Zepheera gasped sharply as the fist around
her opened and exposed her to fresh air for the first time in five minutes. She
scrambled away from the giant unknown hand, tripping over the edge of a saucer.
She was wedged awkwardly between the lip of the small plate and the cold
porcelain curve of the cup, but still she maintained eye contact with her
His lips pursed as he observed her behavior,
then reached toward her again. She threw her hands up in futile defense, but
they weren’t needed. Rather than grabbing her, those long fingers curled around
the handle of the teacup and lifted it away. Zepheera fell back in its absence,
catching herself on her elbows as she watched the man sidestep far enough away
that he no longer filled her vision, but he could easily glance over to check
Zepheera stood and seized the opportunity to
take in her surroundings. There was a large coffee maker to her right and some
other machine she didn’t recognize to her left. She was on the kitchen counter
in the human’s small flat. The dining table across from her was filled with odd
instruments and glass containers that sent an ominous chill down her spine.
She had a bad feeling about this human.
Another hand approaching broke Zepheera out
of her thoughts, and she did her best to not flinch. Again it didn’t touch her,
only hovered expectantly nearby. She glanced up at the man’s face and realized
that he wanted the saucer. As she hopped off and pressed her back against the
wall, she wondered about this sudden concern of his for her consent. He had
kidnapped her, after all.
He dragged the saucer about an inch closer to
himself and carefully set the filled teacup onto it. Automatically, he popped
two blocks of sugar into it and began stirring. After a moment, he glanced at
Zepheera again and frowned to himself. He opened a drawer out of her sight and
rummaged through it. Then he slid the cup and saucer toward Zepheera,
not-so-surreptitiously placing a few items next to it.
She hesitated before peeling herself from the
wall. The cup was now filled with what looked like tea, and by her feet lay a
package of creamer, a paper clip, a length of string, a coin, and a sizeable
torn-off corner of tinfoil. Her violet eyes flicked up to suspiciously meet the
icy blues staring down at her. Noting her trepidation, the man rolled his eyes
and picked up the teacup, taking a small sip for himself.
“Good for the nerves,” he muttered,
his deep baritone rolling over Zepheera like thunder. “And definitely not
poisoned. How dull would that be.”
With that, he replaced the teacup and
observed her closely to gauge Zepheera’s reaction. She wondered if he thought
she could even understand him; clearly he was testing her intelligence and
civility, if the materials he gave her were any indication. As much as it sickened her to play into this
game of his, she was quite thirsty. The salt from the chips she’d eaten with
the Doctor had really dried her out.
The thought of the Doctor drove her to step
forward at last. She needed to get back to him by any means necessary, and if
that meant playing along for a while…
She picked up the tinfoil, tearing off the
excess. She didn’t need much to mold into a makeshift cup. Once that was done
and she’d checked it for weak spots, she went straight to the tea. She inspected
it for a moment, inhaling its fumes. Earl gray. Not her favorite but tolerable
enough, especially with a little sugar. She leaned down with her foil cup to
“Bit hot,” said the man under his
breath, giving Zepheera pause. Indeed, warmth wafted up from the liquid. It
wasn’t steaming, but it was as hot as could be expected on such short notice.
Hot enough to sting, that was for sure. Perhaps the kettle had still been
lukewarm from that morning.
Zepheera carefully lowered her cup into the
drink, ignoring the man as he observed her reaction to his warning. Despite how
much she wanted to dunk her whole hand in and give him something to observe,
she knew that having him know about her healing ability would be counter-productive.
His curiosity would only grow. So she settled on a half-filled cup and took a
For the Doctor.