brig!tardis

okay.

Gallifreyan shedding.

Ecdysis. Fun stuff. As bioengineered as they are, Gallifreyans still have to deal with this, and lets face it, is it any worse than sloughing off thousands and thousands of tiny particles that get everywhere, including your lungs? no. anyway. Adult gallifreyans don’t shed often, but depending on the age they were loomed at they may have shed frequently as loomlings. Sheds are nothing to be embarrassed about (which doesn’t mean people don’t get embarrassed about it) but there are public steam baths that many people enjoy, especially during the onset of a shed, and especially if they don’t have their own steam shower. Higher-up Time Lords will likely have their own steam shower which they can use in private, if they don’t mind missing out on all the gossip. These baths are heavily class-segregated; you wouldn’t find a waterworks technician trying to use the Cardinals’ anyway, but the Cardinals’ is most certainly nicer.

The lead-up to a shed: tired. For a gallifreyan like the Doctor who refuses to sleep on a regular schedule this can be unexpectedly tired. Cranky. Exhaustion is coupled with sensitivity to touch that can make actually sleeping difficult, which can result in a Bad Mood [Do nOT allow them to monologue while in shed]. Skin will look dull and have a grey or whitish tint as it begins to come off.

Shed happens in pieces, starting around soft places of movement like the joints and ears, and at the fingertips. Large scales will come off in one piece. Under hair, shed will come off in very small, often unnoticeable pieces, as there are no scales underneath, but will curl off in larger chunks when the scales begin. Hair can look and feel oily during pre-shed due to an increased amount of fluids being produced—another reason for regular bathing. Thorough brushing is required, especially for longer or thicker hair. Once the skin starts to come off, it comes off quickly, and it can all be removed over one or two days with the humidity of a steam bath and a good loofa. Skin underneath may be tender if the shed has been removed early, but many people would rather be a bit raw than unbearably itchy and unkempt. Oils with slight analgesics (and pleasant fragrances) are applied. If a piece is really not ready to come off and one has to go out in public, the lifting edge is trimmed down and covered. Young gallifreyans are often told not to tug on the shed, it will come off when it’s ready. There’s a shed soon after regeneration, and a person’s personality isn’t considered really settled until afterwards.

Some specific headcanons:  

The usual reaction to this process from companions is ‘that’s weird, but definitely not the weirdest thing about you' 

The doctor gets grouchy in all incarnations, to varying degrees. Because of the life they lead, their symptoms are often worse than a Gallifreyan who’s taking good care of themselves frequently. 

Three has set up what amounts to a hottub in their lab before, rather than stop whatever they’re doing and have a soak in the tardis. The brig isn’t happy, of course, but what can you do when your scientific advisor is a giant lizard. They tend to get what they want.

Romana thinks it’s ridiculous that the Doctor gets embarrassed by a rough shed, after all, it’s an ordinary process that everyone encounters, and you really should just have a scrub instead of moaning on about it if it’s that much of a bother. If you had any sort of a regular hygiene regime you wouldn’t have this problem, you know. 

Five sleeps. a lot. 

Peri has to deal with Six’s first shed, but they’ve been so short with her that she doesn’t really notice a difference in temperament. With evelyn, six gets cranky but she makes them both some warm drinks and and says she knows exactly how they feel. Six actually has easy sheds, which is good, and they’re fairly regular since they’re changing colour. They always get excited about the new colours showing underneath.

Seven has shed at some point but good luck knowing when.

Nine really doesn’t want anyone to know about it.

Don’t tell eleven about bath bombs. 

Romana II looks understandably terrible after her Dalek incarceration. It takes several sheds for her skin to stop looking dry and translucent, back to its normal honeygold sheen. 

Brax is a drama king but loves the bath and pampers himself.

Narvin gets it over with. He’s satisfied when the tail comes off in one piece.