you took, the passage of the sun, the life in the plants around you.

But you could spin the hands, change the time, and it became a different clock. You could try to set it back on its original path, but you’d never quite get the right time.

Clocks lost time, the gap widened, and the web of time came undone.

Barbara slept.


Touch

The living room door slammed behind Barbara.

Holding her arms painfully tight, the alien leaned in and sniffed. She grimaced as its breath passed over her cheek.

“Not this one,” it muttered. “Where is it?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“This house reeks of energy! I want the source.”

A car pulled in. Ian. The distraction let her pull free, picking up the nearby vase and smashing it over its head.

“Barbara!”

“It’s all right, Ian.” She laid her head against his shoulder and sighed, feeling his body hitch with the same movement. “I never liked that vase.”


Sight

The Rani smiled, satisfied. She’d been concerned the buds would be damaged when that desperate lone Aubertide had turned up, but the energy they had absorbed had boosted them to Level 2 maturity. Batch 1 was ready for collection, as long as the humans, clinging together, laughing, did not damage them.

Perhaps she should dampen the energy signature. She didn’t wish to draw attention to herself or a TARDIS, no matter how short-lived and primitive it would be, quick-grown and shaped around humans’ memories. The Doctor’s moral outrage would be tiresome, and the Master would compliment her and steal it.


Sixth

A week later, Victoria Waterfield receives a bouquet of flowers.

Date: 2009-07-20 12:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghost2.livejournal.com
I like how you have a section for each of the senses. That format works really well. One of my favorite lines:

The Doctor’s moral outrage would be tiresome, and the Master would compliment her and steal it.

Too true!

Date: 2009-07-24 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] livii.livejournal.com
I'm awfully late getting to this, but I really liked it - lovely portrayals of Ian and Barbara, with a great little overarching plot as well! Lovely work.

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