Wedding Bells

by Danny_B [Reviews - 6]

Printer Chapter or Story
  • All Ages
  • None
  • Hurt/Comfort

Wedding Bells

Part 3: Aftershock

Mike knew he had to act, and quickly.
"Drop the gun or I fire."
Keith's response was to move slightly, so that Tegan was between him and Mike.  Mike nearly swore.  If any of them acted, Tegan was dead.  If they didn't act, Tegan was dead.  She was going to be killed, and they could do nothing to stop it.  What they needed was a diversion.  But, short of the fire alarms suddenly going off, there was nothing he could think of.

That was when a wind blew up, and a wheezing, groaning sound began to echo throughout the penthouse.  Despite the situation, Mike couldn't help smiling.  The diversion he needed had arrived, and it would definitely have the desired effect.  Mike kept his eyes on Keith, who was looking around, trying to find the source of the noise.  After a few seconds, Keith obviously caught sight of the blue box materialising in the penthouse's kitchen.  His eyes went wide, and his mouth dropped.  Mike dropped his gun and acted.
"Tegan duck!"
Tegan fell forwards, and Mike jumped in, lunging at Keith.  As he approached, he reached out and forced the impostor's gun hand up, so that the gun was pointing at the ceiling.  The two men collided, the force of the impact sending them into the kitchen bench.  The impact sent them flying off in different directions, both of them slightly stunned.

Keith shook his head and rose to his feet.  He may have been 46 years old, but he kept in shape.  The situation wasn't lost, yet.  All he had to do was to kill everybody in the penthouse, deal with that police box that was appearing in the kitchen like some sort of conjuring trick, then fabricate his alibi.  But right now, he had to kill.  He brought his gun down, pointing it straight at the man who'd attacked him, the American.  The gun was halfway into position when Keith felt something round, cold and hard press into the back of his neck.  A woman's voice spoke, strongly-accented and firm.
"I would drop the gun if I were you."
This was it.  The end.  There was no way he'd be able to get off a shot without being blasted himself.  He dropped the gun.  In the kitchen, the police box thumped into solidity.

The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS, gesturing to the Androgum to remain inside for the moment.  The Doctor looked around, taking in the situation at a glance.  Mike Reilly was slumped on the floor at one end of the kitchen bench, and Tegan was lying prone on the floor.  At the other end of the bench, Keith Marsh was standing with his hands on his head, and Ray was sticking a wrench in the back of his neck.  There was another man in the room, and he was looking at the Doctor as if he'd seen a ghost.  The Doctor shot him a reassuring smile.
"Don't worry, I'm real.  You must be Barry Henderson?"
"Yes, that's right."
"What happened?"
"This bloke was pretending to be Keith, and he pulled a gun when I blew his cover."
The Doctor nodded understandingly, and walked over to where Mike was slumped against the kitchen bench.  As she approached, he groaned and opened his eyes.  It took a few seconds for them to focus, but then they widened in surprise.  He tried to get to his feet, but staggered and had to grab the bench for support.
"Doctor, I..."
"Don't worry.  Are you alright?"
"A little groggy, but I should be fine.  What about Tegan?"
The Doctor was already moving to where Tegan was lying on the floor, where she'd fallen earlier.  As the Doctor approached, she noticed that Tegan's body was shuddering slightly.  The Doctor immediately realised what it was.  Tegan was sobbing.


Half an hour later, the police had arrived and taken away the impostor and his so-called 'sister', after taking all the witnesses' statements.  They'd just left, and now Tegan was sitting on the sofa, dabbing at her eyes with a tissue.  She was onto the third box of tissues.  The Doctor was sitting on the sofa next to her.  The Doctor had asked Mike and Ray to wait in the TARDIS, and to tell the Androgum what had been happening.  Barry had left, to return to his apartment.
"I...I thought he loved me, Doctor."
That brought on another wave of tears.  The Doctor reached across and hugged Tegan, allowing the Australian to cry on her shoulder.  After another few minutes, Tegan pulled away, slightly embarrassed.
"Doctor, I..."
"It's alright, Tegan.  What are you feeling?"
Tegan didn't know.  There was a mixture of emotions boiling away in her mind.  Hate, anger, betrayal, sadness, but the strongest emotion within the turmoil was...
No, Tegan realised.  She hadn't lost anything.  The love she'd thought she had was never there in the first place.  That horrible realisation only increased the turmoil within her mind.  She was vaguely aware of the Doctor asking her if she was alright.
"I'm fine, Doctor," Tegan heard herself saying.

Tegan spent the rest of that afternoon in a daze, not moving from the sofa in the penthouse.  She was dimly aware of the Doctor dematerialising the TARDIS, saying something about sending it two months into the future.  Tegan was just trying to cope.  How could she have been such a fool?  Why hadn't she recognised 'Keith' as an impostor?  The first time she'd been in love, and it had all been false.  Maybe she just wasn't meant to be loved.


Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia
February 17/18, 2007
0000 hours  (midnight) local time

The Doctor had given Tegan a sleeping pill, and Tegan was now fast asleep, dreamlessly, her emotional turmoil laid to rest for the moment.  Subconsciously, she felt something brush against her mind's edge, then...

"Everyone's meant to be loved."
Tegan looked around.  She was standing in the Zero Room in the TARDIS and from that, she knew it was a dream.  So who was speaking to her?
"The Doctor said I'd have a dreamless sleep."
"Oh, this isn't a dream."
"Who are you?"
"Tegan Jovanka.  I'm part of you.  Your emotions."
"Right, well, what do you want?"
"You've given up, haven't you?"
"Given up on what?"
"So what if I have?  I'm - we're - 44 years old, you know."
"Exactly my point.  This is the first time since that business with the Eternals that we've considered love.  So, we've been burned once and now that's it?  You're just going to fold?  Come on, Tegan.  This isn't us at all."
Tegan was about to reply, when she stopped short.  This other part of her was absolutely right.  This wasn't her at all.
"Well, what would you recommend?" Tegan asked.
"You might like to go to lunch with Barry Henderson."
Before Tegan could reply, the Zero room began to fade to blackness.  A few seconds later, her sleep was dreamless again.


Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia
February 18, 2007
1002 hours local time

The Doctor had spent the night on the penthouse's sofa.  As a Time Lord, she only needed a few hours of sleep each night.  But she'd lain awake for most of the night, worried about Tegan.  Tegan had been dull and unresponsive yesterday afternoon, obviously in a state of deep emotional shock.  What worried the Doctor was that Tegan's reaction was completely different to how she'd reacted when Adric had died.  The Doctor had sent her companions forwards a couple of months in the TARDIS, in order to stay and help Tegan through this difficult time.  The Doctor had also explained the situation to the Androgum chef, Chesoni o' the Tenzine Grig, that she'd picked up on Platform 14.

Now, the Doctor was sitting on the sofa, reading the morning paper.  As she flicked over to page five, she noticed that yesterday's arrest had made the news.  It seemed that the man who had tried to marry Tegan for her money was a serial 'black widower', named Mark Norris and wanted by the police.  He and his accomplice - his real wife - had been responsible for two murders for profit in New Zealand, and the murderous duo were being extradited to New Zealand within the coming week.  All the same, the Doctor mused, to have convinced Tegan he was Keith Marsh, Norris must have really done his research.

It was at this point that Tegan walked into the penthouse's combined dining/living area.  The Doctor looked at her old friend, concerned.
There was a curious expression on Tegan's face, a mixture between shyness and fear.  She opened and closed her mouth a couple of times.  How could she tell the Doctor what a fool she'd been?  The answer hit her a second later.  Because it was the Doctor she was telling. The Doctor, who was never judgmental, always willing to let people redeem themselves.  At least, her Doctor had been like that when Tegan had known him.  Tegan hoped that this new Doctor hadn't changed that much.
"Doctor, I've...I've been such a fool."
The Doctor nodded, the wisdom of 1,247 years experience behind her.
"Love's like that Tegan.  Blind."
"But, I knew the real Keith.  Why didn't I realise this bastard was an impostor?  I don't think I was that desperate."
The Doctor had the answer, as usual.
"Tegan, are you still afraid of snakes?"
"What's that got to do with- oh!  The Mara?"
The Doctor nodded.
"It affected your mind, Tegan.  There's nothing to say it didn't distort some of your memories as well."
"So what do I do now, Doctor?"
"Breakfast.  Then we start getting your life back together."


Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia
February 18, 2007
1203 hours local time

Barry Henderson was in his apartment, making lunch.  He had one of his favourite CDs playing on the stereo, the Beatles classic Hey Jude playing through the six-speaker setup.  He was making a chicken and egg sandwich, but his mind was on something else.  Someone else.  Tegan Jovanka, to be precise.  He hadn't meant to hurt her, but that's what he'd done.  He hoped she was alright.  The last time he'd seen her, she was in some sort of shock.  That other woman, the Doctor, had assured him that she'd look after Tegan.  All the same, though, he would have to go and see her.  To apologise for hurting her, at least.

Just as Barry began to butter another piece of bread, there was a knock on the door, and he answered it.  It was Tegan.
"Tegs-Tegan-Ms Jovanka-"
"No, call me 'Tegs'.  Please."
"Oh, well...won't you come in?"
Barry stepped back and ushered Tegan into his apartment.  She stepped in and looked around, taking in the simple furnishings, and the half-unpacked boxes lying around.  She then looked at the apartment's owner, smiling nervously.
"Barry, I think I owe you an apology."
"Whatever for?"
"Yesterday.  You were warning me, and I thought you were just..."
"What, jealous?"
Tegan looked away.
"Tegs, if I was jealous, I wouldn't have invited the two of you to lunch."
"I understand that, now."
Tegan stepped closer to Barry, and he didn't move back.
"Barry, do you think we could pick up where we left off, all those years ago?"
Barry nodded and indicated the kitchen.
"Yes, I think we could.  Do you feel like having lunch?"


Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia
March 31, 2007
1437 hours local time

The Doctor was in the resort's swimming pool, lying back on one of the pool floats, reflecting on the events of the last six weeks.  Tegan had recovered rather well, and the Doctor was aware that Tegan was dating again.  44 years old, and still looking for love.  The Doctor hoped that Tegan found it, this time.  The Doctor was aware that Tegan's recovery was less to do with the Doctor's support and more to do with Tegan's new boyfriend.

Sarah Jane Smith had arrived a couple of days after the impostor had been arrested, and had stayed on at the resort, even though the wedding had been cancelled.  Similarly, the Androgum chef, Chesoni o' the Tenzine Grig, had remained on Earth, touring the local eating establishments.  As for the Doctor herself...well, she'd just been relaxing.  Really relaxing, not just one of those intermissions between adventures.

The Doctor's attention was caught by a movement at the poolside.  Sarah Jane Smith, who had been lying on one of the deckchairs, reading, was beckoning the Doctor over to the poolside.  Standing beside Sarah were Tegan and Barry.  The Doctor paddled her float over to the pool edge, slipped off the float, and climbed out of the pool.  The first thing she noticed was the delighted grin on Tegan's face, mirrored in Barry's smile.  It was Tegan who spoke first.
"Doctor, Sarah, we wanted you to be the first to know.  We're engaged."
Tegan held up her right hand, and the Doctor noticed a ring on the ring finger, a ring that hadn't been there before.  The sparkle of the diamond in the early-afternoon light matched the sparkle in Tegan's eyes.
"Congratulations, Tegan," Sarah said.
The Doctor nodded her agreement.
"Congratulations to you both.  But isn't it a bit quick?"
Tegan shook her head.
"Not this time, Doctor.  I can feel this is right."
"What about you, Barry?"
"Oh, Tegs is absolutely right."
The Doctor could believe it.  She didn't want Tegan to get hurt again, and this time it seemed she would not.  The Doctor could see it in their eyes, that the love both Barry and Tegan had for each other was indeed for each other, not for anything else.


Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia
April 16, 2007
1637 hours local time

The wedding ceremony was over, and the reception was in full swing.  After having a fantastic meal, prepared by Chesoni o' the Tenzine Grig, the speeches had been made, and now it was time for the throwing of the bouquet.
"I haven't been to one of these things since my sister got married back in '98," Mike told the Doctor.  The TARDIS had landed in the Braveheart Resort's penthouse two days ago, and Tegan had added Mike and Ray to the guest list for the wedding.

The Doctor looked over to where Ray was standing amidst the assorted bridesmaids and younger relatives of both bride and groom.
Tegan threw the bouquet over her shoulder.  It arced gracefully over the dance floor, angling for the middle of the waiting crowd.  Several hands shot into the air, and the lucky one closed around the floral missile.  Mike's eyes traced the line of the arm down, to the face of the lucky girl.  A familiar face.
"Good lord, Doc, it's Ray!"
"So it is."

The speakers that had been set up around the room popped as the DJ turned on his microphone.
"Ladies and gentlemen, would you please welcome Mr and Mrs Henderson onto the dance floor for the bridal waltz."
There was a round of polite applause as Tegan led Barry to the centre of the dance floor.  Barry nodded to the DJ, and the smooth strains of Love is All Around Me, by Wet Wet Wet, began to play.  The Doctor watched as the bride and groom moved as one around the dance floor.
"You alright, Doc?"
The Doctor nodded.
"I'm fine."
"You're crying?"
"Am I?"
Much to the Doctor's surprise, there was a tear of happiness running down her cheek.

Mike nodded understandingly and looked away from the Doctor, towards the dance floor.  A few other couples had taken to the floor, and frankly, Mike was beginning to get bored, just sitting here watching.  He turned to where Ray had just sat down.
"Fancy a dance, Ray?"
"Ooh, yes."
Mike took Ray's hand and led her out to the dance floor.


1748 hours

The reception was beginning to wind down, the bride and groom having long since departed.  Sarah Jane Smith, who had been dancing with one of Tegan's cousins, stepped off the dance floor and sunk into the empty chair next to the Doctor.
"Are you having a good time, Doctor?"
The Doctor nodded, and a contented smile crossed her lips.
"Sarah, this is the best night of my life.  Of all my lives."
Truly, it was.  The Doctor had seen many wonders of the universe, from the construction of the pyramids of Egypt, through to supernovae explosions against the blackness of the Universe.  But, the Doctor reflected, none of these compared to the magic of true love.


The Eleventh Doctor, Mike and Ray will return.