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Short fic for the "Nadir" challenge. The Eighth Doctor visits the Opera House.
When the Doctor stepped out of the blue box, using one hand to shield himself from the rain, no one thought it was odd in any way.
He knew where he was immediately. The architecture was garish and rather unmistakable. He straightened his frock-coat with the free hand, then made sure to lock the TARDIS.
"Seems to be safe," he said to himself. The habit had come from years of travelling with companions, who would always feel left out if he didn't say something for their benefit.
Now, though, he was all alone in Paris. He walked across the street, remembering a painting with no eyebrows. The last time he'd seen her, she was different again. So was he.
He entered the Opera House, and was about to see if there was a box available, when he heard a scream.
It was the kind of long, steady, high-pitched scream that only a soprano could hope to achieve, and with a little more encouragement it could have shattered glass.
The Doctor ignored the crowds and followed the sound of the scream to the lower levels. Staircases and passageways were riddled in this place, and the Doctor found himself wondering how anyone found their way around.
He felt someone grab him by the arm. They pulled him into the shadows and kept their firm grip. With breath that smelled terrible, someone whispered, "You don't want to go down there."
The Doctor looked concerned. "Someone screamed. Is she hurt?"
The figure stepped out of the shadows just enough to be seen. He was of Persian descent. He seemed guarded when he noticed what the Doctor looked like.
"You look as I remember from his drawings," the Persian said.
The Doctor looked towards the passages, hoping to free himself soon. "What drawings?" He wasn't any stranger to finding portraits of himself in strange places.
"He called you his master, the angel of death." The Persian's voice was husky as he said it, as if he were trying to hold back emotion.
"Who is he?" the Doctor said, and broke free of the Persian's grip. He didn't try to find who had screamed this time, but ran down the passage until he reached... a mirror.
It was the back of a mirror, to be exact, but it showed the contents of someone's room. It had been personalised with a very impersonal touch. The flowers were from a previous performance, given by people she would not have known. The beautiful costumes established that she was a young woman, possibly the lead singer, but her old costume was still there, neatly cared for. She wasn't expecting to be there long.
The Doctor knew his literature. He knew that he could get caught up in history, but he hadn't expected to get caught up in a story.
He clicked his fingers, and the acoustics in the passageway were perfect.
The Persian whispered behind him, "I think you guess who she was."
The Doctor turned, to see the Persian blocking his way out.
"This is not the time for you to appear," the Persian said. "Even if you are not him."