Both the borrower and the Time Lord turned to look at the human standing in the entrance to the TARDIS console room. The
red-haired woman was shrugging on a jacket as she stepped in. “Who are you talking to?”
“I’m in the middle of something, Donna,” said the Doctor pointedly
Donna rolled her eyes and approached with purpose in her steps. “No use keeping secrets from me, Spaceman, I live here too.”
Her gaze quickly fell on Zepheera, whose heartbeat quickened at the contact with a completely new human – Donna, the Doctor had called her.
“Blimey, get a load of that!” the human exclaimed. Zepheera flinched at the volume and backed up into the screen behind her, pulling her knees close again. She squeezed her eyes shut, overwhelmed by the sight of two giants looming over her.
The Doctor looked appalled by his companion’s behavior. “Donna, lower your voice,” he rebuked. “She’s been through a lot, no need to frighten her all over again by gawking!”
Without waiting for a response, he turned back to the four and a half inch tall woman huddled on the sill of his monitor. “Zepheera… C’mon, look at me,” he coaxed.
Considering she was outnumbered, Zepheera had no choice but to obey. She lifted her head to look up at the Doctor and Donna, who had come around to stand behind the Doctor’s right shoulder. The Doctor smiled encouragingly.
“That’s it. See? No harm done. This is just my friend, Donna. She travels with me.”
“She’s so teeny,” Donna cooed, leaning over the Doctor to stretch a finger toward Zepheera, as if touching her would somehow prove her existence further. Zepheera backed away from the sudden approach before the Doctor stopped the human.
“No no, don’t do that,” he warned firmly. “Really. Don’t.”
Looking a bit sheepish, Donna withdrew her hand. “Was she always this small?”
Now it was the Doctor’s turn to roll his eyes. “Yes, now would you back off for a minute and let me get on with this?”
Much to Zepheera’s surprise, the human stepped away with a muttered apology. Once she was out of sight, the Doctor addressed Zepheera again. “Sorry about that. She’s harmless, I promise.” He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Anyway, what I meant to say was, I’d like you to stay. At least for a while, just so I can make sure all those drugs didn’t leave you with any permanent damage. If you could bear with me for a few days, I’ll take you wherever you want to go. Does that sound alright to you?”
Zepheera supposed that was fair. At least it didn’t sound like she’d be locked in a cage anymore. She nodded her approval.
The Doctor smiled. “Brilliant. Welcome aboard, then. Er, is there anything you want to do now?”
It took some digging, but Zepheera realized there was a lot she wanted to do. She wanted to sleep in a bed, she wanted to eat a meal that consisted of more than old cheese and bread, she wanted to drink an entire thimbleful of some kind of alcoholic drink. She looked down at herself; she wanted to wear clothes that made her feel like a person again. Then she touched a lock of her dark hair. It had already been getting long at the time of her capture, and it had grown past her shoulders over the months.
“I want to cut my hair,” she told him. She was certain she wouldn’t feel
anything like her old self until she did. And she had a feeling she could ask for the rest at any time.
Thanks again for the prompts @wingedkuriboh27!