Five Hundred Eyes

Absolutely Immune

Nyssa was asleep, but Tegan was scared to close her eyes. Her last dream had erupted into reality, the last forty-eight hours had been a real-life nightmare. Manussa was behind them, her mind was free, or so the Doctor said, but still the memory remained. Silently, so as not to disturb her peaceful companion, she slipped on a dressing-gown and got up.

She found the Doctor in the console room, the lights dimmed to night-time levels. He was slumped in an armchair, facing her as she entered, but his eyes barely flickered recognition. She coughed, embarassed, and he looked up. In his face she saw the effects that the recent mind-battle had had upon him too.

"Oh, hello Tegan. Can't sleep?"

"Doctor ... I'm scared."

"There's no need to be. Believe me, Tegan, the Mara is dead."

He saw the doubt in h œer face, the tears welling up behind her eyes about to erupt. He gestured to the floor beside him. "Sit down."

She knelt at his side, and looked up into his eyes. Eyes that carried the burden of the centuries. The Mara had drained more of him than he would like to admit. But still his inner strength remained, the strength that had finally freed her.

"Thank you, Doctor."

He raised an eyebrow. "Yes?"

"For what you did."

"Oh. That. Forget it."

Sound advice. If only ...

"Doctor ..."

He looked down at her, and in his face she saw a gentle kindness that reassured her. A contrast to what had been in her head before. She buried her face in his lap and cried. All her emotions came flowing out, she held nothing back. For a good five minutes Tegan released the tiny child inside her, whilst the Doctor patted her head soothingly, like her mother used to. He didn't speak. For all his qualities, he could think of no words adequate to comfort her. But humans didn't always need to talk to communicate. He held her tight, and that was enough.

Eventually she stopped sobbing and looked up into his face, her red eyes stained and tired, so wide and innocent. The Doctor looked into them, and with a sudden feeling of dread, read her thoughts. He realised he was holding her hand and quickly let go.

"No, Tegan."


"We're friends. That's all."

"But ..."

"But nothing."

"We've been through so much together. Doesn't that mean anything to you?"

The Doctor was on the defensive now. He'd been close to companions in the past, but this had never happened before, and he didn't know how to react. Tegan pressed on.

"I don't ask for much, Doctor, no commitment. But don't you ever feel the need for someone to ease your hurt?"

"I have my companions, my friends. That is enough."

"Not for me it isn't."

"Then I'm sorry, Tegan."

"Doctor ..."

"I can't get involved."

"Are you incapable of caring for anyone? Have you no feelings?" Her voice rose sharply. She was about to say something she might regret. She knew this and she didn't care. "Can you love?"

He turned away, hurt. In a hushed whisper he answered her. "Don't ask me that, Tegan."

"But why? Doctor ..."

"I loved ... once."

"When? Who?"

"Please ... it was a long time ago."

Suddenly Tegan thought she began to understand. "Were you very much in love?"

"Yes." She managed to tear that much from him, but no more.


"And nothing. I don't want to talk about it. Just accept that."

Whoever it was, she must have hurt him very badly. She? Tegan realised she was making unwarranted assumptions. She knew so little of alien psychology.

"Sorry, Doctor."

"That's all right, Tegan. You're only human."

And I'm Gallifreyan. That was the cold statement implicit in his words. There can never be anything more than friendship between us. Tegan understood. She didn't accept it, but she understood. There was no more to be said. She stood up and made to leave.

"Tegan ..."

She turned at the door to look at him, trying to keep the hope out of her voice. "Yes?"

"I think it's probably best if we forget this conversation ever took place, don't you?"

She smiled. "What conversation?"

"Good girl."

But as she closed the door on him she knew she couldn't forget. Perhaps it was time to be moving on.

Issue two contents
Five Hundred Eyes index

Not quite the back page ...

And so we reach the end of another issue, and all I can say is Thank God. If you only knew what hard work, blood, sweat and tears went into creating this literary masterpiece ... For the last week I have been chained to this computer, spending practically every waking minute typing, editing, or, more usually, swearing as the system crashes again. But it's been fun, or at the very least, rewarding. A lot of the hoped-for articles didn't actually materialise this time around, but there's always issue three.

Uh oh, I think I feel a boring copyright notice coming on ...

Sorry about that. Where was I? Ah yes, I think I was apologising. And if I wasn't I should have been. This issue has not turned out quite as planned, and it certainly isn't what I had in mind. There was a brief moment of panic a couple of days ago when I found out that the issue only ran to 21 pages, but this was fortunately short-lived as I discovered that it was because I'd set the whole thing in 12pt, which, when reduced, is near-illegible. H lence the larger print, which I hope makes it all a bit more readable. Hopefully, issue three will return to a more appreciative nostalgia stance, and also hopefully by then I'll be feeling a little less apathetic about Doctor Who generally. This next issue (which may or may not be typeset) should be out sometime in the summer. That's the closest to a committment you're going to get from me. I've learnt my lesson about making rash promises after last time!

Thanks go to all the contributors, especially Sean for help with the distribution, Richard for help with the bloody computer, and Nikki for very nearly coming up with an article but failing at the last minute. Thank you for reading it, and if you liked it then tell your friends. And if you didn't, could you keep quiet about it, okay? My name's David Gibbs and this is the bottom of the page. Goodnight