He's perfection, he thinks, as he stares at the tall Thal in contempt. Ganatus. With his pure blonde hair, pale skin, and handsome features. The traditional Thal clothing that showered off the muscles of his body; his chest, his legs. Everything a woman could possibly desire. If they were into that sort of thing of course.
He was waiting for Barbara to join them in the TARDIS, standing in the entrance, She was saying goodbye to Ganatus. But what was taking her so long? So he peered out the door and saw Barbara and Ganatus, lips pressed together in a sweet kiss, eyes closed in rapture. Ian stared at them in utter disbelief. But Barbara quickly pulled away, and darted into the time machine nearly hitting Ian on the way in. He couldn't help but allow himself a smug little smile. Perfect the Thal may be, but he was staying on this dead planet, while Barbara would come with him, hopefully back home to England. She's perfect, he thinks. He shouldn't be thinking like that, she was his best friend, had been for years. And yet, he thought about her constantly. Her smile, those sparkling eyes, and when he allowed himself an inappropriate thought, those lovely legs of hers. He thinks of her as his Barbara, and he'll tell her, one day.
He turned back into the TARDIS, to where Barbara was standing by the console, holding her fabric and staring at the still glass column jutting out of the centre of the hexagonal control panels with a thousand yard glance. He opened his mouth to say something as the chromium doors start to close with the flick of a switch, when there's a loud thump and short, small cry of pain. They all turned to look and there, on his hands and knees, blonde hair swept to the side; was Ganatus, in all his glory.
The doors shut with a satisfying thud, and the glass column began it's climb and fall, the mechanistic time rotor turning about, flashing with light every few seconds. They were in flight, with an extra passenger. "Ganatus.." Barbara breathed, her eyes seeming to light up with something that Ian wished he could deny: hope and joy and relief. The dress material fell from her grasp,there was a slight shake to her hands that only Ian noticed.
The Thal looked up at her, and smiled, the strange sea-foam of his eyes glistening in the harsh light of the console room. Ganatus got back up to his feet, and strode over to Barbara, taking her small, soft hands in his larger ones. "I would live the rest of my life in regret if I let you go, Barbara." He said her name in that strangely exotic way, emphasizing the middle of her name with a strange allure.
Ian moved his gaze to Barbara, who was staring at the Thal with widened eyes, lips slightly parted in disbelief. Susan, who had her hands clasped over her mouth the moment Ganatus fell through that door, finally found the will to speak. "Are..you and Miss Wright..." she trailed off, feeling that it was not her place to say those words.
Ganatus thought for a moment, glancing first at the young girl then at woman before him. With a grin, he responded. "If she'll have me. "
All eyes were now on Barbara. There was a decision lingering in the air. Ganatus was stuck with them now, where ever the Doctor was going to take them next but, relationships could possibly be formed. They were seeds, festering in the soil of everyone's mind. Would they be allowed to flourish into beautiful flowers, or would the grow into weeds; awkward and unwanted. Barbara took in deep breath, her chest heaving with the uncertainty of it all. A side look to the Doctor, who had remained silent through out the whole exchange, gripping his lapels with an eyebrow arched. Obviously thinking neither here or there of the situation. Then to Susan, whose eyes were darting back and forth with anticipation, hands clasped together, such the teenager that she was. And then to Ganatus. His smile was warm, his thumbs gently rubbing the skin of her hands in an obviously comforting way.
Ian, however, was staring at her in horror. While it may not have been obvious on his face, his eyes betrayed him. If Barbara were to look at her friend now, she would see the pain flashing through his features, the slight shake of his head in protest, the way his eyes widened with utter fear. But she didn't look. She couldn't possibly be considering a life with Ganatus. An alien creature, humanoid but oh so different in structure and personality, one who had known her only for a short time. She wouldn't throw herself at him, she was far too sensible for that. But then he remembered, how keen the Thal was in protecting Barbara, how often the two would stay up to talk to one another, and that damned goodbye kiss..
But Ganatus hardly knew her. He didn't know her favourite colour, or how much she loved to garden, or that she played piano, and that she hated roses because she thought they were utterly cliche. Ian knew all that, he had known that for some time. Part of him wanted to call out to her, talk some sense into her. 'Barbara, I know you' he'd say. 'I know your loves and hates, I know your favourite things, I love your outbursts and your moments of weakness and your times of strength. Barbara oh, my Barbara don't you see that I lo--'
Her sing-song response filled the air, destroying the once deafening silence save the ever present hum of the machines. Shattering not only the tension but Ian Chesterton's heart as well. Ganatus laughed, and pulled Barbara into a tight embrace, lifting her slightly off the ground by a few inches. Susan gave a squeal, cupping her cheeks and digging her fingernails into her skin slightly; the situation overwhelming. The Doctor gave a chuckle, rolling his eyes and went back to his diligent watching of the flashing buttons and switches on the leftmost control panel. Ian watched the couple, the sensation of pinpricks in his eyes and he blinked as quickly as he could to rid himself of the feeling. Her arms were round the Thal's neck and he spun her round with glee, a bliss-filled merry go round. He finally set her down, back safe on the sterile flooring. They were staring at each other, like if looking away for one moment meant throwing the universe off it's axis. Barbara angled her head upward just so, and pressed her soft human lips against Ganatus' alien ones, moving ever so slightly. All the picture needed now was a sunset background and swelling music. They had the occasional beeps and hums of the TARDIS, and illuminated roundels as their backdrop, but it was still a picturesque view of passion.
No one noticed as Ian slipped out of the console room and made his way down the long corridor. Time dragged, it seemed, as he passed doorway after doorway, wall after wall of circular paneling. It didn't matter where he was going he just needed to get out of that room, with it's judgmental light, and strange technology and pair of lovers embracing before his eyes.
He had taken too long. Barbara had laughed and smiled with him, she had bled on him and cried into his chest, he had comforted her and held her. She patched up his wounds and together they ran. They had told each other dark secrets, and met everyday after classes. He loved her, he had for a long while.
But she was in a perfect man's arms, kissing angelic lips, tasting lust in its purest form. What would she ever want with him? Dorky, dull, plain Ian Chesterton.
She had Adonis, the God of beauty and desire. Whatever would she want with Atlas? The titan with the burden of the world on his shoulders.
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