Sorry this is late. I meant to have it done last weekend, but RL had other ideas. I hope you enjoy the end.
“Come on, don’t be greedy,” the other thug said. Both bared down on three gargoyles huddled together.
“You’re the one that’s being greedy,” Ebony said. “We already traded our only valuable piece.”
“Youse said you had a bunch more,” the first thug said. “Give ‘em to us!” He grabbed Ebony by her injured arm, pulling her up. She cried out in pain.
“Ebony!” Amber cried in fear.
“You leave my sister alone!” Jasper ran over to the one holding Ebony and kicked him in the shin.
The thug looked down at where Jasper had kicked him and then down at Jasper. He dropped Ebony, who collapsed and clutched her arm. He then picked up Jasper by the scruff of his neck.
Jasper struggled against his captor, his arms and legs flailing. “Put me down!”
“Give us the rocks, and we’ll be on our way,” the second thug said.
“I don’t have them with me!” Jasper glared back at the thug, his eyes glowing, arms crossed and his lower lip jutting out.
“Then youse can take us to ‘em.” The two thugs started to leave.
“Stop!” Ebony said and struggled to her feet. “You’re not taking him anywhere.”
The two thugs stopped and looked at the unsteady gargoyle. The first one laughed out loud which the other snickered. “Who’s gonna stop us? Youse?”
“I’d listen to her if I were you,” a voice said behind them. “Gargoyles can be very protective, especially toward their children.”
“Doctor!” Amber cried.
The Doctor sauntered up to the group. The two thugs looked unimpressed by the tall, scrawny man blocking their exit. He flipped his sonic screwdriver casually as he walked.
“Yeah? What’s she gonna do? She can barely stand up,” the second thug said.
Ebony responded by pushing herself away from the wall and standing up straight. She extended her wings, her eyes glowing menacingly, and a low, guttural growl emanated from her throat. The smaller thug looked a little nervous at her sudden aggressive posture.
“Don’t get no ideas,” the first thug, still holding Jasper, said. “Ises still got him.” He shook Jasper for emphasis, which only made Ebony’s eyes glow brighter. Now the first thug was starting to look nervous.
“Oh, now why did you have to go and do that?” the Doctor asked with a heavy sigh. He flipped his sonic one last time, caught it in midair and pointed it menacingly at them.
“Wa–wait! Wait!” the second thug said. “We-we can talk about this!”
“No, I’m sorry,” the Doctor said and waved his hand dramatically. The sonic screwdriver made a high-pitched sound, and the second thug started shaking. There was a “pop” sound, and the big thug disappeared to be replaced by a smaller version, smaller than even Jasper. Another wave and another “pop”, and the first thug shrunk the same as the second. Jasper was left hanging in the air, and started to fall, but Ebony leaped in to catch him. She set him down and she, Amber, Jasper and the Doctor all surrounded the two mini-thugs, who now huddled against each other.
“Don’t hurt us!” the second mini-thug squeaked, his voice now several octaves higher than it had been.
“Why not?” Jasper asked. “You were going to hurt us!” Jasper leaned over them.
“Wese weren’t! Wese just tryin’ ta scares ya!” the first mini-thug cried.
“You hurt my sister!” Jasper said, his eyes starting to glow again. “I should hurt you back–!” Before Jasper could move, Ebony put her hand on his shoulder, stopping him.
“No Jasper,” Ebony said.
“But Ebony, what they did was wrong. Why can’t they be punished?”
“You don’t right a wrong with another wrong. It would be wrong to act to them the same way they did to us.”
“But–” Jasper started, and then looked at the two shrunken thugs and them back up at his sister.
“There is always another way Jasper. Violence should never be your first resort. It is always the last.”
Jasper continued to stare at his elder clan sister as she spoke. When she had finished, he looked down sheepishly. “Yes Ebony,” he said in a small voice.
The Doctor nodded approvingly. “I always thought your species was the more highly evolved.” He dropped down to the mini-thugs level. “Now you two.” They continued to huddle together, shaking. “You are going to go back to your mistress and tell her not to be so greedy, and if she ever wants to trade in this quadrant again, she will be gone before we return.” As the Doctor spoke, he pulled out a leather wallet and flashed it at the mini-thugs. They started shaking more after seeing the seeming blank paper inside. “Now off with you.” The Doctor stood up, moved slightly and waved his hand still holding the sonic screwdriver at them. The pair didn’t say another word, and scurried off.
“What happened?” Amber asked after they had left. “How did they get so small?”
“They were wearing hologuises.”
“Hologuises. Actors uses them all the time. You program the hologuise for a specific look; clothes, hair, even body type, and it not only gives you that look but makes you feel just as real. While that are great for the theater, more nefarious types have found their own use for them, as you just saw.”
“So you unmagiced them?” Jasper asked.
“I suppose you could say that, yes.”
“What was it you showed them that made them really afraid?” Ebony asked. She held her injured arm gingerly.
“This?” He held up the wallet again. What looked blank before now looked like an ID written in a strange language. “Psychic paper. Made them see what I wanted them to. And I made them see I wasn’t some one to trifle with. They’ll be gone before we return to the TARDIS.” The Doctor pocketed both the wallet and his screwdriver. “Shall we be off?”
“Yes!” Amber and Jasper said in unison. Jasper grabbed the Doctor’s hand and Amber took his other, both determined not to be separated again.
The Doctor just smiled at the two children. “Geronimo!” He cried and took a long, dramatic step out of the alley.
“Come on Ebony!” Jasper called to her and held his hand out behind him as he was dragged off with the Doctor. Ebony watched them walk away for a moment before moving to catch up. She took Jasper’s outstretched hand as the Doctor led them off into the market again.
Back in the TARDIS, three very satisfied gargoyles sat in the console room. Jasper sat on the floor looking at his new rock. Ebony sat on a seat near the console and Amber stood next to the Doctor, watching him plug-in coordinates.
“Where are we going now?” She asked.
“You had said you wanted to a world with more than one moon,” The Doctor said. “And I know the perfect planet. Argon V isn’t much to look at itself, but it’s moons are a sight to be seen. It has eight moons, and every one of them is a different color.”
“Really?” Amber asked, her expression brightening.
“The Rainbow Moons of Argon V are one of the Million Wonders of the Universe.” The Doctor continued his dance around the console.
“They’ll take your breath away.”
“Rainbows are boring,” Jasper said, not looking up from his rock.
“No they’re not!” Amber protested.
“You only say that because you can’t fly yet,” Ebony said, interrupting the potential fight before it could get started.
Jasper looked up this time. “Why does flying make them better?”
“Because you’re not just looking at them when you are in the sky,” Ebony explained. “Sometimes you can fly and fly, and never be able to catch them. They look so near, like you can touch them, but when you reach out they jump away from you.”
“Can you catch a rainbow?” Jasper asked.
“You have to be really fast. They can be sneaky and just disappear on you if you look the wrong way.”
“Have you caught one before?”
“I came close once, but it slipped out of my fingers.”
“I wanna catch one! I’ll catch one for you.” Jasper looked up at Ebony. She smiled back at him softly.
“You have to learn to fly on your own first,” Amber said.
“I will! And then I’ll catch the prettiest rainbow just for Ebony!” Jasper stood next to Ebony and glared at Amber. She glared back. Ebony was about to try to diffuse the situation again when the TARDIS started to groan and wheeze.
Amber spun around back to the Doctor. “Are we there?!” she asked.
Jasper ran over next her, his argument with her forgotten. “Are we gonna see them on the magic screen?”
“Oh no,” the Doctor said. “This is something you have to go outside to see.” He flipped the lever that opened the TARDIS’ doors. Amber and Jasper ran down the ramp toward the doors.
“Don’t run!” Ebony called after them, but they weren’t listening as Amber opened the door and Jasper dashed out. She sighed.
“They have a lot of energy to work off,” the Doctor said with a smile, and held a hand out to Ebony. She took it tentatively and stood up.
The Doctor led her out and Ebony set foot on an alien world for a second time.
Up in the sky, several moons filled the night. They were different sizes and ranged in color from red to purple. Some were higher in the sky and one hung so low, it looked like if they flew up, they could touch it. Ebony breathed in with deep appreciation.
“Ebony! Look! Look at all the colors!” Amber called when she saw her and the Doctor come out.
“Look at the blue one! Can I touch it?” Jasper asked.
“No Jasper,” Ebony replied with a laugh. “No one can fly that high.”
“Can we try?” Amber asked.
Ebony glanced back at the Doctor. He nodded. She extended her wings to their full length, getting a feel for the currents around them. “Alright,” she said finally. “But stay close to me Amber. There is a cross current we need to be wary of.”
“I will,” Amber promised.
Ebony picked up Jasper, and then crouched down before springing into the air, and spreading her wings. She caught the current and soared up higher. Amber followed close behind, her arms spread out to release her wings. Once they were in the air, Ebony helped Jasper to spread his wings. She held his hand as he glided on the wind with her. At first, the three flew up toward the blue moon, but while the moon seemed to get bigger in the sky, they never seemed to get closer. After giving up their moon chase, their flight turned into a game of tag that Ebony’s greater speed and agility always seemed to win, and continued until all three were tired out.
The TARDIS hovered over Argon V, it’s doors wide open. Amber and Jasper were asleep on the floor, Amber wrapped in an impossibly long scarf and Jasper’s head was covered by a large Stetson hat. A big furry coat and recorder lay on the floor as did a multicolored jacket and cricket bat. Ebony leaned against one side of TARDIS doors, a brown floppy hat on her head. The doctor sat opposite her.
“They’re asleep, it must be daytime on Earth,” Ebony said.
“You’re not feeling drowsy?” the Doctor asked. She just shook her head. A red fez lay near him. He grabbed it on put it on his head. Ebony grinned.
“Fezzes are cool,” he said, almost defensively.
“It suits you.”
The Doctor’s smile brightened. “Intelligent and good fashion sense.”
Ebony’s grin widened, and she looked outside at the multicolored moons. “It really is beautiful out there.” Her gaze returned to the time lord. “Thank you for all this. It’s been a long time since they’ve been able relax like this. They needed it.”
“And you didn’t?”
Ebony looked down self-consciously. “Maybe a little,” she confessed, and looked back at the two younger gargoyles. “But they’re more important. They’re the future of our clan.”
“And you’re not?”
“Not like they are. That was a dream I let go a long time ago.”
“The rainbow that you couldn’t catch?”
Ebony smiled sadly. “Some things are just always out of reach.”
“Only when you stop reaching for them.” Silence fell between them. “What happened to your clan?”
“I don’t know completely. It was very confusing. We went to sleep and when we woke up, there were just the three of us and it was over 100 years later. Does that make us time travelers?”
“The long way around,” the Doctor replied. “So the rest of your clan–?”
Ebony shrugged. “I don’t know if anyone else woke up or even survived. I don’t even know if there are any other clans anywhere.” She sighed. “We could be the last.”
“It isn’t easy thinking you are the last of your kind,,” The Doctor said, his gaze turning outside. Ebony stared at him and his somber expression. For a moment he looked very old despite his youthful appearance. “But I’m sure they are out there, other gargoyles. You’re kind won’t go without a fight.” He smiled again, his somberness barely lingering. “It might take some time, but you’ll find others. Or they’ll find you.”
“I’m sure they will too for you, whoever you are looking for,” Ebony replied, her eyes starting to droop, so she didn’t catch his surprised expression. “I’m sorry. Time seems to have finally caught up with me.”
“It does that.” He helped her up.
“I’m sorry to continue to be so much trouble for you,” she said, struggling to remain awake. “It isn’t polite to fall asleep during a conversation.”
“I think you can be forgiven this once.” He laid her down next to the other two and covered them with the big furry coat. Sorrowful eyes watched them for a bit before leaving them to sleep in peace.
Ebony, Amber and Jasper all woke up at once. Nothing had changed from the before they fell asleep. Hats and coats were still strewed across the floor. The Doctor was at the control console, engrossed in something. Jasper was about to bound up to him but Ebony stopped him. She pointed to all the clothing he and Amber had pulled out and quietly indicated they should put it away. She didn’t want them bothering the Doctor if he was working.
“Doctor!” Jasper cried, unable to remain quiet any longer after the clean up was done. He bounded up the ramp to the console.
“Good morning!” the Doctor replied. “Or would that be evening?” He paused for a moment in thought. “Well it doesn’t matter.” He waved his hands, dismissing the thought.
“Where are we going this time?” Amber asked.
“We should head home,” Ebony said and was met with three drooping expressions. “The Doctor is surely a busy a man. We can’t keep imposing on his kindness.”
“But–” Jasper started.
“We can’t keep being so selfish.”
“I don’t want to go back,” Amber said softly. “It’s safe here.”
Ebony looked like she wanted to say something, but she didn’t have an immediate answer.
“Your sister’s right,” The Doctor said, seeing her at a loss for words. Amber looked up at him, wanting to protest. “It can be dangerous here too. What happened at the bazaar was minor, but could have been much worse.”
Amber didn’t speak. Instead she grabbed the Doctor’s coat and held on to it, burying her face in it. Almost hesitantly, the Doctor touched the top of Amber’s head, and gently stroked her hair. Amber didn’t cry, but she wouldn’t let go either. The Doctor started to put in the coordinates.
The trip back to Earth was quiet, and all too fast. Amber didn’t move from the Doctor’s side, and Jasper had crawled into Ebony’s lap. Finally, the groaning and wheezing sound of the TARDIS landing filled the control room, which was followed by the whirling of the door being opened.
Ebony set Jasper down before she stood up. He watched her go to Amber’s side. She held out her hand. Amber didn’t move or look at her. The Doctor gently pried her hand off his coat. He knelt down and held hers in both of his.
“I know it might seem scary out there sometimes,” he said. “But there a lot of fantastic things for you to discover right outside those doors. You don’t need a madman in a blue box to find them.”
“But I get scared out there.”
“You want to know a secret?” The Doctor leaned in and whispered into her ear. “I do too.” He leaned back and smiled warmly at her. Amber looked surprised. “Face your fears head on, and remember you’re never truly alone.” Amber started at the Doctor for a long moment before she nodded slowly. “Good girl.” He stood up and place Amber’s hand into Ebony’s.
Ebony led the pair to the door of the TARDIS, the Doctor following behind. Jasper stopped her and turned around just as they reached the door.
“Will we see you again Doctor?” he asked.
“Of course you will, pardner.” He ruffled Jasper hair and the youngest gargoyle smiled broadly.
“Thanks you Doctor, for everything,” Ebony said, seemingly just as reluctant to go.
“Don’t stop reaching for those rainbows.”
Ebony smiled self-consciously and nodded. She pushed open the door and Jasper, then Amber and finally she stepped out. They were back in woods, right where they had met the Doctor a few nights before.
“Good-bye–” Ebony started, but the grinding, wheezing noise of the TARDIS leaving was already filling the air. The trio watched as the blue box faded away into nothingness. Ebony was surprised by the abruptness of the Doctor’s departure, but then she smiled again. “Maybe “good-bye” wasn’t the right word. “Farewell then, Doctor.”