Minisode: From Nothing

BTaS Canon: Yes
Timeline: Within the first two weeks of Zepheera’s acceptance aboard the TARDIS

Part 1 of 2


Every
person in the universe, once in a while, has a sleepless night when every nook
and cranny of their mind is haunted by a single thought. An inexplicable
philosophy conjured up from nothing, a question ceaselessly asked. For them,
this thought fills their senses and thwarts any attempt at sleep. Tonight was
one of those nights for Zepheera.

She
didn’t know what had woken her, but once she found herself awake she was
restless. She tossed and turned, and the thought
refused to quiet down. It was a question that she’d never given much consideration, but was difficult to ignore now that she was with the Doctor.

Finally,
she could take it no longer.

Shivering
slightly, Zepheera padded her way down the long corridors of the TARDIS. She
hadn’t bothered to change out of her pajamas, a thin, dark robe over a
long-sleeved lavender shirt and baggy red plaid trousers. Something was on her
mind and she was sure she’d never sleep until her thought was appeased.

She
stuck by the walls by force of habit—it was an easy way for her and the Doctor
to navigate the halls separately without worrying about…unpleasantness. Even
so, she was confident the Doctor always watched where he stepped when she wasn’t
with him. She flinched slightly when she was close enough to the wall. A
strange feeling overcame her and a chilling mechanical groan echoed through the
colossal halls. It was as if the TARDIS itself was anxious. Perhaps this
feeling had stolen the borrower’s sleep.

By
and by, she rounded the corner to the darkened console room where she found the
Doctor standing in front of the screen. It was hidden by the console from where
Zepheera stood, and she could plainly see the Doctor illuminated by it. He
might have angled himself this way so he’d be able to see if Zepheera came in,
she supposed. But whatever was on that screen had his attention in thrall;
she’d never seen his eyes so…mournful, and
with such longing.

After
a short moment of watching him curiously, Zepheera caught his attention by
clearing her throat. He blinked, reality hitting him hard, and immediately
found his tiny companion in the entrance. He frowned in concern.

“Zepheera,”
said the Doctor gently, flipping the screen off and stepping away from the
console. Pocketing his hands, he took a few shuffling steps toward her and
dropped to his knees. “I thought you were asleep. Something wrong?“

Zepheera
awkwardly shifted her feet. "Oh, no, nothing like that, I was just—I
couldn’t sleep and I was thinking…This is probably gonna sound
stupid…” She trailed off, lowering her gaze to her hands as she
intertwined her fingers.

By
then, the Doctor was lying flat on the floor, head and shoulders propped up
slightly by his elbows. He hated looming over her. It made him feel
ridiculously intimidating, and it wasn’t very conducive for conversation either.
“What is it?”

She
took a steadying breath. “I was wondering…just how big the universe
is.”

It
was a simple question, but it felt silly to ask. She felt like a human child
asking their parent if there was indeed such a thing as Father Christmas.

“Oh…bigger
than you can imagine,“ he answered with a kind grin.

A
relieved smile parted her features. She should have known the Doctor wouldn’t
judge her, especially since the average borrower’s world was much smaller than
Zepheera’s had been even before she met
the Time Lord.

"Can
you show me?” She met his eyes once again as she asked, her own brimming
with curiosity.

The
Doctor considered this, biting the corner of his lip as he thought. Suddenly
his eyes lit up and refocused on her.

“C’mere,“
he said, reaching a hand towards her.

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