I Am Clever

alec_towser


A Fine Line - Between Chaos and Creation

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy; I don't mind, I think they're crazy...


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UNIT!100 - 073. Light.
I Am Clever
alec_towser
Title: Fears to Rest
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: John Benton, Third Doctor
Prompt: 073. Light.
Word Count: 1025
Rating: K
Summary: It had been two weeks, and the nightmares hadn’t really gone away.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own OCs, should I create any for these stories.
Author’s Note: Sort of an epilogue to my other story Wander in the Night, as I felt I kind of glossed over the 'night terrors' part of Benton's blindness in the conclusion. I recommend reading WITN first, or this may not make sense.

———

It had been two weeks since the incident where Benton had been kidnapped and blinded in an alien species’ efforts to cure their people, and the nightmares hadn’t really gone away.

He was able to sleep a little better now, knowing that the blindness hadn’t been permanent, but sometimes he still woke up in the middle of the night panicking that the darkness was his alone to see. When that happened, he often had to get up and take a walk down to the lavatory to see the lights on and reassure himself that it had only been a dream.

For the most part, he was able to hide it - he wasn’t passing out from exhaustion and hadn’t gotten ill from lack of sleep, and managed to put up a relatively normal front. Nobody asked him about it and he didn’t talk about it, although he was sure one day that he’d caught the Doctor giving him an odd look, but he brushed that off as himself imagining things.

It came to a head when he’d managed to get himself captured trying to rescue the Doctor from the clutches of the latest alien invaders. His men hadn’t even made it very far before they had all been gunned down by some odd energy beam. Why he had been spared, he wasn’t sure, but he had promptly been hauled off to a holding cell opposite to the Doctor. Then the trouble began - his cell had no light source, and was completely dark.

He’d tried searching the cell for any method of escape once the door had been closed, but to no avail. The walls weren’t thick, but they were solid, and made out of a material Benton couldn’t identify. So with a sigh, he sat with his back to a wall, and tried to forget that he was being held in a place with absolutely no light.

He tried not to let it affect him, but his mental stamina only could last for so long. Sooner than he would have liked to admit it, Benton’s hands were shaking slightly from the forced solitude in the dark. He tried to stop the paranoia, but his mind was having none of it and if anything, only made the shakes worse. His breathing sped up unconsciously and he was starting to have trouble maintaining a rational mindset, when he heard a voice. “Sergeant Benton?”

He relaxed slightly upon hearing the voice. “Doctor?”

“Of course. How are you doing? They didn’t treat you too roughly, I hope?”

“Thankfully, no. But they killed the other UNIT soldiers I was with, so rescue probably won’t be coming for a bit.”

“I see.” The silence returned, and with it, Benton’s distraction from the dark was gone. His hands started shaking again.

He was so focused on trying to convince his hands to stop shaking that he almost missed the Doctor suddenly speaking again. “Sorry, Doc - what were you saying?”

There was a chuckle from across the way. “I asked if I had ever told you about my travels to the planet Florana?”

“…not that I recall. Why do you ask?”

“Why? Simply because it’s one of the most peaceful, beautiful planets in the galaxy, and everyone ought to know about it.”

“Oh?” The talking was helping; the tremors in his hands were slowing and his breathing was becoming more even.

“Of course; let me tell you about it. Now, Susan and I went to visit the planet long before we’d ever been to Earth…”

———

John Benton wasn’t normally the sort of man to sit around contemplating works of art or the like; he could appreciate a good view if he saw one, but that was normally it for him. Give him sports any day over arty sorts of pursuits. However, this had been just what he had needed as a distraction from his fears of the dark.

The Doctor had a voice that was perfectly suited for story-telling, the Sergeant had decided as he’d listened. Hearing to the vivid descriptions, Benton was able to banish the dark to the recesses of his mind, picturing the places almost as well as if he’d been there himself.

By the time the Brigadier had managed to successfully get another squad of men in to rescue the Doctor and Benton, Benton had heard about Florana, the Eye of Orion, another planet called Heaven, and at least half a dozen other places that the Doctor had traveled to that were beautiful to see.

When Captain Yates had managed to jimmy the locks on their cells and let them loose, the first thing Benton had done on emerging was to thank the Doctor for the aid in passing the time. At this, the Doctor had merely given Benton a look of understanding, saying “Glad I could help.”

At that, Benton had been slightly startled, realizing the Doctor had known all along what he was doing. Oddly enough, though, he found that he didn’t mind. This had helped him out more effectively than any of his previous coping mechanisms had, and now that he had these images to keep his brain occupied when it got dark, perhaps he might be able to finally stop the late-night walks and simply sleep.

———

Three weeks later:

“I don’t understand how you’re able to be so calm about this, Sarge,” the other soldier, one of their newest recruits, said nervously. “We’ve been trapped someplace underneath the surface of the earth by these Silurian creatures, and we have no way to get out or even contact HQ. How do you do it?”

Benton smiled, though he knew the other man couldn’t see him in the darkness. “I’ve got good reason to be calm. Two reasons, as a matter of fact.”

“What are they?” the soldier asked hesitantly. “…if you don’t mind my asking, that is.”

“Of course not,” Benton responded. “Well, the first reason is that I know we’ll be found eventually. The Doctor and the Brig will get us out.”

“…and the second reason?”

Benton’s smile grew. “Have a seat, Private. Have you ever had the opportunity to hear about the planet of Florana?”


X-posted to FF.net, Teaspoon, AO3, and unit_family.

  • 1
Grinning like a loon here!!!!!

I'm so glad you liked it. :)

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