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The Ballad of Tam Lin, Part One
tenandi
fdsfjl

Pairing: 10th Doctor/Rose
Summary: “Lost, yes,” the man continued.  “Never so lost as this, I’m sorry to say.  You’ve come to Brigadoon, Doctor.  And no one comes here that doesn’t stay for all time."  Fairies, demons and eternal youth combine to send the Doctor and Rose on another incredible adventure.
Rating: Adult
Author's Note: Um, did somebody else write a Who fic about Brigadoon?  I've been trying to remember because I feel like I read one like that.  Just in case, props to that author for the idea!




The Doctor opened the front door of the TARDIS tentatively, and breathed in deeply past the dense, foggy air.

“Off,” he murmured disconcertedly.

“As usual,” Rose piped up from behind him.

“Shh!” the Doctor commanded as he peered out into the misty moorland beyond the door.

Something about this place disquieted him.  His time sense whispered into the back of his consciousness: it was wrong.  Incredibly, unprecedentedly wrong.  The pulse of time was moving meticulously slow, as if held hostage.

In the distance, the Doctor could discern the slightest tinkling of bells, but not like any he’d ever heard before.  These seemed to call to him, pulling at his limbs and mind in tandem.

‘Come away,’ they sang, like tendrils wrapping around his mind.

He stared out over the soft purple and yellow grasses, nearly indiscernible under a thick coat of fog.

“Do you hear that?” he checked with his companion.

Rose shook her head but then strained harder.

“I hear voices,” she whispered.  “People talking…  Should we be going, then?”

The Doctor frowned as the sound of the bells faded away, and was replaced by low conversational tones.

“Absolutely not!” the Doctor said with an excited grin.  “There’s something off about this place, and I intend to find out what it is!”

Rose smiled happily as they moved out of the TARDIS.

“Oh good,” she commented as she hugged her arms together against the brazen wind.  “I’d hate to miss an adventure!”

“Who goes there?” a deep voice boomed out of the misty dark.

The Doctor kept Rose behind him as they approached the shadowy outline of a man across the moors.

“I’m the Doctor,” the Doctor called out, “and this is Rose.  “Where are we?  We’ve gotten a bit lost in the fog.”

A giant of a man stepped forward and peered down at them disapprovingly over his bright red beard.  Over his traditional green kilt, he wore a large leather pouch embroidered with a large "M."  In his hand he carried a gnarled walking stick, which only added to his forbidding presence.

“Lost in the fog?” he asked with wide eyes.  “Or born out of it?  What faery magic is this, that anyone could come to such a place unbidden?”

The Doctor noticed the man was staring at his ship, and moved to stand more directly in front of it.

“Not magic, but transportation,” the Doctor corrected.  “My ship can travel to many different worlds, including this one…apparently.  But which one is it, precisely?  We’ve gotten lost, as I said.”

“Lost, yes,” the man continued.  “Never so lost as this, I’m sorry to say.  You’ve come to Brigadoon, Doctor.  And no one comes here that doesn’t stay for all time.  I’m afraid you and your lass are stuck here for eternity like the rest of us.  Though how yev come, I canna say.  We’ve never had visitors before.”

“Not ever?” Rose clarified.  “How long have you been here?”

The man frowned and shrugged as he approached them.

“Well, that too, I canna say.  Since the beginning of time, if such things are possible to fathom.”

“What’s your name?” the Doctor implored.  “And sorry, did you say Brigadoon?  That’s a made-up place!”

“Made-up!” the man guffawed.  “I trust you’ll tell me I’ve dreamed my own existence, Doctor, but I think I’d have dreamed a prettier wife!”

“Branan McClean!” a shrill voice called out behind him.  “You manky hoormaister!  I’ll split you in two with my rolling pin when we get—oh hello!”

A beautiful redheaded woman came to stand beside Branan, and gaped openly at the newcomers.

“I dinna ken these strange people, Branan,” she gasped.  “They must be apparitions!  We’ve taken some Brownie potion or have found ourselves consortin' with ghosts!”

“Aye,” Branan agreed.  “I thought the same at first, but they insist that they’re real.  And watchin’ that lass shakin’ like a leaf, I take it they get cold like real people, too.”

“Oh you poor thing!” the woman said as she threw her shawl around Rose’s shoulders.  “Let’s get them inside, Branan!”

Her husband nodded before pointing his walking stick in the direction they had come.

“Our village isn’t a mile from here,” the large Scotsman said.  “But we should hurry on.  Strange things happen on the moors at night, and we don’t want to invite trouble, now.  Come on then!”

Rose glanced at the Doctor before falling in line behind the kind woman, who introduced herself as Muireall.

“Don’t mind my husband,” Muireall said in a low voice as they walked over the treacherous hills.  “He’s got a peculiar sense of humor.  But then, we’ve all got our ways of copin’ with things, here.”

“Branan said you’ve been here forever,” Rose pressed.  “But surely that can’t be true?”

Muireall wrapped her hands in her apron but kept her eyes on the misty horizon.

“Aye,” she answered.  “It’s true enough.  We’ve never seen another soul save those in the village, and no one has ever been able to escape the boundaries of this land.  Two generations have come and gone now, but none have ever heard tales of an outside world.  As far as we were concerned, there was nothing else to be known.”

The Doctor stuck his hands in his overcoat to ward off the chilly night air.

“But now we’ve come,” he fathomed.  “And that changes everything.”

Muireall nodded and lowered her voice to a whisper.

“There will be talk, of course,” she warned.  “Our people are a suspicious lot, and this will be hard for many of them to take.  People will start to get ideas.  Where there’s a way in…”

“There’s a way out,” Rose finished.

She glanced at the Doctor and wondered if he would be willing to make that happen, if that was what the villagers wanted.  He kept her question at bay with a curt shake of his head however, indicating that they would discuss everything later.

It didn’t take long for them to reach the outskirts of the town, which were indicated by long wooden fences and quaint, well-kept fields.  Small panels of light beyond revealed the interiors of comfortable cottages, many with small families nestled within.  Branan led them on until they approached a large building in the center of town, and ushered them inside wordlessly.

“Get Chief Innes,” he said quietly to his wife before showing the Doctor and Rose to a quiet table.  He then turned to a small group of clansmen and left the two travelers alone for a moment.

As Muireall also departed to find their Chief, the Doctor gazed around the interior of the lodge approvingly.  Several crossed broadswords decorated the walls, as well as the heads of game animals and burning torches.  If he didn’t know any better, he would have assumed they had stumbled into 16th Century Scotland.  But they were a far cry from Earth.  If the TARDIS’ instruments were acting more accordingly, he could have calculated how far off target they’d really come.

“S’ amazing!” Rose breathed appreciatively as she took in the warm medieval décor.  “It’s hard to believe we’re not closer to home, in the Highlands or something.”

“You’ve stolen the words right out of my mouth,” the Doctor smiled.  “Are you warm enough now?”

Rose had let her borrowed blanket droop from her shoulders and glanced down before moving it to the back of her chair.

“Yeah,” she said with a matching smile.  “Thanks.  This is great, isn’t it?”

The Doctor didn’t suppress his laugh, even though several people had started to turn in their direction.

“It really is,” he answered happily.  “But Brigadoon!  You know that’s a movie back home, right?  And a musical as well!  It’s not possible that such a place really exists.”

“Apparently it does,” Rose pointed out.  “What are the odds of that, I wonder?”

He glanced past Rose’s shoulder and saw Branan and his wife were coming back followed by an impossibly larger man with long grey hair.  The older man wore a dark green tartan Breacan an Fheilidh, also known as a great kilt that wrapped up from his waist over his shoulder.  The Doctor assumed immediately that this was the chief of the clan, and by the look on his face, he meant business.

“State your purpose in comin’ here,” the chief demanded as he settled heavily into a chair at their table.

“Purpose?” Rose asked in surprise.

The chief didn’t even bother looking at her, but stared straight at the Doctor, which miffed Rose even more than the rude and pointed question.

“We’re travelers,” the Doctor offered as he shot his companion an apologetic glance.  “We have no purpose other than to learn more about beautiful Brigadoon.”

The chief cocked an eyebrow at this explanation and leaned toward them on his strong forearms.

“Ammi supposed to believe that?” he challenged bluntly.  “No one comes to Brigadoon on a whim.  Might ye have some nefarious purpose after all?  Perhaps yev come to destroy our way of life, for all I ken.”

The Doctor crossed his arms as he squared up his opponent.

“That’s not my aim,” the Doctor answered evenly.  “But your reaction to our presence is your prerogative.  Personally, I’d like to stay and learn more about your people, but if you simply want to kick us out…”

Branan leaned down to talk more directly to the chief.

“I dinna think that’s a good idea,” he offered.  “These strangers might be able to offer us information that we’ve been missing all these years.  They can answer our questions about the world outside.  It’s an opportunity we shouldn’t pass by, my lord.  And perhaps they can help us with…the trouble…”

The chief’s face darkened as he waved Branan away.

“There’s no one I would wager that can help us with that,” he argued.

“Don’t bet on it,” the Doctor chimed in eagerly.  “That’s sort of what we do.  What is this trouble that’s been bothering you?”

“S’ Tam Lin, it is,” Branan’s wife piped up from behind her husband.  “Stealin’ our maids and terrorizing the land!”

“Oh hush, hen,” Branan lightly chastised.  “Tam Lin is a bairn’s story.”

“But women are going missing!” Muireall persisted.  “Only last week Sorcha Donaldson disappeared!  And Una Fraser before her!  Worst of all, the clan has done nothin’ to stop it!  Any one of us could be next!”

The chief slapped the table angrily to quiet the now buzzing room.  Apparently, several curious villagers had gathered on the outskirts of their conversation.

“What solution would you propose against fae magics, Muireall?” the chief demanded.  “Ye canna fight what ye canna catch!”

“But maybe I can,” the Doctor interrupted.  “Please let us help you.  I have technology that your people don’t possess.  I might be able to put an end to the kidnappings, and make Brigadoon safe once more.”

“Well,” the chief guffawed.  “If ye can put a stop to this nonsense, I’ll gladly induct you into my clan, Doctor.  Better, I’ll offer ye the hand of my eldest daughter.”

The Doctor looked at Rose automatically, who raised an eyebrow and frowned slightly.

“That won’t be necessary, I assure you,” he said clumsily.  “But we’re happy to help in way we can.”

“Ah,” Branan laughed.  “Look alive chief, he’s already got a lass!”

“Oh no,” the Doctor said as he became even more flummoxed.  “We’re not…that is…”

Rose went bright red as the Doctor continued to flail beside her, but Muireall was kind enough to intercede.

“Come on lass,” she insisted.  “Let’s get you some rest before the night is out.  You and the Doctor can stay at our house for the time being.”

“Thank you,” Rose said gratefully, happy for the excuse to get out of an awkward situation.

The Doctor quickly followed suit, but made sure to grab Rose’s hand before they walked out the door of the meeting hall.  He didn’t apologize exactly, but Rose knew precisely what he meant by the gesture.  She glanced up at him and gave him a lingering smile, then shook her head censoriously.

“What?” the Doctor asked with mock offense.  “You’d better be nice Rose Tyler.  That betrothal offer is still on the table.  And good luck flying the TARDIS without me!"

He didn’t have time to duck her swat, but he wasn’t really trying to anyways.

**

Rose decided to go to bed earlier than anyone else that evening, and left her generous hosts with a babbling Doctor down on the lower level.  She made her way up the stairs and found her modest bedroom had been cozily prepared with a generous number of blankets to keep her warm during the chilly night.

She also found a soft shift had been placed on a chair near the fireplace, so she eagerly stripped off her wet garments and shrugged into the sheer gown.  It was then that her eyes fell on a large brush sitting on the bedside table, and she picked it up to start absently brushing her long golden hair.  The brush had a soothing effect on her, and soon she started to daydream about her and the Doctor’s most recent adventures while the sound of his voice carried up from below.

She wasn’t sure how much time had passed when his voice slowly faded away and was replaced by the sound of distant, hollow bells.  Rose closed her eyes as she listened to the soft sound, almost as if she was leaning into it.  When she opened her eyes, she realized she had stood and walked across the room to the window.

She looked out over the McClean’s vegetable garden, toward the misty moors where the moonlight poured down like silver paint on a canvas.  The sound of the bells started to become distorted, and seemed to beckon to her.

‘Come away,’ they sang wordlessly.  ‘Come away to the lost woods.  Dance with us, Rose Tyler.’

Rose gasped as she peered down into the garden, where she saw the Doctor staring up at her, bathed in silver moonlight.  He held out his arms, imploring her to come down to him.

Rose hesitated for only a second before she threw a heavy shawl over her shoulders, and walked down the steps noiselessly to reach the backyard.  Once outside, she shivered violently, and took tentative steps toward the last place she’d seen him.

“Doctor?” Rose asked in a loud whisper.  “Are you out here?”

She heard a sound farther afield and looked out to find him standing on the moors, a forlorn look upon his face.  Rose stole over the dew-drenched ground and made her way to him.

“Doctor, what’s going on?” she asked.

He peered down at her, his face awash in the glowing light and fog.

“Rose,” he said dreamily as he reached for her shoulders and pulled her close to him.

Rose was confused but relaxed into his arms the way she always did, savoring the warmth of his body and his soft, caressing hands down her back.

“Rose, we have to go,” he said tonelessly.  “You have to come with me now, Rose.”

“But where?” she questioned anxiously.  “Is something wrong?”

The Doctor looked down into her eyes and Rose felt her face go hot with the intensity of his gaze.

“Nothing is wrong when we’re together,” he said in low voice before letting his fingers trace the outline of her jaw.

Rose could hardly react before the Doctor pulled her flush against his body and stole her lips into a searing kiss.  She reacted quickly to his vigorous ministrations, and pushed her breasts more firmly into his touch when he brushed over the flimsy fabric.  She’d wanted this moment for so long that she didn’t bother to question why it was happening now, and so suddenly.

“Oh, Rose,” the Doctor moaned as he broke away from her mouth and worked his tongue down her neck.

“Rose,” he whispered.

“Rose!”

Rose whipped around at the sound of the Doctor’s voice behind her.  She was so startled she didn’t even bother to cover her heaving chest, which drew the Doctor’s attention immediately.  He flushed under the cold night air and inhaled sharply.  The scent of her arousal was overwhelming.

Rose turned back to the place where the Doctor had been standing previously, and suddenly realized she must have been dreaming the whole interaction.  Riddled with crushing disappointment and mortification, she quickly drew her shawl around her body and tried to walk right past the real Doctor.

“Rose, wait!” he countered as he blocked her path.  “What’s going on?  Was there…was someone with you?”

The Doctor felt an undeniable flash of resentment, but tried to conceal it.

“It’s not safe out here,” he chastised.

Rose let a flicker of annoyance pass over her face before crumpling without any warning.  The Doctor acted quickly and propped her up against his torso.

“Rose!” he cried out.  “Are you okay? Talk to me!”

Rose gasped as if she was coming out of a coma, and the Doctor pulled her into his arms to carry her with him as he walked back toward the house.

“I’ve got to get you back to the TARDIS,” he said.  “You’re not well.”

“I’m fine.  I’m really fine!  It was just a dream, Doctor!” Rose protested.

She strained against his hold, but he wouldn’t allow her to get down.  He carried her all the way up to her room and laid her down in the bed Muireall had made for her.  Rose felt another wave of dizziness go through her when the Doctor pulled out his sonic and began to scan her.  He repeated the examination twice, but continued to get the same results.

“Normal,” he said aloud.  “Despite an elevated pulse and…well…quite normal for a human in your erm…condition.”

Rose nodded wordlessly and sank back into the soft bed with relief.

“What happened out there, Rose?” he asked nervously.  “You’ve got to tell me.”

Rose bit her lower lip and tried to come up with something a little less than the actual truth.

“I just had a dream I guess,” she equivocated.

“What of?” the Doctor asked, sounding more clinical and detached than earlier.

Rose clenched her hands around the ends of her shawl and pulled it closer to her chest.

“A man,” she answered abashedly.  “He was trying to get me down to the garden.  I followed him onto the moors, and he…he seduced me.”

The Doctor’s jaw clenched tightly before relaxing.

“It’s not your fault,” he said in a calming voice.  “It was a dream…or something very near to it.  I’m worried that what you saw might have something to do with the women going missing around Brigadoon, though.  Is there anything else you can tell me?”

Rose’s face burned with mortification as she recalled the way the Doctor’s hands had squeezed down her sides, and how his hot breath had mingled with hers.

“No,” she stated emphatically.  “It’s starting to fade now.”

The Doctor relaxed visibly and lay down beside her, seeking her hand under the blanket.

“I think it would be best if I slept here tonight,” he said.  “I don’t want to take any chances.”

Rose tried not to think about the weight of his body on the bed, nestling so perfectly into her side.

“Sure,” she agreed breathlessly.  “You know how I am about wandering off…”

“Too right,” the Doctor smiled brightly.  “And unless it’s with me, I tend to get rather piqued.”

Rose gritted her teeth and bit back a more revealing detail of her dream, because he was exactly who she would have wandered off with…and to do what with, she could only imagine.

Next Part





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Yes! :D That was awesome, and I can't wait to see where this goes! Great start!

I love Brigadoon!!! Awesome idea!

Intresting! I don't remember much about briddoon other the I had llike the story so am very much curious to see where this goes.

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