Lifted Now Skyward

by LadySmith
illustrated by Kathryn A

Fandom:Dr Who/Blake's 7
Pairing:Nine&Cally, or Nine/Cally if you squint.
Word Count:696

After Summer's over and the fires have burned out it's time for Autumn, the slow crawl to the start of Winter.

He's spent more time that he can think about - all right, more time than he'd like to think about - on the calculations, but he knows he's right. Not because of any confidence in his skills at Maths - Lords no! - but because he can feel it. And he trusts his feelings more than anything, force of nature or scientific law.

And so, when he senses she's ready for another rest, he beams a wide smile at her, and says "I know just the place. Or rather, just the time."

They arrive in a forest surrounding a lake, and the sky has changed with the seasons from perfect azure blue to a deep green fading into black of oncoming night. The blue-green grass of the forest floor has also changed, fading into an orange-tinged gold, as have all the leaves on the trees.

Cally, however, is not one to be fooled by appearances, and recognizes the planet right away.

She turns to look at him, fleeting and myriad emotions moving over her face, shading her look of curiosity. "But why bring me back here?"

He shrugs. "Thought you liked it here," he says flippantly, grinning.

She's about to respond in kind when he lets his features drop into a solemn look and adds softly. "It's not where we are that's important, Cally. It's when."

She cocks an eyebrow, but patiently waits for him to continue, and he smiles. He loves that about her. She's no fool, quite bright, but she's still willing to wait and listen for an answer. There's been so few like her.

No, he corrects himself, there's never been one like her. Never will be again.

It reminds him of what they're doing here, and he point at the sky. "Look up."

She does. "I saw the stars the last time we were here, Doctor." But there's a note to it that says she trusts him, he knows what he's doing and she'll wait for him to explain.

"That's true, Cally, but this is a different time of year, showing a different part of the sky." He comes over to stand behind her, and gently turns her so she's facing the right direction. "Right over there. In that nebula. It's a star nursery, or rather it was, thousands and thousands of years ago when the light that's just getting here was there." He smiled down at Cally. "Keep watching, because you're about to see it get a little brighter."

"You brought me here to see a star being born?" She blinks at him, still waiting for him to show her his true motivation.

He shrugs again, "Well, I brought you here because I like it here, and so do you. I brought you now because that's not just any star." He gently pushes her head so her face is turned to the sky again and rest his chin on her shoulder to whisper in her ear. "That star's going to have planets around it, and one of them will have life. Intelligent, beautiful life, who will look at the world around them, and love it, and name it."

He hears her swallow, and he knows she knows what's coming, but finishes anyway, and holds her when she trembles at his words. "They'll name it Auron."

A tear falls down her cheek, though her face stays rigid and controlled. He steps back, and lets her have this moment. Her cheeks and eyes dry quickly, and her lips part slightly in awe as sure enough, a tiny point of gold becomes distinct at the edge of the nebula.

As she gazes up, he looks over to another part of the sky. He knows where to look; he always knows where to look. He knows what he'll see, as well, but he looks anyway. An empty patch of sky.

He whispers its name; what would be its name if it were there to be named.


After Autumn ends, Winter comes. After the long slow cold of Winter, some planets have a Spring.

Author's Notes

Okay, so this is me, bowing to the inevitable, and also hoping that if I get this idea on "paper" and out of my head I'll be able to get back to what I'm supposed to be writing today.

Besides, kerravonsen did ask nicely, and I've loved every other one of these, hers and Astro's and Red's...

Inspired by "Skyward" a picture by kerravonsen, and falls in the same universe (or at least a very similar one) to redstarrobot's untitled Nine/Cally fic, kerravonsen's The Other Tenth Time and Dress Sense, and finally astrogirl2's Blaze. If we're attempting to fit a time-line to these, this happens after Blaze, which in my mind anyway happens after everything else, except possibly Dress Sense, which might happen after this, or between Blaze and this, or... Who Knows. (pardon the pun)
Title by way of Heart of Autumn by Robert Penn Warren

I am fully aware that my knowledge of both Cally and Astronomy are horribly lacking. My sincere apologies.

This was going to go up on b7friday but it turned out too long and more Doctor-centric than Cally-centric and doesn't really fit the topic anyway.