THE INCONVENIENT PASSENGER
(Contains Spoilers For “Rosa”)
Graham observed the glamorous sight before him as the asteroid dubbed Rosa Parks drifted past the TARDIS.
He was less a mess of raw emotion like he was before, The Doctor had seen to that, and he was most grateful.
He had felt less like an inconvenient passenger on that bus where Rosa Parks, a most genuine of human beings and a historical and universal icon, had stood her ground and struck a moral chord in history, a minor victory that led to major steps for her people in the generations to come.
, In the timeline associated with Montgomery, many of his kind looked down on Rosa’s type of individual, a part of Graham felt ashamed by being raised in a period where the struggles for equality were large in scale, and even today, while things were better, there was much left to do, and so many things felt unchanged even from then.
Not being able to stand up for Rosa, despite all of the brave decisions and choices he, The Doctor, Yasmin and Ryan had made to ensure history was guarded and Rosa’s finest and bleakest hour was preserved, chilled him and made him feel inadequate as a champion for time.
He wondered what Grace would have done upon witnessing the situation?
She would not stand for it, she would have done something, made an impact, started the marches days, even weeks ahead of time. There would not have been a need for a statement as bold as Rosas’ if Grace had been leading the charge.
And he would have backed her; he could see it vividly in his tired mind’s eye. He and Grace, time’s champions. The prospect of that also delighted him.
And then he noticed The Doctor, mesmerised by the sight of the elegant star field surrounding her ship, her eyes twinkling as she counted every star orbiting the sun and the asteroids. She was relishing the sights and sounds of the universe almost as if she were experiencing them for the first time.
Graham smiled, there was much to admire about The Doctor, but also much to suspect.
He wanted to know what she was thinking, because just from reading her body language she was uneasy.
He chose to bring up a pressing subject that was weighing heavily on his mind.
“You don’t suppose that Krasco fella will find his way back through time do you?” he asked
“Don’t worry; I gave his manipulator a proper stomping. Wherever Ryan sent him, he’s staying put”
The Doctor looked a bit hesitant, and Graham picked up on this.
“You don’t sound very confident”
“Well, I was thinking of when I sent his little box of delights packing. You see, I tricked him into transporting his weapons and supplies across time and space, and, well, I’m a little worried they might be waiting for him when he arrives, depends on the settings on the device, which I know Ryan couldn’t have the know-all to check. It reminds me of a best friend I had years ago, a wry Scottish lass. Her husband was sent back in time by a statue, a living one, long story, and she reckoned she could be sent back to the exact same location he was”
“And she just jumped straight into it? This girl?” Graham asked.
“Yeah, its love, don’t ask me why, but it’s such an overpowering force that it dwarfs all reason, it makes us all mad, if it were a flaming pyre we’d jump straight into it just to feel its burn. It’s passion, and protest, and incredible, it damns us all and lifts our spirits to unprecedented heights” The Doctor said.
“Yeah, that’s what drove Grace. She fell for me, and in trying to protect me, she fell for us all” said Graham, putting his hand on The Doctor’s shoulder.
They stood transfixed at the sight of the cosmos, the inky black vacuum of space now lighting up the lingering fires in his own soul as well as The Doctor’s own.
Graham could read from The Doctor this sense of both great loss and readjustment, like she had went through this process several times and had been both tired and
“Is this what a crush feels like on the other end?” said The Doctor.
“Pardon?” Graham said.
“Just thinking…I haven’t been a woman in the longest time…maybe ever, and I’ve been working out the kinks. I reckon I had a bit of a foe yay moment with that Krasco chap when we were alone together, back when I sent his weapons packing. Just a passing fancy, nothing meant by it, he just looked the part, quite a rugged fellow. A pity about the racism and the mass killings”
“Still, just as well eh? You’d ought to be with someone more your type” Graham said.
“I’m not quite sure what my type is yet, maybe a type 40…”
The TARDIS emitted a slight purr.
“Oy, steady on you” The Doctor said, and gave Graham a longing look.
“Or maybe a type 50” she said.
“Here, steady on Doc, you’re younger than me” Graham said, laughing at her sarcasm.
“Yeah, I’m totally kidding…or am I?” she said.
She hadn’t forgotten about how snug they were back at the hotel posing as a couple to fool the snooping police officer looking for Ryan and Yaz.
“Been a while since I had an eye for someone a bit inventive…that was a smart sell you pitched to that cop, it reminds me of all the functions I rarely work with on this old thing. Maybe we should put it to good use sometime?”
“I didn’t know this place could pull off those tricks” Graham replied.
“There are a lot of new tricks it can teach a couple of dogs like us” The Doctor said.
Graham gulped; The Doctor smiled, and walked over to the TARDIS dispenser. Two custard creams emerged from it, she took them both and handed one to Graham.
She toasted his cream with her own, she pointed again to the asteroid.
“To Rosa, the indelible footprint” she said.
“And to inconvenient passengers” Graham awkwardly replied, feeling once again like he had become one all over again in an altogether different context.
He looked out at the heavens, and begged Grace’s forgiveness.