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Title: Nitro-Nine
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters/Pairing: The Doctor, Unspecified Companion
Rating: G
Word Count: 200

The odor is distinct, pungent, and familiar but not of the explosives this particular species favors. Too simple and direct. The familiarity irks him more than anything. He rolls the ash between his fingers and tries to place it.

It’s crude and unprofessionally made. Earth chemicals; nothing too complex, but not fitting to the era either. A brilliant or extremely unlucky child could make such an explosive with the contents of an average – he licks a finger and considers – late 20th century home. Perhaps the 1980s or thereabouts… His eyes widen slightly as the realization dawns. “Nitro-Nine?” he breathes.

A figure intrudes on the edge of vision and, consequently, his thoughts. “What is it? What’s wrong?”

The Doctor stands abruptly and wipes his hands off, taking care to root himself back in the moment and improvise a grin for his companion. “Nothing at all,” he says with all the appearance of his usual cheer, “In fact, I think the situation is already in good hands. Let’s stay on the periphery for this one - perhaps just a nudge or two here and there – and let it sort itself out.”

Because he can’t even bring himself to hope she’s forgiven him.

That last line hurts.