Minisode: From Nothing

BTaS Canon: Yes

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

Insp. by this post

Part 2 of 2


Zepheera
eagerly hurried onto his hand and climbed up his arm to his shoulder, holding
on to the collar of his button-up as he carefully stood. He returned to the
screen, clicking it on. A brief flash of what he had been looking at earlier
appeared before he switched away from it. It lasted less than a second and
looked a lot like a woman with fiery red hair. Zepheera knew better than to
pry, and focused her attention on what the Doctor was doing and saying.

”Have
you heard of the Hubble Space Telescope?“ he asked, pulling up an image of
the machine.

Zepheera
sat down a little ways away from the Doctor’s neck so he could see her more
easily if he wanted to, tilting her head slightly at the picture. "A
little,” she replied.

“Well,
put simply, it does exactly what the title says: orbits the Earth, capturing
light from across the universe. Launched in nineteen-ninety, ten years ago for
you, and in two thousand three, it’ll point itself someplace a bit
peculiar.”

With
the push of a button, the screen changed to an image of the night sky, big old
full moon and all. “Right about…" the Doctor muttered, working the
controls until a minuscule square appeared to the left of the moon. “Ah, there
we are. That tiny area in the sky. What do you see?“

Zepheera
squinted. The square was probably the size of her hand, give or take, but from
this distance it seemed even smaller. "Nothing,” she answered as soon
as she was sure.

“Nothing.
Totally blank to the naked eye. Not even a star. And yet, Hubble kept on
looking. Looking and looking for four months, seeing all it could see until…“

Click.

Zepheera’s
vision filled with a gorgeous assortment of colorful dots, all different sizes
and colors and shapes. Her breath caught and her eyes widened. The Doctor
paused to let the image sink in before he continued emphatically.

"Each
and every one of these dots is a galaxy.” He
gesticulated widely at the screen. “Each galaxy can potentially hold up to
trillion stars. And each star could potentially
have its own system of planets, any of which could potentially hold life.”
Another pause for emphasis. “There are over ten thousand galaxies pictured
here. And all from what looked like a tiny speck of absolutely nothing to Earth.

"And
that, Zepheera,” he said, turning his head to look at her, “is how
big the universe is.”

The
look on the borrower’s face was nothing short of amazed. Her hand covered her
mouth and her eyes shone with tears, which she blinked away when she felt his
eyes on her. Such a revelation would have made almost anyone else, borrower or
not, feel insignificant and tiny. But in Zepheera, it inspired hope and the
confidence that anything and anyone, no matter how small or seemingly
unimportant, could hold all the potential in the universe. She felt lighter
somehow with this new knowledge.

“Ten
thousand, you said?” she finally piped up, wiping a stray tear away with
the heel of her hand.

The
Doctor smiled warmly at her. “And more.”

She
lifted her chin to meet his gaze. “Can we see them?”

Smile
widening, he brought a hand up for her to climb on. Once she was settled on his
palm, he held her in front of the monitor. “Where would you like to go
first?”

Nearly
overwhelmed by the choice, Zepheera considered carefully. They all looked so
unique and unbelievably intriguing. But she came to a decision, motioning for
the Doctor to lift her higher until she could reach the middle of the screen.

“There,” she announced, pressing her finger on one of the closer
galaxies, a round bright orange one.

“Brilliant
choice,” he agreed, ruffling her short hair with his thumb. She batted the
digit away half-heartedly, fatigue seeming to have finally caught up with her.
“We’ll go first thing in the morning. You should get some rest.”

Zepheera
nodded heavily, and the Doctor began to carry her out of the console room. She
insisted that she could make it back to her room on her own, so he stopped a
few steps into the corridor and lowered her to the floor

“Good
night, Zepheera.”

“Night,”
she replied over her shoulder as she started off. “And,” she began,
turning around suddenly. The Doctor was about to stand and leave her to it when
her voice made him freeze. “Thank you.” She smiled genuinely, albeit
sleepily, and the Doctor returned the gesture.

Without another
word, the two went their separate ways, both eagerly awaiting the morning.

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