The faceclaim for the borrower Tow’er Furnace, featured in the BTaS story ‘Lost Things Being Found’, is Rupert Graves of BBC Sherlock fame. I couldn’t stop picturing Lestrade in a borrower getup as I was writing, and his character personally makes me smile. He’s an absolute sweetheart.
Zepheera is biracial. Her mother was Caucasian and her father was brown-skinned. Zepheera is in between their skin tones, and very much resembles her father in looks.
Zepheera’s healing factor is inspired by the mutant gene à la X-Men. Similarly, the gene is carried by and passed on through males. Zepheera’s father had the same healing factor and passed it on to her, but none of her descendants will have it.
As to the extent of the power: it’s not as strong as, say, Deadpool’s or Wolverine’s, but most wounds will heal. This includes but is not limited to cuts, burns, and broken bones, but excludes regrowing lost extremities and mortal wounds. Zepheera is as susceptible to death as any other borrower.
Zepheera has a bad habit of scratching herself absentmindedly, whether at the back of her hand, her neck, or her upper arms. It’s a nervous tick that developed during childhood, and thanks to her healing factor it’s a difficult habit to notice, let alone shake off.
Zepheera is ambidextrous, but she favors her left hand in writing and her right in combat.
BTaS Canon: Yes
Timeline: Within the first two weeks of Zepheera’s acceptance aboard the TARDIS
Insp. by this post
Part 2 of 2
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.
you heard of the Hubble Space Telescope?“ he asked, pulling up an image of
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.
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
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?“
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.
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…“
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.
and every one of these dots is a galaxy.” He
gesticulated widely at the screen. “Each galaxy can potentially hold up to
a 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.
that, Zepheera,” he said, turning his head to look at her, “is how
big the universe is.”
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.
thousand, you said?” she finally piped up, wiping a stray tear away with
the heel of her hand.
Doctor smiled warmly at her. “And more.”
lifted her chin to meet his gaze. “Can we see them?”
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
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.
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.”
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
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.
word, the two went their separate ways, both eagerly awaiting the morning.
BTaS Canon: Yes
Timeline: Within the first two weeks of Zepheera’s acceptance aboard the TARDIS
Part 1 of 2
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.
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.
she could take it no longer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?“
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.
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?”
took a steadying breath. “I was wondering…just how big the universe
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.
than you can imagine,“ he answered with a kind grin.
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.
you show me?” She met his eyes once again as she asked, her own brimming
Doctor considered this, biting the corner of his lip as he thought. Suddenly
his eyes lit up and refocused on her.
he said, reaching a hand towards her.
Oh, definitely. It’s like they were meant for each other.
When she’s having an especially bad day and just needs to vent her decades-old pent-up frustrations, he’s always there to listen. He’ll be supportive in his own way (he still loves his humans, but he tries his best to understand the borrower’s perspective).
On the other hand, when the Doctor cuts himself shaving or stubs his toe and starts rattling off insults to humanity as a whole, she won’t get offended and will usually agree and add on.
They could go on for hours like this, getting absolutely nothing productive done. Quite a few late nights in the TARDIS debating over the pros and cons of the human race; the dangers they pose and the potential they hold. And at the end of each conversation, there’s an unspoken understanding that grows stronger between them.
god, I love my babies…