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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11. Snowstorm

Eleven: Snowstorm

“Shit,” I murmured quietly, successfully detangling myself from Charles Darwin’s intoxicated brother. My stomach was up in knots although I didn’t exactly know why; I was worried, really, about what the Doctor would think of me. I mean, I’d only met Erasmus tonight, and suddenly I was snogging him? Not that it was anybody else’s business who I snogged… but still, I felt pretty awful as I threaded through the crowd, aching for a glimpse of a leather jacket and combat boots. Where the hell had he disappeared to, anyway?

I ran up the stairs two at a time, coming to a stop and panting thanks to the extra weight of clothing I was hauling around. I scoured the floor below, and with each moment that passed with no sign of the Doctor, my heart sank even further down. He wouldn’t… leave me, would he? He couldn’t leave me stranded here! “Where are you, where are you…” I muttered, growing increasingly anxious and irritated. Why’d he have to go and disappear like that? God sakes, I knew he was temperamental but this was extreme…

Growling, I stormed down the stairs once again and headed for the front door, pausing long enough to smile at Emma Wedgwood before I headed out into the cool night air; shivering instantly as snow landed on my exposed face. The storm was in full swing and my visibility was at almost zero, but I set out regardless, aiming for where we’d left the TARDIS.

In just a few steps, I found myself utterly lost. I couldn’t even see the house behind me anymore, not even with the lights blaring on full. There was no sign of my footsteps leading back the way I’d come, as the moment I lifted my foot the snow shifted to cover the indentation of my feet. Striking out blindly, and on a complete whim, I turned directly to the left and walked in a straight- as straight as I could- line.

Several feet later, I stopped as I nearly bashed my head against a wall, one which I didn’t recognise whatsoever. It was straight, though, and I kept a shivering hand on top as I followed it forward, altering my original course to the left just a little. I was on a road, I could see that much, but nothing else could tell me where I was. Fear settled in my stomach like a rock and curled up to twist in my throat.

Footsteps sounded near my right shoulder, and I turned to squint through the blinding snowstorm, very aware of how cold and lost I was. A dark shape moved closer, hulking and at least a foot taller than me. “Doctor?” I tried, a squeaky and small voice that held all the hope I had left. It wasn’t him, it couldn’t be, if it was why did he say something? “Doctor!” I tried again, as a particularly harsh gust of wind sent me stumbling forward. My hair whipped around my face and my skin felt like ice, little pricks of freezing cold piercing my skin. My teeth chattered in my head and my shoes were soaking wet; I couldn’t feel my feet.

Suddenly, a pair of freezing hands grabbed me, one wrapping around my waist and the other covering my mouth. I kicked and screamed- muffled though it was- and fought relentlessly, all the while feeling myself being dragged backwards through the snow. No matter how hard I struggled, I couldn’t dislodge the grip of my captor- who must’ve multiplied now, as I could barely move. I heard the creaking of doors opening behind me and tried to turn around to at least see where I was, but it was hopeless. I wasn’t even touching the ground now- completely stuck.

Light engulfed me and for a moment I basked in it, before being tossed roughly to the ground. Grateful for the copious amounts of skirts I was wearing that allowed me to bounce- well, land without breaking my rear- I tried to scramble to my feet and run for the doors before they could close. Unfortunately, I made it all of two steps before something caught my feet and I went crashing face-first to the ground, managing to catch myself on my hands just in time.

Lying on the ground, I flipped myself over to stare at the faces of my captors. What looked like humanoid snowflakes on legs stared back at me, with black beady eyes and glowing chests stared back at me, their spindly fingers that looked brittle enough to be snapped with one good kick wrapped around my ankles. I tried to move my feet, but found myself inescapably stuck. Slowly, and silently- which freaked me out more than anything- they began dragging me further into the depths of… where was I? Warehouse? Spaceship?

God, don’t let it be a spaceship. Spaceships meant I could be kidnapped to another planet and I’d never, ever be found. Warehouses at least meant I could get away, try to find the Doctor.

I was released by the ice-people, unfortunately though I found myself in a small, barred cage. Before I could react, the door slammed shut and the ice-men walked away, their footsteps now sounding a bit like the sound light rain makes on a field of grass; that very faint hiss and crackle. All too soon, I was left alone, stuck in a tiny little cage with no Doctor, no TARDIS, and no com- hang on.

“Hello?” I whispered, moving to the edge of the cage, where the side of mine was pressed against someone else’s. Inside, another young woman about my age looked up at me tearfully; she was wearing, to my surprise, a t-shirt with a picture of Daniel Craig, and the line “Do I look like I give a damn?” scrawled across the bottom in shattered-glass font. She obviously hadn’t been brought here in the TARDIS… “What’s your name?”

“L-Louie,” she whispered. I nodded and beckoned her closer to the bars of the cage, wanting to comfort her. I suppose, if you hadn’t had the Doctor on your side, this being stuck-in-the-past business would be pretty petrifying. Not to mention the ice-men; but honestly, after the Cybermen, these guys just weren’t as scary. “Who are you?” Louie stammered, now huddling closer to me. Seeing as she was only in a t-shirt and jeans, I could understand why she was cold; I was in layers of skirts, and I was shivering.

“I’m Kia,” I murmured, keeping my voice even. She looked even younger now that I could see her close up, probably only about seventeen. At a stretch. “How did you get here?”

Louie shuddered and I quickly tore my dress, mentally apologising to the Doctor, to shove the top layer through the bars. At least she could cover her arms now, find a little bit of shelter. “I don’t know,” she sobbed, hiccupping and breathing fast, quickly dissolving into hysteria. “One minute I was walking home from school and then there was this noise and wind and I couldn’t breathe or move or see and then I was here and I’m so cold and-“

“Louie!” I hissed, squeezing my hand through the gaps in the bars to shake her gently. She jumped and stared at me, shaking hard, before slowly calming down and holding my steady gaze. “Calm down. I need you to listen to me very carefully- we’re going to be alright, okay?”

She nodded, before shaking her head and sobbing again. “Ho-How can you know that?”

I thought of the Doctor, and how although he was kinda the reason I was in this mess, I knew he’d be going around the bend trying to find me. He didn’t strike me as the kind of guy who would whisk me away for an adventure then abandon me the first chance he got. “Because I’m from 2009,” I whispered, and Louie eyed my dress with sceptical eyes. “I have a friend, a wonderful friend, who will help us. But we need to stay calm and we need to-“

But Louie wasn’t looking at me anymore; she was looking beyond me, at something behind my back. I turned around quickly to find the ice-men back, glaring at me with glinting black eyes. One reached out towards me and I scrambled away, pushing myself with feet and hands to get closer to the bars separating me from Louie. “Don’t touch me!” I snapped, trying to sound menacing, but it came out as more of a nervous squeak than anything else.

Louie had crawled away and I was grateful at least that I could protect her, as the hands came closer and closer to my face. I turned my head to the side to put as much distance between me and it as possible, until I felt the icy tip of its’ finger against my temple.

You will follow.

The words echoed in my head and I gave a low groan of pain as a headache instantly blossomed. When I refused to move, the finger returned to my head.

You will follow.

My headache intensified for a moment, before fading away to become a dull throbbing in the back of my head. Slowly, I picked myself up and obeyed, my feet feeling like lead as I trudged through the cool corridors to a wide, brightly lit room with a medical table in the middle. “Oh, hell no!” I stopped short, shaking my head, and felt the icy hands encircling my upper arms as they dragged me forwards. “No, no, no! I don’t care what kind of freaky alien shit you got going on, I will not be your experiment! Let me go!”

The more I struggled, the closer I was to the table, where I could now see leather straps waiting to bind me to it. At the last minute, I braced myself against the ice-man behind me and lifted my feet off the floor, striking the bed right on the edge. It flipped over, sending it and the bottle of gas beside it skittling across the room. I continued kicking until my legs were tied, and I was pinned to the wall while the bed was righted again.

“Not happening,” I muttered, wishing it really was a dream and I’d wake up and it would still be that morning and I’d be making pancakes and having coffee and the Doctor would come, and I wouldn’t choose to meet Charles Darwin, I’d go to the future- far, far away from being kidnapped by ice-men, but then again I don’t think going to the future would help me much, since I had the impression that the Doctor’s life was full of this running-fighting-being captured stuff so no matter where I went, if I was with him, I was in trouble.

Something in my head clicked into place then, and a grin broke out before I could stop it. If this- the adrenaline, the adventure- was what life with the Doctor was going to be, I didn’t want to stop. Ever. “Right, this really, really not happening, got it? I can’t overpower you physically but the least you could do is talk to me! What do you want! Tell me what it is and I swear, I’ll try to help you! Just tell me what you want!”

The progress stopped. I was released, quickly stepping into the middle of the room to watch the perimeter, which was covered by the ice-men. I could hear Louie sobbing blindly out the back and bit my lip, wishing she’d be quiet because hearing her crying was only serving to make me more afraid.

One of the ice-men stood in front of me and instinctively I cringed, waiting for their cold, strong hands to wrap around my arms again. Its’ mouth lit up as it began to speak in a voice that sounded like wind whistling through trees, and seemed to come from every single walking icicle in the room. “We want information,” the group whispered. I let out a breath I didn’t know I’d been holding, nearly collapsing from relief. They spoke English. Therefore, there was a chance I could negotiate my release- and Louie’s, too.

“Information,” I breathed, nodding. “Right. What kind of information?”

“About Earth,” they replied. Their way of speaking, the whispering echoes of voices, was really starting to freak me out. I grabbed a fistful of my dress and wished I was wearing something easier to run in. Something with pockets and preferably long sleeves, since it was freaking cold in there. “We seek to learn all we can. We are explorers.”

“Then why the cloak-and-dagger act?” I shot back, waving my arms at the elaborate laboratory set-up they’d built. The table, the cages, the kidnapping me off a London street... plucking Louie right out of her own time frame. “Who are you, anyway? Why Earth? What do you need information for?”

“We are explorers,” they repeated, and I rolled my eyes, rotating my wrist in a sort of get-a-move-on gesture I hoped they’d take as just that, not as some kind of threat. When I didn’t get a response, I clicked my tongue and placed my hands on my hips; you’d be blind not to see my impatience. “We are the Skith,” they said as one. Starting to get very freaky now, this constant talk-in-chorus thing. “We are explorers and collectors.”

“Right, so that’s what you’ve done to me and Louie, is it? Why us? Why only us?” I demanded, twisting away when the leader wanted to touch my head, to communicate telepathically. “No,” I snapped, shaking my head. “That hurts. You speak.”

“We are the Skith-“

“Yeah, you said that already,” I muttered, and received a little irritated hiss in response. Wisely, I shut my mouth and allowed them to continue. The leader reached for my head again and I braced myself against the pain, mentally making a note to melt the sucker if he even thought of looking through my secrets.

We are the Skith, they whispered in my mind. We collect things that do not belong. My head instantly started to pound and I could feel the fob watch on my chest jolting frantically, as though it had come alive and was trying to escape.

“You brought Louie here,” I said aloud, uncertain even as I said it. The Skith looked between one another and the leader reached for me again; I surprised even myself by staying still and waiting for the contact. Now that I was used to it, the pain had dulled and I even found myself welcoming the touch of someone else in my head, the feeling like I’d always been missing this telepathic contact welling inside me.

We did not.

“Then how did she get here? She’s not a local girl, that’s for sure. James Bond doesn’t even exist yet- let alone Daniel Craig. How did you get here, by the way?”

With another secretive look between them- one that had me wondering whether they were telling me the entire truth- the leader reached for my head again. This time, instead of words, a thousand images were streamed into my mind like water pouring into a cup.

And when that cup was full, I blacked out.

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