Author's Notes:
Seven and Ace. Written for badficbilly as a treat in Space Swap 2022. Originally posted on AO3. Double drabble.

Ace has learned something about the Doctor—something she's not quite comfortable with.

Ace holds herself stiff and apart, jacket folded around her shoulders. "Don't touch my mind," she says.

"Please," says the Doctor. "You were close to that psychic blast. Let me check."

"No," she replies. "I'm allowed to have some secrets, whatever you say."

"It's not like that," he says. "Anything you don't want me to see, just—"

"Yeah, you said. 'Imagine a door.' How can I trust you? Have you been reading my mind every time you touch me?"

"No," he says.

"But how can I trust that?"

He reaches for her hand, gently.

She shrinks away. "Don't touch me!"


He finds her later, outside, staring into the night. Sweaty and dirty: she's been running.

"I'm sorry, Ace," he says, sitting down not too close.

"Yeah?"

He forces the words out. "I should have told you sooner."

"Yeah."

"But—it's not just one-way. If I may, Ace—I can let you hear my mind."

She looks at him for the first time. "Really? You'd let me?"

"Not everything, any more than I want to see all of yours. But my intentions, my sincerity." And the things I can't ever quite say.

She thinks deeply. Then she reaches for his hand.