This is part 2 of a Zepheera-Vision based on numbers 4 and 14 from this list of one-word prompts. Feel free to send in one!
Then came the sensory overload.
Suddenly there was light, nearly blinding
Zepheera. Then she became aware of the warmth surrounding her. Highly confused
about where she was and what was happening, she shot to her feet and
immediately fell back down. She was still sobbing and hyperventilating, and her
head was spinning and her lips and fingers tingled from lack of oxygen. But as
she fumbled around desperately, feeling the boundaries of the warm, soft,
leathery space she found herself in, the small part of Zepheera’s brain that
remained functional puzzled out another reason for her loss of balance.
Hands. She was in a human’s cupped hands. And
the human was moving very fast.
Then they stopped. Voices rumbled above her,
their clarity lost in Zepheera’s dizziness and the blood roaring in her ears.
She squeezed her eyes shut and covered her head with her arms, fearful of what
these two giants were going to do to her. After a moment, the hands opened up
beneath her. Zepheera gave a startled yelp as she fell a short distance,
landing splayed onto another pair of hands.
These new hands were bigger and decidedly
more dangerous than the first pair, but rather than trapping around her, they
drew her close to the person they were attached to. And as they gently pressed
her against a familiar pinstriped suit, her situation became clear.
She was waking up from a nightmare, which had
induced a panic attack. Donna must have heard her distress and brought her
straight to the Doctor, to whom Zepheera was more responsive in this state. The
position he moved her into now was woefully familiar to Zepheera. Remembering
his instructions, she concentrated on the Doctor’s slow breaths and did her
best to copy them. It made her chest hurt at first, but with each repetition
her nervous system calmed down another hair.
As her heart rate slowed down to a healthy
level and her head cleared, the Doctor and Donna’s hushed voices came into
focus as well.
“She’s getting worse,” Donna
“I know,” murmured the Doctor.
Despite how quiet he was trying to be, his voice reverberated through his
chest. Zepheera couldn’t ignore it if she tried.
“I mean, first the nightmares, then the
panic attacks, and now full-on night terrors? We can’t let her shrug this off
anymore. What good is hopping around time and space saving planets when we
can’t even help our own friend?”
“Donna, I know,” the Doctor all but
growled, sending a chill up Zepheera’s spine along with the vibrations. After
another deep breath for the borrower to mimic, he went on in a whisper.
“Trust me, I haven’t been ignoring her. It’s just… She’s been through a
lot with so-called doctors poking and prodding her and worse, and I
didn’t want to make her relive that by forcing help on her. I was waiting for
her to come to me.”
A moment of silence passed between the human
and the Time Lord, and Zepheera let out a shaky sigh. She hadn’t meant to cause
her larger friends so much trouble. Nothing she did stopped the nightmares, or
quashed this completely irrational fear of abandonment deep inside her. She
wanted to deal with it herself so the Doctor and Donna wouldn’t have to worry
about it. Clearly, that was beyond her power.
“I’ll talk to her when she wakes
up,” said the Doctor, interrupting Zepheera’s thoughts. “I’ll help
her, Donna, that’s a promise. For now, get some sleep. You need it more than I
After a second of hesitation, Donna replied,
“You better make good on that, Spaceman.” Her voice teemed with
concern, and with that her footsteps retreated further into the TARDIS.
Now that the conversation overhead was done,
Zepheera allowed herself to relax a little more. She had some deeply-rooted
apprehensions about what kind of help she was going to receive, but stronger
than them was the trust she had in the Doctor. If anybody could make her
better, it was him. No matter how long it took.
The Doctor leaned back, probably in the seat
in the console room if the dim lighting was anything to go by. With his chest
slightly more horizontal, Zepheera adjusted herself more comfortably. The
Doctor lifted his hand about a centimeter to give her more room, but didn’t
otherwise react to her shifting. She finally settled down laying on her side,
nestled in the space between his tie and the lapel of his suit.
The hand came back down to rest gently over
her lower half like a blanket, while his thumb absently stroked her arm and
part of her back. It was a small but comforting gesture that brought a faint
smile to Zepheera’s lips. The sound of his breathing paired with the muffled
thuds of his hearts in their strange one-two-three-four rhythm easily lulled
Zepheera to sleep.
If she dreamt at all, she didn’t recall it in