II: Athens

by Star of Rassilon [Reviews - 1]

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  • Teen
  • None
  • Character Study, Drama, Introspection, Romance, Series

Author's Notes:
Sorry. Life interfered.

This fic needed more Jamie. So now it has more Jamie.

The Doctor hadn't seemed right at all, ever since they'd materialised. The sudden mention of this being a place without any danger — since when did he shy away from getting his hands all over some issue or other that wasn't his business and that could be highly dangerous? It was a bit boring, really, stuck here with no threats, other than what got the Doctor all restless at night — those dreams. But dreams were hardly dangerous, not if one of them didn't have them.

The Doctor and Socrates walked somewhat ahead, with the Doctor wildly gesticulating and Socrates nodding.

He'd briefly thought it was his mistake, when he'd laid down and pretended to sleep. He had, after all, left dinner briefly to find someone for more wine. Perhaps that had been rude and perhaps the Doctor had been upset with him for being rude. But then he'd remembered that the Doctor usually didn't care much about coming across as rude, about upsetting others — except his friends, of course, who he'd only upset when it was absolutely vital — and he'd peacefully fallen asleep, only to be awoken some time later by the Doctor's nightmare.

When the Doctor had kissed him in the morning, Jamie had known for certain there was something very, very wrong. It wasn't dangerous, per se, there weren't any beasties threatening to eat them or poison them or drown them or suffocate them, but there was something wrong in the Doctor's mind. It wasn't that Jamie hadn't enjoyed the kiss — to his surprise he had found that he had, indeed, enjoyed it, and that he wanted to hold this man from beyond the stars close and stay that way forever. But the Doctor would never have done such a thing in his normal state of mind. The realisation had strangely disappointed Jamie, and when the Doctor'd pulled away and had refused to properly look at him and speak to him, Jamie'd known that the Doctor thought that he'd made a mistake. Jamie had tried fiddling with his clothes pin to lighten the mood and eradicate any tension, but the Doctor'd just quickly run off to Socrates to discuss something or other.

He looked about the agora. The colours of the temples were remarkable — the Doctor'd tried to teach him history with books from some time close to Jamie's own and they'd all shown drawings of Greece in which everything was white and clean and silent. The Doctor'd commented on the drawings as them being 'neo-classicist nonsense' but Jamie hadn't understood at the time and had just imagined Greece as being some place static in time in which everything looked like polished marble. But Athens was grimy, colourful, loud, with people shouting across the agora to sell their wares and catch up with friends, chickens and other livestock, food being cooked and baked and sold, and although the sand and dust was soft on Jamie's feet, he had to watch his every step to not cut his soles on pottery shards.

He enjoyed feeling the soft wool of his Grecian clothing on his skin. It felt light and breezy and almost decadent compared to the heavy, rough sturdiness of his kilt. He did, however, find himself often looking down to see that he hadn't exposed himself — not because he would be ashamed, he had taken the lead going up ladders and other inclines too often to still have any reservations about people potentially seeing up his clothes, but the lack of heavy swishing around his knees did feel somewhat disconcerting. He suddenly stifled a giggle as he considered that this might be how Victoria had felt upon putting on a short dress. And how he had enjoyed that sight.

He still missed her, but the Doctor had explained that she was happier with the Harrises, that all the dangers all the time that Jamie and the Doctor so enjoyed weren't things she enjoyed. But he missed her sweet smile and cheerful laughter and innocent optimism. He missed the way she would alternate between getting herself out of trouble and screaming for the Doctor and himself to come and save her. He missed the way she would admonish him whenever he made a silly joke at her expense. No one said 'James Robert McCrimmon' like she did. And with the Doctor's navigational skills and the TARDIS's erratic nature — Jamie was unsure which to blame more — the prospects of ever seeing her again were dim.

He looked about the agora and found his host and friend almost across, engrossed in a discussion with a third person. Jamie lazily strolled over. He'd try and be patient until they could get away from this place and the Doctor would be back to normal.

*


“And you see, that's why you should ask why. If it worked on Skaro, certainly it'll work on Earth!” The Doctor seemed happy sharing anecdotes with Socrates, who took it all in with curiosity. Jamie wandered away from the pair, examining the trees in the orchard. He took a piece of ripe-feeling fruit - a fig, the Doctor'd said - from one of the trees, cutting it open and nibbling on the soft insides.

Athena, Socrates had explained to him, was the goddess of military strategy and of wisdom, which was why she was the patron goddess of Athens, and why the Athenians had given her this orchard.
The Athenians prided themselves on their wisdom — so much, in fact, Socrates had said, that every male citizen was obliged to partake in governing the city. The Doctor had interjected that surely such a thing would be even better if people were trained to be good citizens, and what a good location the orchard made for such training.

Jamie tried very hard to tell himself that the Doctor wasn't ignoring him, that whatever gave him his dreams had messed with his beautiful mind and that therefore he was acting a bit off. But it didn't feel convincing to him. It felt painful to think that it took the Doctor's mind to be altered for him to kiss Jamie.

That was one thing he didn't mind admitting to himself now. He missed Victoria, and he had loved her, but he also loved the Doctor and had enjoyed that kiss, shocking though it may have been, and wanted more.

He eventually found his way back to the Doctor and Socrates, sitting beside a particularly large tree, now going over the Doctor's calculations. The tree's roots extended far beyond their seat and Jamie quickly and painfully found his feet stuck behind a root, falling over and dropping the parts of his fig on the soil, and then clutching on to the Doctor for dear life, landing more or less on top of him.

He looked up just in time to see Socrates attempting to hide a gleeful, triumphant and almost conspiratorial smile.