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.
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
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
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.