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the light

wishfulaces in who_otp

We are the knights who say 'fic.'

Title: Overthrown
Author: aces
Rating: This fic is open to all ages.
Characters: Ace, Hex (audio!fic, audio!fic!)
A/N: This is a response to about three different requests, I think. It all started with *my* request, actually, because I wanted fic of Hex nursing someone, which uktechgirl turned into a request for Hex nursing Ace, to which ponygirl72 added that nobody had responded to her whofest request for post-Live34 fic. So. Et voila. Und so weiter. Yadda.

“Oh, bog off, Hex,” Ace said tiredly. “Honestly, I don’t need any looking after.”

“Sure you don’t,” he answered, hovering in the doorway with his arms folded in front of him. “I can see that from the way you’re hobbling to the bed on those crutches.”

Ace paused to glare at him. “See how you do after a bit of torture, drugging, and being on the run for weeks, yeah?”

“I’d do a hell of a lot worse,” Hex said, and left the door to take the crutches from Ace as she sat down with a sigh of relief on her bed. He maneuvered the coverings away from her expertly, so that she could slide under them with ease. She didn't, though, as she was too busy still frowning up at him. “C’mon, then,” he said to her, holding the sheet and blankets up expectantly. “Lie down.”

“I don’t need to be bloody tucked in!”

“Yes, you do,” Hex said, and he was so calm and reasonable than Ace wanted to throw the alarm clock at him. “You don’t want to knock yourself over even more just trying to get yourself situated. You’ve got a lot of bruising all over, that leg is going to be painful for a good long time, and the doctors told you to keep that arm elevated. So lie down already so I can get you another pillow.”

Ace continued to glower at him. Hex continued to hold the sheets up and loom over her.

“Fine,” she grumbled at last and turned her body very carefully, sliding under the covers and lying down. Hex dropped his corner and disappeared briefly, returning to Ace’s room with another pillow, as promised, along with a small bag.

“Oh, don’t tell me,” Ace groaned. “Your turn to play doctors, is it? If you come anywhere near me with a cold stethoscope I will shove it so far up your—”

“That’s quite enough of that, thank you,” Hex cut her off primly, laying the pillow under her bandaged arm, expertly pulling the sling off so that Ace barely even felt like wincing. She made a point of doing so anyway, and of sticking her tongue out at him. Even that didn’t get a rise out of him.

He sat down on the edge of her bed and opened the bag, rummaging around and coming out a moment later with an ice bag, a small vial of pills, and a bottle of water. “The Doctor gave me these,” Hex said, popping off the cap and tapping a pill out of the vial with one hand while he positioned the ice over Ace’s arm with the other. She blinked and took the pill he dropped into her palm without protest. He opened the water. “Swallow,” he commanded. She put the pill in her mouth. “Drink.” He held the water to her lips, and she took a sip, washing the pill down. She didn’t even gag, her usual response to taking the things.

Hex stood up and walked around Ace’s bed, untucking all the covers. “So if you get restless you can shift about a bit,” he explained when she looked puzzled at him. “Don’t want you ripping any of your stitches or bruising yourself further, do we?”

“You’re really good at this,” Ace said.

She saw the blush suffuse Hex’s face, and he looked away as he gently tugged at the particularly stubborn bottom right corner of the sheet. He finished his work in silence and straightened, still not quite meeting Ace’s eye. He hadn’t really met her eye much at all in the past few hours, since helping her leave the crowd and getting her through the A&E the Doctor landed them at. The doctors there had wanted her to stay at least overnight for observation, if not longer; Ace had insisted on leaving, and the Doctor had agreed with her. Hex had, oddly, kept his opinion to himself, but he had been the one to hand her her new pair of crutches.

“Right, then,” Hex said. “D’you want anything to eat or anything? I’ll leave the water by your bed—I could get you a book or something if you’re not tired yet? I don’t know how drowsy those pills the Doctor gave me will make you—”

“Don’t go yet,” it was Ace’s turn to interrupt, and she clamped her mouth shut too late. Hex glanced at her, then started smirking. “Damn,” Ace said through gritted teeth, but really she was pleased—at least Hex was finally acting like himself.

“Are you sure you want me to stick around?” Hex asked. “I might not be able to control the urge to nurse you.”

Ace rolled her eyes. “Come on, Staff Nurse Schofield,” she said and patted the edge of the bed with her good hand. “I could do with a bit of company, even if it is you in a mother hen mood.”

Hex sat down next to her again, moving his bag down to the floor. Silence fell over them, and Hex wouldn't meet her eye again. Ace had a feeling he was even more awkward than she was right now.

She closed her eyes and relaxed back into the pillows. Her shoulder ground against itself—she could hear it, which was really unpleasant—but her forearm did feel nice and numb under the ice, and the rest of her bruises gradually loosened into a pleasant sort of soreness, as opposed to the agony they had been and would no doubt become again the instant she shifted position. But for the moment, at least, she felt no need to move. The sheets were soft, cool, and clean; her eyes were heavy, and the Doctor’s painkillers were working their charm.

She barely even started when she felt fingers encircle her wrist, feeling for the flutter of a pulse under them. “Hoi,” Ace said without opening her eyes. “Couldn’t you control your impulses a little longer than that?”

“Nope, sorry,” Hex answered, and his tone was still too businesslike, not teasing enough. “Every time I see a naked wrist I have to grab it and count the beats. Professional habit.”

“What do you do when you come across a Draconian, or a Dalek? Daleks don’t have wrists, you know. I’m not even sure they have pulses.”

“I ask them how to take their pulse or some other way to measure their heartbeat,” Hex said. “I’ve become a pro at figuring out the Doctor’s heartsbeat, you know.”

Ace opened her eyes in surprise. Hex still held her wrist, and his own eyes were directed at his watch as he counted under his breath. Finally he stopped and looked up. Ace caught his eye. “How’m I doing?”

“You’re still alive,” Hex said.

“I’m not sure that’s a consolation,” Ace replied with a wince as she moved her legs, jarring her arm in the process. A frown drifted across Hex’s face, distantly concerned—a professional sort of frown, Ace decided, as he moved the ice bag to probe at her arm.

“Ow,” she said.

“Those painkillers the Doctor gave me should start kicking in soon,” Hex said, distracted. “He said they were fast-acting.”

“They’ve already started kicking in,” Ace told him. “Doesn’t mean it doesn’t still hurt.” She put her good hand over Hex’s arm, and he looked at her, finally, looked at her. “You can stop now,” she told him.

He let go of her arm, and she let go of his. He sat next to her, looking down at his hands in his lap. Ace closed her eyes and breathed for a moment. Then she opened them again and said, “You really are very good at this, aren’t you?”

Hex half-smiled. “Is that a pathetic attempt to get me out of the room? Flatter me into total embarrassment?”

“Yeah,” Ace said. “Is it working?”

“Nope,” he said easily, and glanced at her again. “Are you sure I can’t get you a sandwich or something?”

“I’m sure, Hex,” she said. “Just—stay for a while. Please?”

“Okay,” he said.

They sat in silence again, but it was a little easier this time. “We didn’t get to do this sort of thing much in the A&E,” Hex said after a while. “Just sitting with the patients, I mean. We usually had to run off and deal with the next emergency, or move the patient to another ward as soon as we could. None of this sitting about and chatting.”

“What about before you worked in A&E?” Ace asked. “Did you get to sit and chat much then?”

“Yeah, a bit,” Hex said. “Though the staff nurses were always calling me to fetch and carry stuff, or watch some procedure, or take somebody else’s pulse.”

“So it was ground into you,” Ace grinned.

Hex looked startled, then grinned back. “Told you: professional habit.”

“Did you meet anybody interesting then?” Ace tried to sit up a little, but it was hard when she was also trying to avoid putting any weight at all onto her right arm. Hex shifted about on the bed and put an arm around her shoulders, lifting her up and rearranging her pillows before she could even think to protest.

“Oh yeah,” he said as he worked, distracting her before she could start glaring at him or throwing any alarm clocks, “I met all sorts. I liked sitting with the little old ladies best, usually, unless they were the mean ones.”

“I knew it,” Ace crowed. “Total ladies’ man. I bet you had them eating out of the palm of your hand.”

Hex flushed. “They were lonely!” He helped Ace reposition herself on the pillows and sat back again, withdrawing all touch. Ace missed the extra warmth. “A lot of them never had anyone to talk to. I was just being nice, that’s all.”

Ace shook her head. “I heard you,” she found herself saying, a moment later. “On that program, the one with Charlotte? I heard you talking about why you got into nursing.”

Hex shifted uncomfortably on the bed, and a little twitch of pre-emptive pain spiked through Ace’s arm, but she ignored it, shutting her eyes. The Doctor’s painkillers really were helping. He’d been the one to help her out of the hospital and into the TARDIS. She supposed he was still in the console room, worrying away at the controls. She hoped he didn’t feel too guilty for what had happened to her on the colony. Her choice. No regrets…

“What about it?” Hex asked, and Ace dragged her attention back to the conversation.

“You got into it for the money,” she said. “That’s what you said.”

“Well, not exactly,” Hex sounded incredibly uncomfortable, and Ace suppressed her smirk. “It was job security, yeah? Not money, just—security.”

“That all, huh? Not because you like helping people or anything? Are you sure it’s not just because you always had a secret desire to prop young women up with pillows and feel up their wrists?”

Even without opening her eyes she could feel the heat of Hex’s blush radiating off him. “Yeah, yeah,” he blustered. “That’s right, I get a power trip out of taking people’s temperatures and giving them IVs. Just you wait—the instant you fall asleep, I’m slipping you a saline drip.”

“Ooooh, I’m scared,” Ace retorted.

“It all changed after I started really working with patients,” Hex said after a pause, and Ace opened her eyes to find him picking at the top blanket. “It was suddenly this real, scary responsibility, y'know? All these people depending on me—patients, doctors—and if I screwed up just a little, didn’t get into just the right rhythm, somebody could die. But I couldn’t turn away; that didn’t feel right. So I stuck it out and ended up here.” He half-laughed. “And landed myself into a right mess of trouble.”

Ace laughed too. “Still feel responsible?”

Hex glanced at her, then looked away, but not quickly enough. “Yes,” he said, voice soft.

“Hey,” Ace said. “Hey. I’m okay, right? Here I am. I’ll be right as rain in no time, you’ll see. So nothing to worry about, right? Right, Hex?”

“Right,” Hex said, and he wouldn’t look at her again. “Just like you said, Ace. Right as rain.”

Ace frowned at him. “You didn’t get a knock on the head back there or anything, did you? You might not have been around that long, but you should know me and the Professor bounce back a little more easily than that.”

Hex nodded. “It’s just…it was almost like Damo all over again, y’know? Friend of mine getting seriously hurt. I don’t like it, that’s all.”

“Oh, and you think I do?” Ace snorted. “We all knew what we were doing, Hex; you, me, and the Doctor. You’re all up on responsibility; well, I accepted responsibility for my actions.”

“Yeah, but you didn’t torture yourself, did you?”

“And you didn’t torture me either!” Ace grabbed his arm. “Don’t—and I really mean this— don't try to take the whole bloody universe on your shoulders. The Doctor does that enough and I don’t need somebody else around like him. Got it?”

“C’mon, Ace,” Hex said. “I’m not stupid. I just—I just wish stuff like this didn’t happen. It’s bad enough that it happens on Earth, in my own time, but to find it out here centuries after I’m supposedly long dead? Aren’t we ever going to grow up?”

Ace squeezed his arm. “That’s why the Doctor does this sort of thing, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, yeah, okay. You’ve made your point.”

“Good.” Ace let go of him and fell back into her pillows. “It’s bad enough when I have to lecture the Doctor about it.”

Hex was studying her. “How long have you been doing this sort of thing with him, anyway? You really seemed like you knew what you were doing as the ‘Rebel Queen.’ And where the hell did you learn to make explosives like that?”

Ace laughed. “Here and there,” she said. “I was making up cans of Nitro-Nine before I was sixteen, but I’ve improved a bit on the formulae and timing since then.” She let herself relax, become boneless as the mattress took her weight. “Mmm. Those painkillers the Doctor gave you are the good kind.”

“I’m glad they’re working,” Hex said. “Should I stay till you’re asleep?”

Ace nodded, her hair scritching against the pillow. “Won’t be long now…” She smiled a little. “You can take my pulse all you want while I’m asleep, I won’t mind.”

“Oh, thanks,” she could hear Hex rolling his eyes. “And can I get your blood pressure too? Just watch me stick a needle in you for that crack.”

She kept smiling, but she didn’t answer. She was too sleepy to speak.

She didn’t know how much time passed. She had no conception of time; she was too tired to be aware of it. But when she felt the bed shift as Hex stood up, she reached out to grab his arm and stop him. He stilled immediately, wrapping his own hand over hers.

“Ace? You okay? Is it one of your injuries? Should I call the Doctor—”

“Shut up,” she said, and she was far too exhausted even to open her eyes. She hoped her words came out clearly at least. “Listen, Hex. Listen.”

“I’m listening, Ace.” He squeezed her hand, and his other hand reached out to brush the hair away from her forehead—and probably to check if she had a fever, Ace thought cynically.

“I’m really glad you’re travelling with us,” Ace said. “The Doctor and me. It’s good to have you on board. You—you remind me why I joined the Doctor. Why I love doing what we do.” She knew her voice was fading, her words mumbled. “Oh, hell,” she sighed.

“It’s okay,” he told her, as if he could read her mind and knew why she was frustrated. “And thanks. I really appreciate it, Ace.” The bed shifted and creaked again, and she felt a brush of lips against her forehead.

“Hey,” Ace muttered. “Is that appropriate behaviour for a nurse?”

“Of course it is,” Hex sounded patently surprised, and even in her sleepy state Ace couldn’t help a grin curving her lips upward in response. “I used to do that for my little old ladies all the time.”

Ace contemplated throwing the alarm clock at him, but sleep claimed her first.
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I can't read this yet, have stuffs to do, but EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I am so excited and filled with daft hop-skip-and-flail glee at the fact that you've written it.

*taps foot until lunchtime*
Pre-emptive squeeing! This is so terribly exciting. :-D
Oh! Oh, this is like Christmas and birthdays and little kittens or something. I had to keep stopping to squeak with delight at the sheer wonderfulness. You have them so, so perfectly right: that lovely aspect of their teasing which is not just subtextual flirting but also them sort of avoiding being direct about anything at all, and circling around the important things, even though they're both capable of being frank on occasion. Her saying she's glad he's with them is saying about 4 million things all at once and I LOVE IT.

Ha, and I know it can only ever be fanon, but I love how you made him prone to blushing, because he's so the type. Little old ladies indeed :)

Perfect, perfect, perfect. I am a hopelessly happy fangirl. This was absolutely the equivalent of getting a brand new genuine BFA through my letterbox and finding a fiver and a ticket to Disneyland tucked in the packaging. You have made my day, and probably several of them to come. *snogs you then goes off to read it again*

Eeee. I don't know what to say! But I am glad I made your day, and I think I must have your rec at your own LJ to thank because I swore this was an obscure pairing and yet I have gotten absurd amounts of fb (well, absurd for me anyway). So, thank you!

And my personal fanon is wide and all-inclusive and allows for Fitz leaving the Doctor in half a dozen different ways, so it can also include Hex blushing a lot, particularly when he discusses nursing little old ladies. :-D
Don't look at me! When I posted the Veiled Leopard drunken postscript I thought about three people would read it and have any clue what I was on about, but there were lots. LJ is full of closet Hex/Ace shippers who are thus delighted when someone writes about them. Plus this is, you know, AWESOME.

This means you will write more of them. Yes, you will. *wiggles magic fingers.
Which is absurd--why should there be closet Hex/Ace shippers in what is already at times an incredibly niche fandom? Come out, people, come out into the light! Oh, wait, they do when people post fic. Hmmm.

I have the crack story I should go back to and discover what the point of it is...
::offers you shrubberies::

Now that the preliminaries are out of the way...


::runs around in a circle like Eric Cartman on a caffeine high::

That was lovely-- Crabby!Patient!Ace, and Guilty!Seven, and Uncomfortable!Hex, and... ::happy sigh::

Thank you, m'dear! Definitely a good way to start the day!
Yaaaaaay! I'm so glad you liked! :)
*blink, blink blink*

Note to self: download acquire audios. Just do it because you're missing PRETTY. *joins in flail*

Excellent! I love to hear that. :-D
I haven't even heard an audio with Hex yet, and still I loved this! I'm always a sucker for friendships that have a touch of UST, the more subtle the better, and you've fed that love perfectly. Plus Ace! Ace is always good! *grin*
Everyone needs to hear Hex. He is Scouse Beauty in Voice Form. (And, seriously, the relationship between him and Ace is fantastically portrayed in the audios.)
Aww! Bless their adorable little hearts! *melts* Gosh I've gone all soppy...
They bring out the sappy. Ace would probably hit me if she heard that. ;)



Thank you! :-D
This is absolutely gorgeous. I can hear the characters' voices as if I'm listening to one of the audios. Thank you so much for sharing :)
That has to be one of the best compliments I can ever get about my writing, so I'm really glad to hear it. :)
Oooh, this is just absolutely delightful. :-)
The only audio I've listened to so far with Hex in it is The Harvest. There are so many audios to go through, I'll be busy with them for a very long time. From what I've heard of the character, though, I think you captured his voice really well. Your Ace was also terrific. She's one of my favorite companions and it's always good to see a story that includes her. I'm glad to see a bit more audio!fic starting to appear lately. :)
Thank you! It's harder for me to write the audio!characters, I think, because it's easy to get distracted while listening to the CDs unless I'm driving, so I don't get to know the characters as well as I do the TV or book ones. Which, y'know, doesn't explain why anybody *else* would or would not be writing audio!fic, but I agree that it's nice there's more popping up lately. :)
I was pointed this way via bigfinishlove, and EEE! You have Hex exactly right, and their banter is perfect.

Write more audio!fic PLZ?
Hee! Thank you! Writing that required copious amounts of listening to the audios. You can imagine how difficult *that* was. :)

Give me a challenge and I might be able to do it? Seems to be the only way I can write anything these days. *sigh*

February 2017



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