Prompt: Children are the Future

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BTaS Canon – ???

Based on the prompts Glance from this list of 100 one-word prompts, and Dollhouse from this similar list of G/t themed prompts from @nightmares06 and @bee-wrecker respectively. Finally getting around to these!


It had been going so well for Zepheera.

There were only two humans in the small flat, one of them a child. For six months, Zepheera had been living comfortably in their walls, and for nearly seventy years of fighting to survive, she trusted herself to keep hidden and make this home last for once.

And all it had taken was a glance from the child to ruin it all.

Desperate for any kind of barrier between herself and the human, she ducked into the child’s dollhouse. Any human was bad news for a borrower like Zepheera, but children were frightfully unpredictable and prone to grabbing and playing. At 68 years old, even with the body of a young adult, Zepheera was not in the mood for any of that nonsense.

The ground trembled beneath Zepheera as the child approached. Even a little girl, nine years old and much smaller than any adult human, greatly outsized the four and a half inch tall woman cornered in the dollhouse. As the child drew closer, Zepheera could clearly hear each and every breath rushing in and out of lungs larger than the room the borrower had made her prison.

“Hello?”

The little girl’s voice was mercifully light, a quiet rumble that washed over Zepheera through the plastic wall her back was pressed against. A wide blue eye peered in through one window, causing the borrower to jump and dart into the next room. Her eyes flashed frantically around for an exit, regretting her choice of hiding place, especially as the girl shifted outside.

With a loud click and a rush of air, half the dollhouse swung open. Zepheera was left exposed, blinking through the sudden light up at a gigantic child.

The human’s head tilted, brow pinched as she sat back on her heels. “Did I scare ya?” she inquired.

Zepheera frowned, realizing that it wasn’t curiosity that made the girl pursue her anymore, but concern. Those blue eyes, each the size of Zepheera’s head, were filled with it.

Bemused, Zepheera shook her head no.

The blonde girl’s shoulders slumped in relief. “Good. Why’dja run away, then, if you weren’t scared? How come you’re so small? What’s your name? I’m Rose!”

Zepheera’s brow lifted at the bombardment of curious questions. Maybe, if she played her cards right, she wouldn’t have to move out just yet.

“I ran because I was nervous,” said Zepheera, peeling herself from the wall sheepishly. “It’s my first day, you see, being an imaginary friend. I’m Zepheera.”

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Borrowed Magic Excerpt

The Doctor blinked at Bowman’s sudden jaunt, following him to the coral-like support he was now hiding in. In retrospect, he should’ve seen this coming; Zepheera had done the same thing her first time on the TARDIS, except she didn’t have wings.

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Zepheera-Vision — I Know That Face

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Previously: [1] [2]


After reuniting with Clara, Zepheera opted to ride on her shoulder to avoid further conflict with her Doctors. Her shoulder was slimmer than either of theirs, but as long as she kept still and steady it wasn’t so bad. If she ever moved around too much, there was plenty of Clara’s hair within Zepheera’s reach. A little yank would do Clara less harm than a fall would do the borrower. 

It was bizarre for Zepheera to bear witness to the wedding of the Tenth Doctor and Queen Elizabeth I, but it wasn’t nearly as awkward for her as it was for his other incarnations. Clara was enthusiastically supportive, a feeling that Zepheera just couldn’t replicate. She didn’t know that version of the Doctor like Zepheera did. 

The second it was over, Ten rushed to his TARDIS and the others followed suit. Zepheera was hit with a pang of nostalgia at the sight of his desktop theme, but with three Doctors in one TARDIS, it didn’t last. The theme kept glitching between their personal versions, finally settling on Eleven’s. 

“Right then!” he clapped his hands together. “London Tower, here we come!”

“No!” Clara interjected, making Zepheera flinch in surprise. She tugged on one of Clara’s brown locks to remind the human of her proximity to the noise she made. Biting back a wince, Clara continued in a lower tone. 

“UNIT HQ,” she insisted. She’d been there with the Zygons as they took over the facility, using an old Vortex Manipulator to travel back in time to meet up with the Doctors. “They followed us there in the Black Archive.” 

All three Doctors stopped what they were doing to turn toward Clara with grave expressions. 

“Uh-oh,” Zepheera murmured. “I know that face. Triple that face can’t be good.”


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Stuck in the Middle

BTaS Canon: No
Episode: Day of the Doctor
Doctor(s): Tenth, Eleventh, and War Doctors
Companions: Zepheera

Previously


Zepheera had resigned herself to keep quiet while the two most recent incarnations of the Doctor rode out the novelty of being together with their four and a half inch tall companion. Ten, who hadn’t met Zepheera yet in his timeline, kept trying to surreptitiously learn about what was in store for him and the borrower. She or Eleven, depending on who spoke first, would always answer these types of questions with the word “Spoilers,” and Ten would moan about how the timelines were “too wibbly and I won’t remember anyway!” This only earned him a shrug and elicited a short-lived pout.

Zepheera hadn’t realized how much she had missed that pout.

Eventually the youngest incarnation of the Doctor insisted that they should be making some progress with the whole Zygon-invasion-and-painting-of-Gallifrey problem. The other two conceded and stood in unison. Zepheera got to her feet as well, throwing her single-strapped rucksack over her shoulder.

She turned to find two upturned hands in front of her, both acting as platform for her to climb on. When she looked up, the Doctors were staring each other down.

“Back off, Sandshoes!” hissed the Eleventh Doctor, nudging his counterpart away. “She’s not your companion yet!”

“Exactly! You can spend all the time you like with her, and I wanna know what I have to look forward to! I’m dying for a sneak peek.” Ten exclaimed.

Zepheera bit back a cringe at his phrasing.

Eleven shot back, “You haven’t met her yet. She hasn’t had time to properly train you up.”

“Oh, come on, you know she’s not the first life form her size I’ve encountered!”

“Well it’s different when you live with one, and take it from me who took it from her, you are a shrugger!”

This took the Tenth Doctor aback. He glanced between his future self and his future companion. “I am?” he asked, sounding subdued.

Eleven nodded emphatically. “And a fidgeter.”

“Oh, for God’s sake!” sighed the War Doctor, waiting semi-patiently as the other two squabbled. “You fools are arguing over the lady as though she isn’t here! If anyone’s going to decide who she goes along with, it should be her.”

Ten and Eleven shared a sheepish look and nodded, mumbling apologies to Zepheera. They stood quietly, waiting for the borrower to make her choice.

Zepheera smiled gratefully at the War Doctor, who nodded once in return. He was an enigmatic one, that much was certain, but he seemed just as sweet and caring as the Doctors she knew and loved. She made a mental note to find some time alone with him later, sit down and get to know the Doctor before she knew him.

But for now, she had a decision to make. After a short moment of deliberation, she took a deep breath and approached Eleven. He clapped his hands triumphantly before offering her one to climb onto. Ten sighed but accepted Zepheera’s choice. As Eleven lifted her to his shoulder, she shot Ten an apologetic look.

“You are fidgety. And a shrugger,” she admitted. Ten nodded, barely suppressing a pout at Eleven’s smug look.

A small smirk tugged at Zepheera’s lip. “To your credit, though, you did train up faster than this one.”

Ten snorted and Eleven’s jaw dropped in indignation. “Oh, thanks a lot there, pipsqueak! Let’s just go already.”

“Finally,” muttered the War Doctor.

As they were leaving, Ten crept up behind Eleven and softly asked Zepheera, “How on Earth do you even stay up there with, y’know…” He rubbed his chin, raising a questioning eyebrow at the small woman.

“He slouches,” hissed Zepheera in reply, twisting around to wink conspiratorially at Ten.

“Oh, leave off, you two!” grumbled Eleven.

Ten smirked. “I have a feeling I like you, Zepheera.”

“I should hope so,” she said, facing front again before he could catch the hint of sadness that made it into her smile and eyes.

I’ve missed you.


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Zepheera-Vision — Seeing Double

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It was dizzying, being in the presence of two incarnations of the Doctor – three if you counted the one in the corner by himself, who looked the oldest but was chronologically the youngest. The one they’d plucked from the Last Great Time War. Zepheera was glad she was sitting down on the table in front of them, because she’d certainly have fallen over just trying to process what she was looking at and listening to.

She knew both of these men at different points in her life. They were so different, yet they were the same person, and Zepheera had traveled with them both (although, the tenth hadn’t yet met her in his timeline). And what was worse, they were getting chummy.

“I’ll be honest,” said the younger Doctor whom Zepheera had decided to call Ten in her head. She’d settled on Eleven with her current Doctor, and the third was confusing to say the least, so she held off on nicknaming him. “When you first showed up, I thought for a second that you’d taken on a Tertatian for a companion.”

“Oh, I remember the Tertatians!” exclaimed Eleven. “Little purpley people with their little farms and mills and things!”

Ten smirked reminiscently, then glanced back at Zepheera as she sat there quietly. He took her silence as discomfort, and quickly amended, “I mean, obviously you’re not. Same size, basically, but significantly less…purple. …Sorry?” He scratched the back of his neck.

Zepheera nodded politely in acknowledgement, still not quite sure if she trusted herself enough to speak. What do you say to a person you saw die and become the person he’s talking to?

“Do you remember that little Tertatian lad?” Eleven cut in, allowing Zepheera’s shoulders to relax a hair. “The ten-year-old who kept stowing away on your shoelaces!”

Ten broke into a fit of giggles. “Speedy little thing, wasn’t he?”

“Running around with that crossbow of his!” snickered Eleven.

Oh, what was his name? Started with…M? M…Mar–no no, not ‘Mar’. Moh, Meh, Mih…Mickey-Mick-Mickey–no, that’s wrong!” Ten’s frown deepened as he racked his brain.

Eleven clapped his hands together. “Matz!”

Ten’s eyes lit up. “That’s it! Good ol’ Matzy.”

Zepheera allowed herself to smile at their antics. At least they were getting along.


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Timey-Wimey Tidbits #09

More of a headcanon with regard to Ten

Officially, Time Lords are fairly immune to the affects of alcohol, and can only get drunk if they want to. In addition, they can very easily snap themselves out of it.

The Doctor, in his Tenth incarnation, is both a silly drunk and a sad drunk, depending on the circumstances and the level of drunk he allows himself to be. There is no in between.

Imagine Zepheera stumbling upon her Time Lord after he’s had way more than a few. He’s either singing loudly and off-key and laughing at/with inanimate objects, or he’s curled up in a ball of despair shaking with silent sobs. Either way, the borrower will eventually get noticed and he’ll suddenly become very still, all effects of inebriation leaving him at once.

Zepheera will comfort him without even questioning what drove him to get so drunk in the first place, especially in the latter situation. She’ll remind him that what’s done is in the past, and he’s not alone anymore.