Aftershock 15 - If Only I Could... by AishaLeHerisson
Summary: (Full title: If Only I Could Turn Back Time) After a shared nightmare flashback, Aisha finds a familiar machine in one of the TARDIS' rooms.
Categories: Other Era, Multi-Era
Characters: Adric, Unspecified Companion, Unspecified Companion
Genres: Alternate Universe, Angst, Hurt/Comfort
Series: Aftershock Era 4
Aftershock 15 - If Only I Could... by AishaLeHerisson
Chapter 1: TemptationAuthor's Notes: Aisha's got a plan of risky proportions. But does it mean that Adric can have what he's been missing since AS6?
His eyes searched the control in front of him, his brain working as fast as possible, faster than it had ever had to work before. He HAD to solve this final lock, he HAD to. Otherwise what would happen to established history? What would happen to Tegan? He knew he could do it; only he could do it...
As he thought about it, suddenly it seemed logical. Of course! That was it! He could do it, he could be the hero, make the Doctor proud of him. He knew the answer! He began to type at the console, inputting the code, a short distance from it, as he hardly believed his time to shine had arrived... Then he saw the Cyberman preparing to shoot and threw himself back as the shot went wide, destroying the console. As it collapsed, he looked back at the console, blackened and useless. And then he knew, it wasn't his time to shine; it was his time to die. It was so unfair! All he'd wanted was to prove himself... to know that he was useful and right in his mathematical abilities... And now he was going to die...
"Now I'll never know if I was right..." he half-whispered, the words catching in his throat.
He raised his eyes to watch the planet coming closer and closer, the dread rose in his body paralyzing his eyes that wanted to cry, his mouth that wanted to scream. He was… numb. He untied the cord belt his brother Varsh had given to him and squeezed it tightly; they’d be seeing each other again soon. Maybe it was good he was dying. He was of little use to the Doctor anyway, and he knew that the girls weren’t too fond of him sometimes. Maybe it was all for the best, he had nothing else to do on this plane of existence anyway, nothing else to give…
“It’ll be fine…” a voice from behind him suddenly said, cutting through his daydreams. “You’ll see Adric…”
“What?” he turned, to see a half-crouched figure in the shadows and smoke of the destroyed wall machinery. “Who… are you?”
“A future friend…” the figure, half hidden and sounding as if it were crying. “Trust me… you have a purpose still… after death…”
Then the ship hit the atmosphere of the Earth, and as the flames painfully consumed him he caught a split second glance of a mouth, smiling sadly at him and two intelligent eyes looking as if they knew him well. But he’d never met this person before… had he?
Aisha sat bolt upright, panting her heart going like the clappers. She was covered in cold sweat, which was drenching the nightie she was sleeping in. The sheets of the large double bed were soaking too. She knew what that had been, it had been a memory, one that had never been downloaded into the TARDIS. That had been the memory of when Adric had met with his untimely horrific end. She looked at the sleeping figure on the pillow next to her; she could see his face still twisted in fear, his face wet with the cold sweat as well, could hear him crying. Aisha then knew, she’d just experienced one of Adric’s nightmares with him, obviously one of her latent psychic powers that the Doctor had been trying to teach her to use had just begun to work properly since she’d become her forth self.
“Oh god Addie… it still haunts you doesn’t it?” she said to his sleeping form. “You love your job as my Guardian Angel, your afterlife is good… but you still wish you’d lived that fateful day. I know you do because I can feel it…”
She broke off as her eyes leaked tears, she sniffed wiping them with her sleeve and decided to take a walk. She needed to clear her head anyway…
Walking down the TARDIS corridors she sighed. It seemed a bit emptier now, she’d gotten used to having Nydor Pian around. But what he’d done, to her, Adric and Susan… it had been unforgivable and Aisha knew she’d made the right choice in leaving him behind on Gallifrey. But her maternal instinct still hadn’t quietened, and although she’d known that Susan had to be left on the Doctor’s doorstep she still wanted to cradle her, bathe her, cuddle her and love her…
“Damn you Nydor,” she said. “Because of what you did… I had to lose my child sooner than I’d hoped… DAMN YOU!” She screamed to the ceiling, causing the TARDIS to give an insulted hum.
She knew that the memory had stirred her blood up, because suddenly she was just so angry. She ran down the corridor, screaming at the top of her lungs. She just wanted to smash Nydor’s things, take out her anger on him by destroying his possessions, his inventions. It was unfair, it was stupid but she didn’t care. Crashing through the door she started to knock things to the floor, her eyes teary. Cruel people like Nydor got to live, whilst the good died young and suffered so much heartbreak. It was so unfair! If only… if only…
Suddenly she stopped; there was a pile of discarded junk lying on the bed. Nydor had obviously dragged it up from some storeroom somewhere and had set about restoring the blasted innards, to re-use them maybe. Aisha realised with a jolt that she recognised them, knew what they were for. She ran to the console room, laughing in joy. It was possible! Why hadn’t she thought of this before? Soon, the heartache of the good dying young would be solved, at least within this TARDIS it would be…
The next morning Adric turned over in the double bed, half-asleep and his hand met with something small and furry instead of Aisha’s chest as he’d hoped. As the small furry thing twitched, Adric jumped. He sat up and looked over at Aisha’s side of the bed which was inhabited by… a yawning Digo.
“You made me jump,” he said to the kitten.
Digo merely stretched, curled round himself and began purring. Adric shook his head, and only when pulling on his trousers did he begin to wonder where Aisha could be. Even her glasses were gone. He tied his belt, sprouted his wings and walked to the wall.
“TARDIS, do you know where Aisha is?” he said.
The TARDIS gave a hum that Adric knew roughly translated as a ‘yes’. He nodded and stepped into the wall, relying on the TARDIS to direct him to where Aisha was. He emerged from the wall, in a corridor only a short distance from the console room. Even from here he could hear music being played, a song by an Earth band of the 90s called Aqua, but he didn’t recognise the song. He’d never heard Aisha play it before. He ran towards the sound and found Aisha busily steering the TARDIS, she had a spring in her step as she twiddled and poked and pushed the controls on the TARDIS console. She stepped back; smiling turned to run out of the console room and almost collided with Adric. She jumped back, but still with a large grin on her face.
“I wondered if you’d be awake to see it,” she said. “It’s brilliant man! I’ve finally figured it out! I can do it!”
“Hold on,” Adric said, holding up his hands. “What have you figured out? What can you finally do?”
Aisha didn’t answer him; she instead turned to the CD player she kept permanently on the TARDIS console. She walked over to it, turned it up and then looked back at him.
“Appropriate song for the event this one,” she said, slightly sadly, then sang along with the chorus. “If only I could tu-urn back time, if only I’d said what I still hide. If only I could
tu-urn back time, I’d stay for the night…”
“Aisha, what does this have to do with anything?” Adric asked, getting annoyed.
“I can turn back time, the only problem has always been creating a paradox or destroying the space/time continuum… but no more!” Aisha said. “Follow me!”
She ran past him down the corridor, and he felt obliged to follow. He still had no idea what the ‘event’ was, but how could she ‘turn back time’ without damaging everything? As he followed her into Nydor’s room, he stopped in shock. A large machine now dominated it. The machine was hooked up to a part of the TARDIS’ wall, and it was glowing red with thick leads and odd electrodes sticking out of it. He looked to Aisha, who was looking smug like her father’s tenth self whilst having her hands rammed deeply into the pockets of her trousers like his fifth. It was all very confusing.
“Okay, I give up,” he said to her. “What is it?”
“This my friend, is a Paradox Machine!” Aisha said. “I wired it up this morning. With the power from the Eye of Harmony powering it, we can change history man. But only one little bit of it, the machine wasn’t made to cope with any more.”
“We’re going to…? Aisha, what would the Doctor say?” Adric yelled. “This is irresponsible!”
“The Doctor’s not around anymore,” Aisha said darkly. “And you… it was a terrible flashback you had last night man. Despite the events of the Youth Helmet Incident, a little part of you wants to live. Doesn’t it?”
Adric paused, unsure. How had she known what he’d dreamt? As if reading his expression Aisha explained. “It seems since re-generation that my psychic abilities are finally beginning to develop. I accidentally read your mind in my sleep last night, it’s how I know.”
“You’re right,” he said. “I love being your Guardian Angel, and I’m glad we met. But I still wonder how it would be to actually be able to feel properly instead of the slightly numb dead sensation I get now…”
“You mean all those times I stroked your chest you couldn’t feel it?” Aisha asked, pretending to be shocked.
“Enough to be aroused, I assure you,” Adric said, with a grin. “And… like I said before, I’d love to give you a child. Our child.”
“Well then, I could do it,” Aisha said. “I can turn back time, I can give you a life again. But only if you really want it. Only if you’re prepared to lose your wings and a youthful eternity with me in death, for organs and a bit of life before you die again as an old man. Who knows? By then I might be able to follow you, I have no idea how many times I can re-generate being… not fully Time Lady.”
“I want it,” Adric said. “I do, and so do you.”
“Right then,” Aisha said, pulling her hands out of her pockets and bringing them together. “I guess it’s time to save you.”
…And then he knew, it wasn't his time to shine; it was his time to die. It was so unfair! All he'd wanted was to prove himself... to know that he was useful and right in his mathematical abilities... And now he was going to die...
“Now I'll never know if I was right...” he half-whispered, the words catching in his throat.
He raised his eyes to watch the planet coming closer and closer, the dread rose in his body paralyzing his eyes that wanted to cry, his mouth that wanted to scream. He was… numb. He untied the cord belt his brother Varsh had given to him and squeezed it tightly; they’d be seeing each other again soon.
Suddenly he heard the familiar wheezing sound as the TARDIS appeared in the console room, he spun round. The Doctor had come! He wasn’t going to die! He was almost crying with happiness, so when the door opened and a young 20-year-old woman ran out and grabbed him he was shocked.
“What the…?” he said.
“Come on, we’ve only a few seconds!” she said, dragging him into the TARDIS and shutting the door. “Get us out of here TARDIS! NOW!”
As he pulled his wrist out of her grip the TARDIS de-materialized taking him with it, the woman sank down into a chair.
“Thank god, it worked,” she said. “Or it seems to be. I hope all of time doesn’t suddenly implode on us!” she laughed.
“W-who are you?” Adric asked, wary. “What have you done?”
“Calm yourself,” said another familiar voice behind him.
Adric spun to see another mirror image of himself! But as she stepped back in shock he saw that this self was slightly blurry around the edges and had two large angel wings, he also seemed happier in himself.
“What are you doing to me?” he demanded.
“We’ve just saved your life man, altered the course of history,” Aisha said, rising and going over to him. “You were supposed to die. Supposed to have given your life for the Earth. But now things will be as they should be to be right, not what time says is right.”
She shoved the young Alzarian forwards and he collided with his angel self. There was a flash as they merged and then Adric was on the floor, knocked unconscious. Aisha walked over and pulled him up as he regained consciousness.
“Did it work? Are you whole again with all of your memories?” she asked.
“Yeah, I…” Adric stopped, as he felt his heart beating in his chest again, the blood pumping, his muscles moving, the heat of his body! It was everything he’d been used to only 18 out of the 320 years he’d existed in some form, so it seemed odd to him to once again be experiencing it. He had a body again, a real live flesh and blood body! He took in a deep breath and filled his lungs to full capacity and then breathed out deeply, marveling at the tight feeling of his chest as it expanded and deflated.
“It worked!” Aisha said, half-glomping him. “Oh, I don’t believe it worked!”
He grabbed her arms and spun her around, her legs flying out behind her and both of them laughing and squealing in joy. Once he stopped he was dizzy and unaccustomed to feeling it he staggered and they collapsed onto the floor, him on top of her.
“This is going to take a while to get used to again,” he groaned, as he rolled off her.
“You’ll do it,” Aisha said, stroking his chest. “Let’s see if you’re fully restored shall we? Let’s celebrate the way we know how!”
“You mean…?” Adric said, grinning.
“Oh yeah, come on. It’s time for snuggling!” Aisha said, grabbing his hand and yanking him down the corridor, laughing.
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