WARNINGS: Violence, blood, self-disassociation, Nazis (ok, just one itty-bitty little Nazi), death (no, really), nightmares (sort of), and a slight mental breakdown. Kind of depression, in a way? This gets really dark towards the end but I promise to make it better.
So, this is my first non-human!reader imagine. You guys will have to tell me what you think. Also, there will be a Part Two for this story, so don’t let the ending depress you too much.
You knew what you were. You… remembered. It had taken awhile - about a decade or so of denial, of not aging in any noticeable way, for you to face up to the fact that there was something very strange about you. And then, the memories came back in great big violent chunks, and you suddenly started noticing things that your mind had blanked out before - you had not family, no past, no friends, no background, nobody who knew you, and you had never thought it strange before. But the memories filled everything in and you were ashamed, because you had made yourself forget in order to stave off the pain. How cowardly was that, that you couldn’t even let yourself grieve?
It had worked, though. The pain was as distant as your home planet, now. You had managed to skip the grieving process rather well. Professional level denial.
You were a Gallifreyan. The last Gallifreyan. And not a very old one, either. You had never even regenerated, which meant… you had another eleven lives ahead of you after this one. It wasn’t a pretty thought. You were trapped alone on Earth with a species that had such a pathetically short lifespan. It was going to be lonely. Very lonely. You would never have a lover or a family or a real home.
Oddly enough, it didn’t bother you as much as it should have. Give it another few hundred years, you told yourself, then maybe it will kick in and you’ll start feeling depressed. But the idea of being completely independent was appealing. You could travel as much as you wanted. You could seek out every single secret from one pole of this planet to the other, and by time you were done, you could start all over again and make it feel new. There was no Gallifreyan government to say that you were being irresponsible with the timelines. There was no one to stop you from being a part of history. You were a Gallifreyan, superior and nearly immortal. You could walk this planet like some immortal creature of legend until humanity started leaving the planet. Then you would leave too, but until then… well, it wasn’t half bad, you thought, to be an explorer with no ties to anything or anyone.
Lonely, indeed, Who cared? Alright, so there was no one to share it all with, and that was sad. You weren’t being stupid - you knew that being alone meant being lonely, at some point. But Gallifreyans were lonely creatures by nature. You were just taking it to another level, and there was nothing wrong with that. You could happily wait a few hundred years before getting to move the lone wolf act into the stars.
Could be worse, you thought, turning your eyes to the stars. You slung your bag of essentials over your shoulder and took you very first step onto the African plains, circa late 1800’s. Today, you would be getting to know some lions on a telepathic level. Who else could say that? You chuckled. No one.
Oh, yeah. This could be much, much worse.
The Doctor, although he really didn’t feel comfortable calling himself that yet, not after so long being the Warrior, slept more than he ever had before. He had spent so much of the war sleep-deprived that being able to sleep for more than a few hours straight now seemed like an extreme luxury. One that he was only too glad to take advantage of, mostly because you can’t think too hard while you’re asleep, and the Doctor was sick of thinking.
The only problem was… well, the nightmares. Those sort of tarnished the whole luxury bit.
But, when he woke up for what the TARDIS had designated as ‘morning,’ he felt so completely relaxed that he knew he hadn’t had any nightmares at all.
Odd, he thought with relief, almost ready to let himself sink back into sleep, when he remembered the dream. The good dream that had kept the nightmares away through his whole sleep cycle.
Lions. He had dreamt of lions, tan and gold on the grasslands, running at his side and leading him down to the river. They spoke to him in what limited language they had, and he walked with them for a day and a night and another day, trailing his hands through the tall grass as he walked barefoot to the-
The Doctor jerked out of his half-doze, startled. A mild sense of disassociation settled on him, adding to his inexplicable confusion. How strange.
He wouldn’t mind having a dream like that again, though.
You knew that you weren’t impervious, nor truly immortal. You could be killed. But after so many years of bending without breaking, you had forgotten that it might actually happen.
“You shot me!” you exclaimed. And you were, indeed, shot. Very shot. Bleeding out for all that you were shot, in fact. It would be a very stupid way to die.
The soldier who had shot you spat out some garbled German that you didn’t quite catch the whole of, but you could guess his meaning very well with or without telepathy. It was something along the lines of, go die, scum! Or whatever the German equivalent of that would be, which was a little rude.
“I’m dying already, I’m dying,” you told him irritably, trying to numb your pain receptors. “Don’t get your lederhosen in a twist, okay? Easy does it, swastika-boy. What are you, twelve years old? You are a very small Nazi.”
Said small Nazi couldn’t have understood what you were saying, seeing as he had completely ignored your very clearly pronounced "Don’t shoot" statement (right before he shot you), and he hadn’t said a single word of English so far. But, it seemed as though he knew that he was being insulted, because he shot you again. This time, you barely felt it, but it was still scream-worthy, simply because… well, it was very gruesome. You had seen plenty of blood over the decades, but this was your own blood and it was going all over the place and definitely not staying inside of your body where it belonged. You noticed the orange tint typical of Gallifreyans and wondered if the pint-sized Nazi would also notice. You did not want to be experimented on by some crazy German scientist, no sir. No dying over and over again on Doctor Mengele’s table for you, no thank you, nuh-uh.
Ugh. Sometimes you wished that you weren’t so well-versed in Earth’s history.
You felt regeneration energy burning under your skin, and you saw Nazi-boy raising his gun again, so you did the only thing you could think to do.
You turned and ran.
He shot you in the back and you kept running.
The Doctor screamed awake, back arching away from mind-blowing pain. He writhed, sobbing, newly lithe fingers clenching off-white sheets and trying to anchor him back to reality. Oh, wasn’t it over? The pain was so- but he- it was- hadn’t he already regenerated? Why did everything hurt so badly?
A warm hand squeezed his as the Doctor came down from his painful high, and when he opened his eyes, Rose was there. All pink and yellow (red-eyed from crying), and beautiful (pale and shadowed, because she was so tired).
“Did Nazis shoot me?” he asked, incredulous, not only because it was ridiculous but also because he was in a room he didn’t recognize and he could feel that he was wearing another man’s jim-jams. "Is that how I died?“
"Er, no?” squeaked Rose. She sounded as confused as he felt. Quite right, too.
“Oh…” The Doctor gulped, fear still coursing through his veins. His chest ached where he had - or, hadn’t - been shot. It hadn’t happened, though, and as his mind cleared up, he remembered that of course he hadn’t been shot by Nazis, but it felt so real. Too real. Too frightfully real, because he knew it would haunt him just as much as all his real deaths did. “Good.”
You liked your new body. It was very… well, you.
Admittedly, you had been very young to already be regenerating, but you supposed that needs must. You had gotten shot a whopping five times before you actually died, and your transformation must have scared the ever-living fascism out of the little Nazi, because when you woke up, nobody was around.
But it had been awhile since then. You were aging at the grand speed of dripping peanut butter, and it was causing problems. Because of, you know, the invention of the bloody camera. Sodding camera obscura. Nothing obscure about it. So you were stuck avoiding the big cities when they started installing traffic cameras. Oh, and photographers, and security cameras, and rides that took your picture, and places where people took pictures, and basically just…
“Hey, now, what’s the matter with you, eh?”
Rose stared at the Doctor, who was staring at the console. He looked so intensely focused and completely lost at the same time, like he was desperately searching for the answer of some insolvable equation. It scared her. A lot of things scared her, though. As much as she liked this… new Doctor, she was still adjusting. But it would be alright, if she could just pull him out of the storm cloud his head was stuck in.
“Hey!” Rose raised her voice. “Hey!”
The Doctor blinked. “What? I- oh… er, sorry.”
“Yeah.” Rose touched his shoulder tentatively. “Are you… alright?”
“Oh, I’m fine,” the Doctor said, shrugging, even as his eyes were dragged back towards the console. “There’s just something that I need to… uh, check, if you don’t mind delaying your visit home?”
Rose shook her head. “Nah, I don’t mind.”
The Doctor’s hands wavered over the controls, as if he had forgotten how to use them. His brow furrowed in concentration. He closed his eyes, and just like that, he was a million miles away again.
Where do you go in that head of yours? Rose wondered.
“Where are you?” the Doctor whispered, too quietly for Rose to hear. It wasn’t for her anyway. “Where are you? I know you’re there, somewhere. Show me where. Come on, call me. You’re not alone. I’m here. Just tell me where you’ve gone. Come on.”
And then, suddenly, he jerked the TARDIS into action.
You were so startled by the telepathic signature of another Gallifreyan that you nearly thought you were just imagining it - you were supposed to be the last, after all. But then, there he was, tumbling around the corner with a youthful-looking bottle-blonde in tow; both of them grinning like idiots. It was him. He was a Gallifreyan, and a Time Lord at that. You could see it in his tangled timelines.
Unsure of what to do, you just… stood still. Maybe it was a coincidence. Maybe he would keep on running. Maybe he wouldn’t notice you. Maybe he wouldn’t even care.
“You!” he cried out, and you were the only one there, so you knew he was talking to you. “I’ve been looking all over for you! Where have you been? How did you even survive?”
He approached you so quickly that you didn’t have time to plan an escape route. He was just there, in front of you, too close, with his blonde friend following along behind him with a curious glint in her eyes.
“Um…” You shrugged. “Surprise?”
His eyes widened. “Oh, tot!”
The word sparked something in your brain, and you didn’t quite remember it, but you didn’t like how it made you feel. (Small.) "Excuse me?“
He was way too close, crowding and cornering. Your Gallifreyan instincts flared to life aggressively in the presence of another of your species. Gallifreyan, adult, male, [compatible telepathic functions, compatible psi levels, compatible physiology: potential mate], loud, close, aggressive, big, threat-threat-threat-threat!
"You’re so little!” he exclaimed, gravity-defying hair swaying as he leaned in closer to get a better look at you. You stepped back. He followed. “You’re hardly any more than a baby! Just a child. No wonder I didn’t sense you before.”
Little? Baby? Just a child? Did he- did he have any idea…?
“Back off,” you snapped, hurt and offended. How dare he? He didn’t know anything about you.
“Hey,” he said with a chastening frown, “don’t you talk back to me like that, tot.”
Your eyebrows jumped up. Behind your eyes, wars passed. Blood (shots fired, red spattering everywhere, two to your chest and three to your back as you burned), loss (your parents, your family, your people, your planet, and you had made friends and lost them all and couldn’t take losing anymore), famine (you had starved with the rest of them and survived simply because your body could do so much more that theirs could), loneliness (it was you, it lived in you like a parasite and gnawed on your brain until there were pieces of your mind missing), fear (water, rising too quickly, rising over your head and filling your mouth but you had to save those people had to get them out but you were drowning and it was so, so dark), and so much pain (water isn’t supposed to be in lungs, fire doesn’t play nicely with flesh, claws are so sharp, the sun burns almost as well as fire does and the cold burns too can’t do this anymore can’t can’t can’t can’t).
Just a child?
Arrogant son of a-
You punched him so hard that you felt something in your hand shatter.
Your pain receptors were in a constant state of numbness because, well, why not? It’s not like you bothered pretending to be human anymore. And there was enough pain without broken bones and an empty belly and so many scars. So you couldn’t really process that there was pain. You knew that you had broken two of the bigger bones in your hand. It wasn’t bad. They would heal quickly, if you were careful. Slowly, if you weren’t. Quickly, slowly; who cared?
He stumbled. The girl was screaming at you that 'you were crazy, what was wrong with you?’
Tell me something I don’t know, sweetheart, and don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to.
“Oi!” the Gallifreyan yelled, shocked and maybe angry. Probably angry. You couldn’t blame him. “What wassat for?”
“I don’t need you,” you hissed at him. Derisive, dismissive, direct. “And I don’t want you. Go.”
He snatched his hand away from his nose blood, slightly on the orange side, just like yours, fell freely, staining his mouth and chin. But his expression far over-powered the color: a look of horrified shock, of betrayal, like you had stabbed him in the back instead of booped him on the nose. "W-what?“
"I. Don’t. Need. You. I don’t want you.” And, just to clarify: “I don’t want to see you again. Go away. Don’t find me again.”
So much loneliness, and there he was. And you didn’t want to see that face or hear that tone of voice ever again. Not ever. You could do what you had been doing for so many years. Nothing was stopping you, not even that wiser-than-thou look he had given you when he realized how young you were.
You turned your back on him and walked, and when you heard him call out for you, you kept walking.
Huzzah! I just got the OK to post this commission I did. One for all the Whovians out there to drool over :P
This guy’s not for sale BUT you can always reach out to me at
email@example.com if you’d like your own custom art. Alternatively,
what I DO sell you can find here: Deep 13 Art @ Etsy - Take a look and see what you might like!