Friday afternoon. Kristoph sighed wearily as he stepped into the stationery cupboard and dematerialised his TARDIS. Working this double life WAS starting to get to him, he thought.

Double life? If only. Spending the same day at home with Marion and at the college teaching was the easy part. He looked at the viewscreen. He sighed again and keyed in the code that connected him with his superior at the Celestial Intervention Agency. It took less time than he would have liked to connect.

“I wasn’t expecting a report from you, yet?” his superior said with a surprised look.

“I’m not making a report. I’m tendering my resignation.”

There was a pause. His superior looked at him.

“Is this a joke?”

“Do you seriously think I would joke about a thing like that? I left the CIA years ago. I only came back because of the nature of THIS operation. Because I couldn’t let anyone else do it. But now… I’m not doing it. It’s over. Case closed.”

“The case is NOT closed. You cannot just walk away.”

“Watch me. I am not your assassin any more.”

“Do you intend to go Renegade, too? Do we have to send a man to kill YOU?”

“I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m still the best man the CIA ever had. And you know it.”

For a moment there was a silence that seemed to span the light years between them.

“Relax. I’m not going Renegade. But I AM taking some time offworld before I return to Gallifrey.”

“I’m not accepting your resignation. Nor will we put another man on the case. Take some sick leave. When you’re ready to continue your work….”

“I’m not sick. There isn’t even a concept of sick leave in the Celestial Intervention Agency. I am just tired of being the sharp end of this dirty business. I will be ending this transmission now. Don’t TRY to contact me again.” He turned off the viewscreen. For a long time he just stood there, shaking with emotion.

Yes, it WAS Friday afternoon. Marion found that out by switching on the TV and looking at the Ceefax page. She was SO disorientated. She was a little shocked to realise a whole week had gone by. The whole second week of the summer school.

She was a little surprised to find she didn’t MIND that. The first week had not been as much fun as she had hoped. It just felt like university with different scenery outside the window. She had still been as lonely and lost.

She had been happier this strange, confused week, in The Professor’s bed.

She laughed and mentally rephrased that, wondering idly where he had slept while she was in his bed. The guest room, she supposed.

He wasn’t in the house at the moment. She hadn’t exactly SEARCHED it, but it had a quiet, empty feel to it. She had taken a long, lingering bath and dressed herself in one of those warm robes The Professor had in his wardrobe. The ones for that religious devotion he had told her about. She felt cosy in it, and at the same time, strangely connected to The Professor.

She WANTED to feel connected to him. Her dreams last night were full of him. Her thoughts all day were of him, his companionship, his friendship. And yes, a sort of love.

But she couldn’t yet imagine SLEEPING with him.

She laughed at her own euphemisms. She COULD imagine sleeping with him. That would be nice, cosy, listening to his breathing, his heartbeat, feeling warm and safe. What she couldn’t DARE to imagine was what happened in a bed when two people WEREN’T sleeping. And she couldn’t DARE to imagine it happening between her and The Professor.

Kristoph, she reminded herself. She kept calling him Professor. He kept trying to make her call him by his first name. He WANTED them to be equals, to be friends. And she LIKED the idea. But when she looked at him she saw The Professor.

“Kristoph,” she whispered as she moved around the drawing room. She put on a CD of Vaughan Williams, his favourite composer, and ran her hand over the books of poetry and literature on the shelf of the cupboard. Then she reached and opened the closed section. The books in there were so beautiful, leather bound, with gilded titles.

She stared at the spines. They all had that same seal on them, the swirling design. The Seal of… The name of the man who founded his society eluded her, but she would recognise the seal anywhere now!

The titles….

They were in a foreign language. Not even a language. It wasn’t letters. It was more like spirograph. But as she looked she realised she could READ the words.

“A Bestiary of Gallifrey?” She read. Was THAT where he came from? Where was it? Greece? Turkey? Something like that?

“Poetry of Southern Gallifrey,” she read on the spine of the next one. That was more like it. She took the book from the shelf and brought it to the sofa. She opened it reverently. This was a book that would reveal some of Kristoph’s secrets, that would let her into his world.

Again, the swirling text resolved into English. It had to be some kind of optical illusion. But she settled down and read without worrying.

They were beautiful poems. They covered all kinds of subjects. Love, war, life death. She read a long, long, beautiful one about a man who was so much in love with a woman that he was prepared to give up his own life-force for her when she was dying. She begged him not to do it, but he told her his own life was worthless without her and he performed a ritual that gave his life to her.

She turned the page and there was a picture that made her gasp. A woodcut picture, very finely done. It showed a man in that black robe with the seal on the front, kneeling in the centre of a giant version of the same seal. There was an aura around him and what must have been his lifeforce streaming from him.

The poem continued on the other page, telling how he died and she lived and mourned at his funeral. How she lived a long, long life, spurning all other men who would have offered her love, never forgetting the sacrifice of her first love.

A beautiful poem. But what did it mean? How could somebody DO that? Was it possible?

She thought of the room upstairs where there was a Seal just like that one. She thought about what The Professor had said about the rituals of his ‘religion’.

She thought about the kind of love it took to do a thing like that. She couldn’t imagine it. There hadn’t been enough of that sort of love in her life.

Of course, it was a poem. It was a myth, a legend.

But to be THAT loved. She wished it WAS possible. She wished somebody loved HER that much.

She wished somebody loved her HALF that much.


She nearly died of fright as he spoke her name. She didn’t even hear him come into the room. She dropped the book with a clatter. He bent and picked it up.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I know those books are private. But I just….”

“It’s all right,” he assured her. “This is one of my favourite books. Did you read it all the way through?”

“No,” she said. “I got as far as the one about the man who dies for his love.”

“It’s a very old legend of my culture.”

“Do you think it could be true? They were so much in love. I wish.…”

“You’d like a man to die for you?” Kristoph smiled.

“No, not DIE. But… if somebody cared enough for me to make any kind of sacrifice….”

“Somebody does, Marion,” Kristoph thought. “Somebody does.”

“It was all right to read the poems,” he assured her. “Maybe we can read them together another time. But for now… I’ve hired a car. I thought… if you want to pop back to your room and pack a few things, we could be in Whitby by supper time - a quiet weekend in our favourite literary landscape.”

“Oh.” The idea startled her. “Oh, Kristoph… You want to spend the weekend with me?”

“Separate hotel rooms,” he added. “This is not a… a ‘dirty weekend’.”

She laughed at the idea. As she packed a bag in her room that she had not used for five days, she wondered if she would be upset if he HAD proposed such a thing.

“Marion?” As she slipped out of her room again she heard a voice call her.


“Are you going somewhere?”

“Whitby, for the weekend,” she answered.

“On your own? Nobody has seen you all week. You’ve missed all your classes. And now you’re going off just like that. What’s going on?”

“I was sick all week. And now I’m having a weekend away with a friend. And it is nobody’s business.” She slung her bag on her shoulder and walked away quickly.

But with a wonderful weekend in the company of Kristoph ahead of her she didn’t worry as much as she thought she would about whether Sally was still watching when she climbed into the passenger seat of the car.