Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe, Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Romance, Series
Theta finally conquers the TARDIS and decide to go somewhere... Midnight.
"Okay, I think I'm ready to go somewhere," Theta said to the Doctor, who was at the control panel, hitting circuits with his rubber mallet.
It had been a few more weeks, they had gotten past their initial shocks, and she had learned the layout of the TARDIS well enough, given that it was constantly moving.The Doctor was about to press a yellow button, when Theta interrupted,
"Not that one."
He pointed to a blue one, she nodded 'no'. When he pointed to a green nob, she nodded her head, smiling. He pressed it, smiling that what he wanted, had happened immediately, then wrinkled his brow.
"How do you know?" he asked her, genuinely confused.
"Manual... Every TARDIS model's manual," she said, and took a bite of banana, wrinkling her upwardly curved nose. She held the banana out to him.
"What?" he asked, looking at her, then the banana, and back to her.
" Bananas.. no, they're not... my thing," she said.
He shrugged, then took it, and ate it in two bites.
"Good," he said, flipping through the manual, and threw the peel over his shoulder.
Theta stifled a laugh and turned the book to the pages on type 40 TARDISes.
"Oh, I see," he said, nodding, then snapped the book shut, having read it in only a few seconds. Theta gave him a funny look.
"What?" he asked.
"You're not going to throw this one into a supernova too?" she said, smiling wryly.
Bouncing over to the console, the Doctor flipped a few switches, turned knobs, pushed buttons, and pumped the bicycle pump, and the TARDIS sprung to life, lurching forward. The Doctor clung to the edge of the console, bracing himself along the still bumpy ride, there was only one of him.
"Where are we going?" she asked, dusting herself off after the TARDIS stopped lurching, as she had fallen to the floor.
"Go and see," he said, patting the controls on his way out, letting Theta lead the way.
Outside was a harsh, crystal blue sky, and cliffs of diamond, bathed in Xtonic light.
"Welcome, to the planet Midnight," the Doctor said. "Just be careful not to go beyond the air field, the Xtonic light would kill you."
He put his arm around her protectively, remembering all the times his companions had wandered off deliberately, when he had told them not to. Something was wrong here, he felt like he was being watched, and pulled Theta a little closer.
"I think we should go," he said, trying to pull her back inside the TARDIS.
"Wait!" she said, as she spotted the dark, shadowy being.
It began to approach, and the Doctor shifted on his feet, "Theta," he insisted.
Theta raised one hand in the air, the humanoid shape copied. Then her other hand, it followed whatever she did, from turning her face, to waving her arms. Then Theta gave a shocked, then excited look on her face.
"What?" the Doctor asked.
"It's- she's telepathic!" Theta exclaimed.
The shroud faded somewhat on her face, which was the same crystal blue, sparkling, with deep black eyes.
"Living crystal." the Doctor said, still wavering.
'You're beautiful.' Theta told the creature telepathically. The Doctor shared this conversation in his head with them, also.
'How are you surviving?' the Doctor asked, 'Midnight has no atmosphere, and its sun's rays would kill you.'
'I am rock in animation, living crystal. I am one of few who has fled here when Atlantis collapsed long ago,' it told. 'My cloak filters light so I can survive, as I am like a plant, getting my energy from the sun, and nutrients from the soil.'
'Are you lonely?' Theta asked.
'Very much so. My husband has left to travel, to seek more prosperous land, but I cannot leave until the children have grown.' she answered, motioning to a cave not too far off. 'Thank you, for keeping me company, and though I wish I could know more, I have to get back to the children.'
"That was fantastic!" the Doctor cried.
"Yes, yes it was," Theta said, and leaned on his shoulder as they went back into the TARDIS.
In the galley, Theta sat at the table, pushing her food around on the plate with her fork in one hand, her chin propped on the other. She sighed, and the Doctor looked up from his tinkering.
"Something wrong?" he asked.
"She has children. The longer I stay, the more I am wanting this." She looked up at him and gazed longingly. He felt her emotions sky-rocket, and he moved to wrap his arms around her.
"I know, I know. But are you ready?" He looked down at her pleading eyes and smiled sympathetically, "I don't know exactly what'll happen since its been so long since Time Lords have reproduced sexually, we were practically asexual. There's bonding involved, and it takes a while, but I... I don't know."
"Book?" Theta offered up the book.
"Now why do I have this? Gallifreyan Sexuality 101. That is just embarrassing." He looked at the book and shrugged, "Why not?"
They flipped through, thankful it wasn't a picture book, and once done, the Doctor scuttled off to do maintenance.
'That's his usual way of getting away from something when he's scared, embarrassed, or both.' The TARDIS supplied to Theta.
"I thought you 'didn't do domestic'. You're always saying you had to tell companions not to make it domestic, I think children are about as domestic as it gets," she said plainly.
"It's different with your own, they'll be raised in the TARDIS. They'll know what to touch or not touch," he replied, sonic screwdriver in mouth.
The TARDIS announced Theta's sonic was ready, and he told her she could go get it. It was similar to his, only not as damaged. The body was slimmer, a silvery-black metal, and the light was a blue green, the same colour of the TARDIS engines.
Theta tossed it up in the air gently, feeling the weight of it. "Okay, mine has a blue-green light and is a little smaller than yours," she told him. She turned and walked towards the door to the rest of the TARDIS, stoping when the Doctor called her name.
"Where are you going?" he asked.
"Our bedroom," she replied simply, leaning against the doorframe.
The Doctor hopped up and ran around the control room where she couldn't see him, and picked her up off her feet playfully. He twirled around and she closed her eyes, revelling in the sensation of him. When he set her back down, they were in a room she had never seen, and it was breathtaking.
The sky burnt orange, and twin suns twinkled high above their heads. The mountains in the distance to the west, and forests of silver shone. The fields of red grass they stood on whispered in the winds, and lavender flowers were scattered along the edge, crystal clear water cut through, forging its way to the south. It appeared to go on forever. In the east were stone buildings with elegant stairs of marble, fountains, and floating pathways. But it was all empty, and seemed forgotten.
Words on the walls were scripted, circular, and powerful. Falls of red, gold, and orange fabric floated in the wind, like a living animal. Soft, puffy clouds floated by, and blue butterflies hopped from silver leaf to silver leaf. A crashing of waves in the distance beckoned, and Theta looked to the amazing man next to her. She caught his hand for balance, gasping when she saw the entirety of the room. His look was far off, and in remembrance, she could tell. She smiled a wane smile, and squeezed his hand.
He looked down to her, gazing upon the world in front of them. It went on farther than they could walk in a lifetime, and without her here, it would be too painful. She met his eyes, and smiled weakly, then turned and began to run. They ran, ran across the fields, not saying a word. Both happy, but still a little pain lingered. They slowed to a walk along the edge of the forest.
There were no animals, no birds to sing, no people to fill the buildings, no children to fill it with laughter. No one was left,they were all gone, and they were the only way to bring them back. He glanced down the uneven rows of trees, he remembered watching them burn and fall. He looked to the mountains, and remembered seeing them overtaken, one by one. His final departure from a cliff-face, and he witnessed the destruction of his planet.
But he also remembered his children, watching them growing up. Remembered laughing with the Master, before he went mad, and meeting Romana, and eventually Susan. This was why he loved Earth, the people had the same appearance, same attitude. They were curious, searched. He remembered meeting his TARDIS, and the glorious moments of telling-off the Council. He remembered his raven-haired mother, and light haired father, who loved each other and were compatible. And his family, oh that large family, of 64 cousins, and the laughter of the Prydonian chapter kids. They would pull complex pranks, like mis-matching the doors to rooms, and he remembered standing atop of it all, remembered how different, but the same he was, always was.
He chased Theta through the woods, laughing for the sake of laughter, running to feel free, leaving behind his worries and armour. He climbed up in the tree she sat in, only to lose track of her. He followed her laughter, finding her running along the banks of a river. He laughed like he never had before, his sides hurt from the rumbling, and cheeks from smiling. The TARDIS filled the room with music of Gallifrey, the violins, pipe organs, and vocals. It felt like an eternity in the blink of an eye, as they sat exhausted in the grass, watching the suns set.
The suns slowly crawled along the sky, and first one slipped under, like a child under the covers, and the sky went a brilliant purple. First one star twinkled, then the next, and as the second sun set, it went dark. Theta gasped as, after a few seconds, the sky flashed and the stars appeared full force. Out of the corner of the sky, a green-tailed comet grazed Alpha Centauri.
The Doctor folded his hands beneath his head, and Theta snuggled up close to him, hugging his chest, matching her breathing to the steady rise and fall of his own chest. He had never been happier, and he knew it was because of her.
"It's so beautiful," Theta said.
"It is, isn't it? It's the only piece of home I have left. It's yours now."
"Does it hurt to be in here?" she asked, furrowing her eyebrows, and looking up at his peaceful face.
"You don't know what you do to me. Everything is better, everything's fantastic! I used to hide inside my cracked armour, but you showed me I needed to get rid of it. And I did," he told her, stroking her hair, then kissing her forehead.
She shimmied up to be eye-level with him, and he pulled her close, into a beautiful kiss, the music a faded tune in the background. She pulled back, smiling, and watched the stars, glancing around her.
"How far does this go on?" She motioned to the fields and mountains, the forest and buildings.
"Even I don't know," he said joyfully, peacefully. "That's what Gallifreyan music sounds like." He waved a finger around in the air, "How I enjoyed music, nobody really thought it was important, but it's an expression of the soul."
"It's beautiful," Theta said, leaning her head on his shoulder, and he wrapped his arm around her.
They talked, words lightened the load on the Doctor's shoulders. It was no longer a burden to bear, and he felt he could let go, but he would always live with it, the memory, of who he was, and what he had done. But there was nothing he could do anymore, he had to accept it, and he just didn't care anymore. He had Theta, and a new life opened up to him. He was no longer the last.
"What happened to Anzor?" Theta asked cautiously.
"I... I killed him, he was the first. My first," he said, sadly.
She looked upset, like she was thinking, but he couldn't quite tell what.
"I was defending my friend," he said.
"I guess it's better to be protective, rather than careless." Theta smiled up at him.
"I know it was wrong, but I've only ever killed because I had to, and I would never take joy or pride in it." His thumb rubbed circles in her side, and he pulled her just a little closer.
"How did you choose your name?" she asked, after a long silence had passed.
"I was only eight when I looked into the Schism, and by doing so, I was accepted into the Academy. The Academy was a proper school, for those who would become Time Lords, not merely Gallifreyans. Time Lords have to have knowledge about timelines, fixed and static points, and traveling. TARDISes, and knowing when to stop those who meddled with time. And when not to. But that is one thing that got to me- having to just stand by. I had a strong sense of justice, still do.
"Once I came of age in the Academy, forty years old, I chose my name. I was the first to use it, the rest of the universe adopted it. It was a splice of Old High Gallifreyan and modern Gallifreyan words, that made the meaning I wanted: the man who makes better. People, time, and life- that's what I wanted, and it was a sort of defiance of the Council.
"I was in the Prydonian chapter of the Academy, and everyone there was notoriously devious, pranksters they were. Didn't always follow the rules. But we also learned more than the other chapters, quite competitive- Rassilon was of the Prydonian chapter. The colours were red, gold, and orange, and yes, I had to wear the ridiculous headdress and robes.
"When it was my turn to tell everyone my name, they were gathered in the auditorium. I was presented in the formal robes, and spoke my name, and the name given to me when I entered the Academy- Theta Sigma, it was kind of a joke referring to the spelling of my real name- and then spoke my chosen name, writing it in the space on the wall reserved for me, next to the Master, and below the Rani.
"Nobody said anything, it was normal for lots of cheering and cajoling when a name is chosen, but it went silent. Only the Prydonians know of the Other, and when I spoke my name, they all stood and bowed their heads in reverence to me. I didn't know what was going on, but I accepted the respect, as I did finish top of my class, and first in jiggery-pokery. Even the headmaster and Professor removed their headdresses, I was honoured, and didn't know what to say, I didn't understand. My naming ceremony was still spoken of in the Prydonian chapter before the war, I guess Rassilon took a disliking to me. That had never happened before."
"But what about Romana? Did she choose that name, or not choose a name? She regenerated, she was a Time Lady," Theta said.
"Romana ran away with me before her ceremony, we were both sick of Gallifrey's standards, and got along well. She told me if she had gotten to choose her name, she would have chosen the Roman, since it was close enough to her real name. She was younger than me, when we ran away, I was in my two hundreds, she was only one hundred thirty. For her chapter, one hundred fifty was the naming age."
Theta yawned, and so did he, so he stood up, pulling her with him, and led her back to the door. Which the TARDIS had thankfully moved closer. Their bedroom was only a few doors down, it had been a week since either had slept well, and three days since Midnight.
Theta sat down on the bed, her muscles spasming like they had for the past few days, and she struggled to pull off her shoes with all the shaking. The Doctor helped her, seeing she needed it, and said,"I'll have to check on that sometime, not sure it's normal."
He took off her jacket, socks, and let her curl up, joining her after he got undressed. They lay shoulder to shoulder, and she lay her head over his hearts. He kissed the top off her head once she drifted, content with the day, and fell asleep, having the most peaceful sleep since regenerating.