Changing Me

DOCTOR WHO.

Rating may be at a precautionary high, but better safe than sorry.

"Doesn't it get lonely?" He paused for a moment, fingers ghosting over the controls. "From time to time," he replied evenly, his tone barely changing. My frown cleared as I joined him near the controls, leaning backwards against the cool metal console. He glanced over, blue eyes unreadable. "It always seems so much better through someone else's eyes." Eventual Doctor/OC.

Story is complete, and part of a never-ending series.

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21. Across the Universe

Twenty-One: Across the Universe

The Doctor was right when he said getting back to regular adventures and exploring would be good for the both of us. I don’t think he quite meant for things to distract us quite as much as they did, however, seeing as the longer I have been running with the Doctor, the less time we seem to have to get back to discussing the watch, or the Mysterious Girl, or anything other than the danger we were facing.

So many things I’ve seen, and done, too many to even begin to write down. There will always be something I forget, some tiny event that at the time it occurred, seemed like nothing, but years later became the most important detail. The colour of the sky, the feel of the dirt, the sound of someone’s voice, the temperature, the way the Doctor beamed whenever we landed somewhere new.

I’ve now discovered that once the TARDIS lands, we can’t just up and leave, because we become stuck in the time line. Fantastic. We weren’t buried in Tutankhamen’s tomb for very long, admittedly, but it was long enough for me to fully exercise my vocabulary of English/Welsh/French insults, which wasn’t very long. Picked up a few new curses too, courtesy of the Doctor, who giggled like a schoolboy every time I attempted to swear in an alien language. I had a course in etiquette too, lucky me. Apparently, on the planet of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious or something, it is considered the height of rudeness to not sniff your hosts’ bums and compliment the stench. I’d consider obliging without a complaint if the natives didn’t release methane gas once every ninety seconds.

The Doctor is not allowed to take me to that planet, or any other planet that will result in my nose being up someone’s bum, or in any other bodily orifice that omits an offensive odour. I even wrote that on a sticky-note and taped it to the console, not that he’d ever read it. He couldn’t even tell me what the sign on his front door said, and he’d been with the TARDIS longer than he’d had me.

Howard Carter unburied us a few hours after we’d landed. Gave me enough time to have a good poke around a dead king’s stuff, which got up Carter’s nose just a bit. Seemed to think I’d pinched something... which, to be honest, I had- a little gold scarab beetle that the Doctor assured me was unimportant and harmless. And a bucket-load of sand that had been dumped on my head, as the Doctor didn’t see fit to warn me that the ground was about to be broken above my head. Apparently, that is the penance I paid for defiling his precious TARDIS.

I couldn’t wait until he saw the kitchen; it was covered in sticky-notes with smiley faces drawn on. Now what, Doctor?

Howard Carter was, after the whole stealing thing was cleared up, a rather nice bloke. Bit driven, bit bossy, but nice nonetheless. Showed us around his camp, told a few ghost stories that evening... we cleared up a bit of a sticky situation with a ‘mummy’ that turned out to be possessed by a malicious alien tick- which looked like a scarab beetle. It worked its’ way under the victim’s skin, up to their brain, had a good old feast then inhabited the body. That’s what it had done to the poor Pharaoh, before he was mummified and locked in a sarcophagus to stop the tick from escaping.

Opening the coffin released the tick, which, after being shut away for so many years, was quite hungry. And set its’ greedy sights on the Doctor, who had the biggest and juiciest brain out. If the words of a three-inch tick that speaks English could be believed. Anyway, in failing to get the Doctor, the tick ate up half of Howard Carter’s exploration team- tragedy, it was, the images still... never mind- until we managed to lure it out into the open, trap it, and dispose of it properly. And that little trinket I picked up, the gold scarab? Left it in Egypt.

We tossed it into a supernova on the way to Felspoon. I felt a bit sorry for it actually, but the Doctor assured me that the tick was one of millions that, had it been able to go free, would have feasted on Earth and the entire universe until there was nothing left. Most of its’ kind were trapped inside the Time War, but one or two managed to slip out before it ended and were scattered through time and space. He called it... a travesty? A Horde of Travesties?

Anyway, Felspoon. That little planet with the swaying mountains? Yeah. Utterly stunning. Note to self, however; when the Doctor says peaceful, it usually isn’t. We found that out within a day of landing there. Upon deciding to take a tour and hike up the mountains the day after we arrived- we’d spend the night in the little resort they had by the lake, which formed the majority of the planet’s surface. The next day, we arrived at the take-off zone only to find everything playing out precisely as it had before; including ourselves arriving and checking in.

Something was wrong, predictably. I was almost starting to expect trouble when it came to the Doctor, and being anywhere near that man. He just had one of those faces, I supposed, one of those faces that attracted trouble then successfully sent it shunting off.

Nobody on Felspoon could remember time repeating itself, except for us- seeing as we weren’t part of the initial cause. But the longer we stayed, the less we’d remember, and we would be trapped too. The plot was masterminded by a race named the Plyxorians, who feasted off the lives of others. Parasites, basically, but normally they just sucked out a few years and moved on. On Felspoon, however, where the locals are immortal and sterile, the Plyxorians were setting up shop.

Which we couldn’t allow, for obvious reasons. The Felspoonians were becoming a buffet without even knowing it; they were stuck in the same day over and over, because none of them had the energy or the knowledge on how to move on. Time was literally stuck, and the Doctor and I had to get it going again, or we’d be stuck too. A three hour time limit seems pretty narrow, doesn’t it?

But if you were to tell me that three hours isn’t enough, I would know immediately that you hadn’t seen the Doctor at work. I don’t quite know how to explain what he did or how he did it, but the Plyxorians- a settlement of ten, the last of them- were about to be scattered off into the universe to return to their usual habits. But the Doctor introduced them to vegetation, which held the same life energy as a sentient being. He found an uninhabited jungle planet and took the Plyxorians to their new home, leaving them in peace and the Felspoonians free.

I won’t ever forget the look on the Doctor’s face when he realised there was a non-violent, win-win solution to the problem. His smile could have lit up the entire Earth with the brightness, and his eyes shone so brilliantly I wondered if he was crying. He hugged me so hard I nearly choked, but I didn’t care because I was hugging him back just as hard.

There were other places to see, other people to visit. I couldn’t possibly name them all and dedicate the time needed to properly describe what we saw with each new trip. It felt like we were constantly on the move, never staying still too long. I preferred things that way, busy and breathless, because it kept my mind busy and off the issue of the watch, which was still an elephant in the room whenever we stopped to catch our breaths. The moment the conversation seemed to turn towards the watch and what we ought to do, the Doctor distracted us both with a new adventure and a new thrilling chase.

From the waterfalls of the planet Bangalore to the deserts of Naroosh, the jungles of Umiphadz to the cities of Oozloowaltz. The wedding of the Irgrax Emperor, the funeral of the Vuffroo Prince, learning to dance the Shurian Jive- it’s a sort of combination of a foxtrot and a Charleston. I made a mental note to remember the steps and teach Jack Harkness, if I ever met him again. There are others, as I’ve said before. I might not be able to pronounce some of the places I’ve been or recall the faces I’ve seen, but I’ve fallen in love with the fast-paced, courageous lifestyle of the Doctor’s.

Strangely enough, it was the quiet moments in the TARDIS that cemented my desire to stay. Those few hours between the end of an adventure and a nap, or a meal, where the rest of the world was sealed off and the Doctor spoke about this place and that, his eyes lighting up as he described each adventure. Once or twice he let a name slip, someone I’d never heard of before. Ian... Adric... Leela... Jamie... Barbara... Susan... Romana... Sarah-Jane... Ace... Tegan... Grace.

Each one was said with such reverence, such love. I’d picked up on the fact that the Doctor was much, much older than he looked- my brief visit to Torchwood and reading through the Doctor’s books in the TARDIS library, the few that were translated into English, or the few he read for me handed me a whole swag of information on Time Lords. I wanted to be prepared, if I ever became one with the watch’s help, I wanted to know what I was getting into. I asked about the names, curious. But I never pushed him to speak about them. Sometimes he’d share a story, sometimes he’d feign tiredness and I’d retreat to give him his space.

This arrangement worked well for me and for the Doctor. As he’d tell me tales of his life, I’d bore him with tales of mine, sharing Mum’s quirks or my own interests. These quiet moments spent just getting to know the Doctor were the ones that really made me want to stay. As much as I loved the running, I enjoyed his company more, and decided one day that I’d just never leave.

I wanted to run forever.

That's it, guys, the adventure is over! I'm working on a sequel at the moment so that might make an appearance at some point... hope you all enjoyed this, as I worked so hard- this is an entire year of my life in words, and is, in my opinion, the best thing I've ever written. Until the next time, guys! Allons-y!

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