The Lost Girl

People get lost in time sometimes, but there's no one quite as lost as Amanda Grey. She's spent an eternity jumping from place to place, much like the Doctor does, but she can't control it, can't stop it. She's alone in the universe, but she has hope. There are stories scattered through time about the Doctor. Fair warning - female Doctor. If you don't like don't read.

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1. Rescue Me, Doctor

My name is Amanda Grey, and I’ve been lost for a while now. The day my life was swept out from beneath me was the most ordinary sort of day you could imagine, with groggy, barefoot padding on the floorboards as dawn light streamed through a crack in the blinds. There was a cup of tea, a lengthy monologue in the mirror that started out as an inspirational speech and turned into a dim realisation of the pointlessness of everything. I locked myself out, kicked the door in frustration, and my toe throbbed vigorously and I got on the bus and watched it drive away.

Yes, you heard that right, because suddenly I was standing on air, gasping, wind-milling my arms, sending my novel spinning through the air, screaming soundlessly. Some people took photos and others called for help and a few entirely failed to notice me. I don’t hold it against them.

Then I was gone, and then I was somewhere else. It was a dim little street, and I was standing, thankfully, on my own two feet, watching my breath rise above my head in a cloud of white, shivering in the sudden chill, the memory of my scream still bouncing off the walls and into eternity. I was suddenly and desperately alone. I felt it in my heart, more coherent even than the cold dripping through the hunched bricks.

That was when I saw them first, a woman with her hair chopped short like a boy’s, frizzy, watching me with a detached sort of curiosity. And behind her there was a boy, blond, staring at my with innocent eyes and a half-formed smile, and he tried to push past the woman, but she held up a hand, and he stopped, and then I was gone again.

I’ve been to a lot of places since then. I’ve seen suns of burning ice and aliens who exist in multiple realities all at once with forms as changeable as the weather. I have witnessed the most beautiful wonders and the most terrible atrocities. I’ve seen it all, and I haven’t gotten a single day older. I’m trapped, spinning through time. Some people would probably think of this as a blessing. All of time and space, the most beautiful things in the universe, a pantheon of love and loss, the kind of things you only ever dream of, and they’re mine. I have seen things you wouldn’t believe. I’ve gone farther than I ever imagined and then farther still. I’ve seen exotic worlds, vast and terrible cities, shanty towns and abandoned star-ships drifting through space. I’ve seen it all.

Sometimes I materialise for just a few second, other times I have a few days. Once it was a few weeks, and there’s no order to it. I can’t predict it, can’t control it. I’ve watched planets burning; I’ve watched everyone I love fade away, still searching for my face in the crowd because I’ve left them with nothing. There’s no one left to know my name, or see my face in the stars.

I’ve learnt many things; I know secrets that would pull the universe apart. I could be the oldest and most powerful being in the universe, and you can’t know how terrifying that is. I’m supposed to be wise, but the truth is that age doesn’t equal wisdom. I’m the teenager being plunged into world after world, tragedy after tragedy. Do you know what it feels like, to win a war with someone and when they turn around, grinning, breathless, desperately needing a hug, you’re just gone? You can never understand what that feels like.

It hasn’t all been bad, of course, like most things there are always a few good parts. Really the only thing that makes them bad is that they had to end. I fell in love once. It was New York City, and he was a beautiful, smiling boy who wore frock coats and odd socks and read aloud to me on the subway. I was there for a month, almost long enough to make me think that it was forever. He was the kind of person I’d always been looking for. He wrote poetry and fancied himself a detective and wrote stories about The Case of the Exploding Hat. He was ridiculous and gangly and I miss him. I miss him so much there’s no comparison I could make that would aptly describe it.

But he’s gone now, turned to dust and scattered in the wind. I should know. I was the one who had to watch him jump. At least he had someone to watch. The saddest thing is when there’s no one to watch. I wish he could have just seen me, I wish I’d been brave enough to tell him what I was, but I didn’t, and I have to live forever with that.

I remember when I used to get cry over tests in school, or because I was fat. It seems so silly now, but I think it’s better to be upset about something silly. I would much prefer to be the annoying little girl than one with her heart torn in two.

I need someone to make it stop, but I’m just an inconsistent fact, constantly in flux, never in the same place for long, yanked back and forth through history. There’s no one left to know my name, or see my face in the stars. I am alone and forever falling, never able to just close my eyes and forget no matter how many people I have to watch die, knowing that I can never save them. I’m there one moment and gone the next, just to see some bitter story coming to an end.

There are stories about the Doctor, the protector of worlds, the saviour of lost souls, the nameless god, and I’m calling out, through time.

Rescue me, Doctor.

...

The Doctor stood on the street corner, watching the girl narrowly avoid a taxi and stumble onto the pavement, commuters jostling her as she sought out the facts that might anchor her for just a little while. She held a strange device out in front of her, scanning the spot where the girl had appeared, frowning at the readings.

A boy stood at her shoulder, eternally tousled, with a thin face and no detectible centre of balance whatsoever, “That’s her again”, he muttered, “Finally back in this universe again. It’s been, what, two months since we last saw her?”

“Hush”, the Doctor said impatiently.

“So what do you reckon?” he continued, unabated, “How does she manage to cross into other universes like that?”

The Doctor turned angrily and tried out her best impression of a glare, “Did I not tell you to hush?”

“You did”, he said.

“And?”

“I took it under advisement… briefly”, he dug his hands into his pockets, “So what’s the deal?”

She looked down at the device in her hand and shook it vainly, “It doesn’t make any sense!” She insisted, looking back at the girl, standing outside a shop window looking inside, her fingers hovering inches from the glass. “She can’t be here. She really can’t. You can’t just become unstuck in time, not since the Time War, and even that wasn’t anything like this. It had a whole lot more to do with temporal displacement than having time act like an independent variable. I don’t understand it!” She stomped back along the street, “I hate not understanding!”

The boy turned and grinned, “Stop”, he called, and The Doctor turned slowly to face him, “Just stand still for a moment and try to appreciate what it feels like to be me when you’re around”.

The Doctor rolled her tongue along her teeth, “Good God, why on Earth do you hang around with me then?”

He thought for a moment, “Masochism, I suppose”, he decided, and gestured back to the busy street behind him, “What about the girl?”

The Doctor, whose attention had returned to the readings on the device, didn’t look up, “Gone”, she said shortly, “Again, but I think I know where she’ll be next”.

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