As she opened her eyes that morning she cursed at the air, she'd been having those bizarre dreams again! She thought that the Doctor had solved it this time! But she was haunted by that image... those sad brown eyes, that voice begging her to come...
"Aisha!" she heard the Doctor calling.
"Coming Doctor!" she called, as she picked up her cap and placed it on her head.
As she dressed herself she had that feeling again inside. Like... something in her life was missing. She placed her hand over her left heart again, it was like there was a massive hole in it, and it hurt. The Doctor had checked it and said nothing was wrong, so why couldn't she shake the feeling that something was missing?
As she disappeared from his distant view once more he sighed, he'd failed again. Failed to let her know that something was wrong, and not as it should be. He was fast losing energy, if only she would let him in... she only heard a few words he shouted to her.
"Time is running out..." he said. "I need to make her remember..."
"You know the rules..." said the dark voice behind him. "You are allowed three brief messages left in the real world... but you know that it will cost you a lot of energy and your time still barely existing!"
"..." he said, thinking.
"Are you going to pay to leave a message little 'Angel'?" the voice mocked.
"..." he hesitated.
"Well, GUARDIAN ANGEL?" the voice boomed. "Make a choice. Just make sure it doesn't go as badly as your last one!"
As he sensed the voice's presence leaving him Adric sighed, and his wings sagged. Why had he done it? WHY? He guess he'd never know the answer to that question as long as he lived... if he 'lived' very much longer...
Aisha had just gotten out of a frankly very boring lesson on the history of their 'home planet'. Aisha had no idea why she had to learn about a planet that her father described as 'stuffy and filled with hypocrites’ and was gone...
"I'm so bored... fed up of this..." she said. "If there'd been somewhere else to go maybe I wouldn't be..."
She drew off as she saw the steam coming out of the little en-suite bathroom, she went in to find the hot water running. As she turned it off she saw the message on the mirror, like a finger had drawn on it.
'Track 2 1:26-1:35' it said.
Aisha wondered who could have put that up, she ran out and looked at the CD in her music player. It was a random one of tunes. She put on Track 2 and timed it till 1:26...
"...I've seen your face before my friend,
But I don't know if you know who I am."
"... No, I don't," Aisha said out loud. "Who are you...? Who... and you know me?"
She thought and there was a flash of something... a yellow shirt and a star? But then it was gone again... she sighed and shook her head. It must be V'int or Martha playing a joke on her. Although they knew how freaked the dreams were already making her feel, so why would they do this?
The dreams... the feeling of something missing from her life, from her... could it be that someone was trying to contact her?
That night as she curled up she wondered if she should try listening to the figure in her dreams tonight. Was it him who was trying to contact her? She decided to go to him, and to hear what the figure with the brown eyes had to say.
Adric pulled his head up from the ground where he'd fallen asleep, in this cold void world. That was... Aisha? She'd entered the void herself... had the message he'd left made her curious? He got up and raced over towards her voice, and saw her at the distance again. He stopped at the edge of the area he’d been told not to enter or else.
"Aisha!" he called. "Aisha, come to me please!"
She turned to him again, and he knew that all she could see where his eyes in the duskiness of the voidspace. Would she be too scared to come closer? She cautiously walked forwards.
"Hello?" she said. "W-who are you? Did you leave that message?"
"Yes, I did Aisha," he said. "And I am Adric. Something has gone desperately wrong with our timeline."
"What do you mean?" Aisha asked. "If that were true we'd know already."
"It is slowly going wrong Aisha..." he said. "I'm fading from your world into non-existence... once I'm gone then the real world could be ripped apart..."
"... How did this happen?" Aisha asked, coming closer.
"I was stupid," Adric sighed, as Aisha came close enough to see him faintly. "I dared to say that I was needed on your plane, and that even if I were removed from time you'd still come for me and restore time. Unfortunately what I can only describe as a 'demon' was listening and did just that... removed me from your life. There's a time limit too... Aisha please!"
"I... a demon?" Aisha muttered stumbling back. "You're not serious?"
"Aisha, please don't go!" Adric said, stepping forwards.
As he did suddenly the scene lit up and thick black vines snaked around his body, crushing him. As he screamed in pain a few more headed for Aisha and she ran for it, Adric saw this and yelled.
"AISHA! PLEASE! I NEED YOU, PLEEEEAAASSE! AIIIIISSSSHHHHAAAAA!"
She awoke, gasping. That had been scary, a nightmare in fact. But this 'Adric'... he was trapped? She needed to help him... but the Doctor had told her to always be wary. And she'd almost gotten hurt then. Was 'Adric' just an alien after her mind? She was too scared to go back, to find out...
"It... can't be true," she panted. "I... I won't go back!"
Then the hole in her heart stabbed her chest painfully and she cried...
"Well, you broke the rules!"
Adric was still struggling at the vines, and was now getting wound up, shouting at the 'demon'.
"I'm sorry! I wanted to... I'M HER GUARDIAN ANGEL FOR GOD'S SAKE!" Adric shouted. "I wanted to make her feel better..."
"Aww, likkle Addie luffs his guardee!" the voice mocked, as the vines let the angel go onto the floor.
"Shut up..." Adric muttered, blushing.
"If you slip up one more time Alzarian, you're gone!" the voice said.
As it left again Adric sighed, with that Aisha would be too scared to come back now... Unless he used up another message, but he really was beginning to flag now. His feathers were looking dry and unkempt on his wings... But he had to try!
Three days later, Aisha was going about her business on the TARDIS. She'd not been to sleep for the past few nights, but being as she was she didn't need that much sleep anyway... but more than her father. She was starting to doze during the day, and the Doctor was asking her why she was dropping. When she'd told him about the dream and mentioned Adric his face had gone white, and he'd hurriedly told her to forget the dream. But she'd not told him that she hadn't gone back to sleep, that she was too afraid... He'd think her a coward, and she desperately wanted him to treat her as an equal...
"I am fine. I am not scared. 'Adric' does not exist..." Aisha quoted as she walked down the corridor again.
As she came into her room and put in a CD she looked to her small hand mirror, and saw the red letters over it. It was red felt pen...
'Track 12 1:04-1:43'
She wondered if it was truly a good idea to... considering that 'Adric' didn't exist... but then who was leaving these messages? She skipped to Track 12 and again timed it till 1:04...
"Come with me, I'll take you there
To a place where you'll see
Everything you need to be the one
you need to be
And all of those things that you feared
Will disappear from you in time..."
"Aisha... don't fear..." she almost heard him saying. "I'll show you proof... and you don't need to fear any more once you've help me..."
"Ad..." she muttered and sighed. "You really want my help. You're helping me be strong... but why? I'm just... so confused."
She put her head in her hands and thought more about Adric, and what he'd said. If he went would everything really collapse into nothingness? Would it be suicide to go back?
"I... can't," she said. "Not until I know... that everything really is in danger."
As he waited that night he just knew it hadn't worked. He could clearly see her face from last time, filled with terror... and that scared him. It hadn't been the same Aisha... Without a friend she was more afraid... without her Guardian Angel... she needed him just as much as he needed her...
"She's not coming..." he said, looking down at his feet.
"A waste of your precious time boy," the voice hissed at him. "You'll soon be gone and mine forever. Your soul will taste delicious!"
"Back off!" Adric shouted back.
"Words are meaningless," the voice said. "But for your cheek...!"
Suddenly Adric's 'body' was racked with pain, as he cried out and fell over it stopped, leaving him lying stunned on the floor, tears running from his eyes.
"Here, I am in charge," the voice spat. "You'd do well to remember that in your short time here!"
Suddenly he was hurting again and screamed out loud, the voice laughed.
"That's it, hurt, HURT!" it said. "You little sod. You deserve all the hurt you get you worthless piece of shit!"
Back in the reality of the TARDIS Aisha was having her weekly driving lesson with the TARDIS when suddenly she felt a stab of pain right through her body, she crumpled to the ground with it. But as quickly as it had come it had gone...
"Are you alright?” the Doctor asked, running round and helping her up.
"That was str-" Aisha began, before the pain came back and she collapsed to the ground again, in agony.
"Aisha! What's wrong?" the Doctor cried, shaking her.
"I... I don't KNOW!" Aisha yelled.
Suddenly the warning lights went off on the console, the Doctor reluctantly got up from Aisha and checked it.
"... A serious disturbance..." he muttered, shocked. "... How? But...? It..."
Aisha opened her eyes slowly, while still hurting... A time disturbance?
"... Once I'm gone then the real world could be ripped apart..."
"A-Adric!" she whispered. "I have to... get back..."
With that the pain caused her to pass out...
She found herself in the voidspace again, she ran forward.
"ADRIC! ADRIC WHERE ARE YOU?" she cried. "Oh, please don't be dead already..."
Aisha turned, she could faintly see the brown eyes looking at her from the dusk. She ran forwards and found Adric curled up on the ground, weak and shaking. She knelt down beside him and propped him up.
"What did it do to you?" she asked.
"Torture... it's like the Master. It glorifies in pain..." he muttered.
"The Master... my Dad's rival... how do you?" she began then sighed. "Of course, you're meant to be part of our time..."
"I'm so glad you came back..." Adric muttered. "I didn't think... you'd come."
"Of course I would," Aisha said. "To repair time..."
"You aren't as brave as I remember you," Adric said, as she pulled him up. "But then, you are female!"
As he laughed, he realised Aisha wasn't. He looked round at her, her expression was stormy.
"What do you mean by that?" she asked.
"Well, girls are traditionally less brave than the men," he laughed.
Aisha snorted and walked away from him, he turned in shock.
"What...? What are you doing?" he asked.
"Guess I'm no use to you as I'm not 'brave' or a guy eh?" she said.
"Wha...? NO!" Adric said.
"If you meant that, you'd come towards me..." Aisha said. "Maybe my father was right. I should have forgotten about you!"
As she ran Adric was rooted on the spot, unable to follow but he still shouted.
"IT WAS A JOKE AISHA! Please don't... leave... me..."
"Well, I'd say she's made her choice," the voice said.
Suddenly Adric felt the curse on his feet lift, and he was in a snow filled wasteland.
"Welcome to your erasure Adric! Welcome to non-existence!"
As the cold winds blew around him, Adric shivered.
"Oh god... I blew it..." he muttered. "Aisha, I wish I could... say sorry... I didn't... mean... I loved you for god's sake..."
Aisha had come to in her room, the Doctor looking over her concerned.
"You were out for a time," he said.
"The pain... has gone..." she said. "I'm alright."
"I hope so," he said, getting up. "You get some rest, I'll see you later."
As he left Aisha turned over onto her side, that stupid 'Adric'... He was such a big mouth. Why should she help him...? Then she slipped her hand under the corner of the pillow, and felt the note. She unfolded it. It had been writing in shining silver fluid, and trailed off at the end as if the writer had been dragged away...
'Track 10 First verse and chorus... goodbye Aisha...'
She got to her feet, a little shaky from the pain before and put on Track 10, then sat on her bed.
"Everywhere I turn, I hurt someone.
But there's nothing I can say to change
the things I've done..."
"Change... what you did..." she said, in a whisper. "To time..."
"...Of all the things I hid from you
I cannot hide the shame..."
"The shame..." Aisha whispered, something stirring in her mind. She closed her eyes to listen more... to picture what he had been trying to say...
"...And I pray someone, something will come
to take away the pain..."
With these lyrics she saw a figure with wings in her mind, faint but there... Wearing a silver star? She realised it was Adric... and saw him leaping in front of her to protect her from the shot of a Dalek...
“Oh… Adric… You were telling me the truth...” she muttered. “Why didn’t you… tell me? Tell me... how much it hurt you? The guilt of being separate...?”
"...There's no way out of this dark place
No hope, no future...
...I know I can't be free
But I can't see another way
I can't face another day..."
"No... he said, remembering what he'd told her. "...He's dying..."
She pulled herself back onto her bed and made up her mind. She was going to help him.
“I have to go… I hope it’s not too late…” she said, as she curled up asleep, “Don’t die… hang on…”
Adric meanwhile was walking through the dream-like void world between existing and non-existence... He was getting more and more tired, his feet hurting, his body shivering in cold... His wings had long since been taken back into his body for his to conserve energy, but he knew that he was slipping into non-existence right now...
As he began to weaken more and more his thoughts turned once more to his friends and his family as they had when he'd first died... all gone... and now Aisha... for his stupid mistake he was all alone now and he was no longer going to have existed...
But then again... this was his fault. And the comment he'd made to Aisha. He'd forgotten that it was no longer his Aisha he was talking to, and she'd taken offence to his words. He'd made his bed, and now he'd have to lie in it...
The sky got darker above him like storm clouds closing in around him, and he began to tire and stumble... The darkness solidified around him, erasing the scene around him, and swallowing it. He stopped, not afraid but numb...
He stumbled over onto the ground, but didn't bother to get up. He curled round himself and sobbed...
As he lay there, curled up, the darkness closed round him, and he took one last breath before the darkness came to erase him from time completely…
"...RIC! ADRIC! DON'T DIE!!!!"
Suddenly the dullness he could see when his eyes were closed lightened, his body was getting stronger as the rays touched it. He opened his eyes, the light was coming back...
He looked around, around his body he could see the floor returning, the walls... And there, walking towards him was Aisha. Her eyes were teary, but she was smiling.
"Aisha... is this... a dream?" he muttered.
"No you idiot. Come here, my little Angel. My Guardian Angel," she said.
He pulled himself up, hardly believing this... she'd come back. Come back to save him from non-existence. He ran forward to her and into her arms, they hugged tightly.
"I'm so sorry," he said. "I didn't mean it."
"You're forgiven," she said, calmly.
He looked up at her, her blue eyes were gazing at him in happiness and something else... love. They sparkled with the happy tears she held back for him, and he smiled back at her.
"My little Guardian Angel Star," she grinned.
He felt so much stronger than he'd felt for an incredibly long time, and his wings shot from his back, as large and beautiful as they had ever been.
Suddenly they saw a golden path in front of them and as they began to walk down it they could see timelines stretching out in the sky above them, coloured and labelled for each of the millions through out time and space. As they walked forward Adric could feel all the mental shackles around him, placed by the darkness that had kept him prisoner, breaking away. Aisha was taking him back, taking him home to reality... and he'd done it with her... he'd made her remember. And now they were in love, it was brilliant...
As they reached the end of the path and were lifted high into the air he could see his timeline and hers... hers went on till her fathers died, and then it disappeared too and his had died a long time ago, back on that freighter... But then from his line came a fainter one that intertwined with Aisha's and carried on, past her father's and at a point another line joined with hers briefly to spawn a new line that joined to the Doctor's line way back the beginning of it...
"Susan..." she muttered. "I'm Susan's mother..."
Then their lines stretched away and at one point joined, spawning a pair of lines before they all got too far away to see.
"Thank you for coming back..." he said.
"If you hadn't left that final message, I'd never have remembered you," Aisha said.
As they came towards the exit, Aisha turned to Adric.
"This was brilliant... shame we won't remember this broken timeline..."
"WHAT?" Adric cried, before they emerged onto the other side...
"...up! Wake up Aisha!"
Aisha turned over, duvet over her head. Adric was shaking her awake.
"It's morning already," he said. "You seemed to be humming in your sleep..."
"Oh?" Aisha said, "What?"
"Some Phil Collins song," Adric shrugged.
"Bizarre," Aisha said. "I haven't even listened to them yet... wait, how do you...? Have you been listening to my music again?"
"I get bored!" Adric yelped, before flying off.
Aisha sighed, then laughed.
"What would I ever do without you my friend?" she said. "I dread to think..."