Worth the Wake

5. Sunrise – Zepheera enjoys something beautiful for once

AU: Donna AU of BTaS (the Doctor rescues Zepheera while Donna is traveling with him)


Warm, gentle pressure at Zepheera’s back brought her to the waking world. She nearly batted at the finger prodding at her when the Doctor whispered, “C’mon, wake up. It’s happening.”

That was enough encouragement for Zepheera. They’d spent the night out here, under an alien sky, because it was one of the simple pleasures that had never been available to the borrower. She was either too busy worrying about her survival or that of her people, or was stuck in a cage in a windowless room. Here she had friends who were concerned for her recovery, invested in her interests, and more than willing to be her safe place to fall.

Sitting up, Zepheera rubbed her eyes and looked around. Donna was still fast asleep in her own spot, and the sky above was becoming lighter by the second.

The Doctor’s hand shifted to form a platform near Zepheera, who sat on his chest while he lay on his back. She accepted the silent offer without hesitation, and the Doctor was able to sit up without sending Zepheera tumbling. Then she could take her usual perch on his shoulder.

“Any moment now…”

All of the tension from the effort of waking up melted as soon as Zepheera saw the first sliver of sunlight peeking over the horizon.

The Doctor plucked out a pair of sunglasses out of his pocket and balanced it on his shoulder so Zepheera could balance one lens on her lap to protect her eyes from the intensity of the sun without missing out on any of the beauty. Together, they watched the arrival of the sun change the colors of the sky and the clouds, a breathtaking canvas constantly in motion.

Zepheera, careful to not shift the sunglasses enough to cause them to fall, scooted herself closer to the Doctor’s neck. Part of her was grateful that he couldn’t see her tears when they were this close. It was still tough for her to be emotionally vulnerable around someone his size, and she didn’t want him to worry needlessly when he’d made her so happy.

“Thank you for this,” she said, unable to avoid the slight crack of emotion in her voice.

She could hear the smile in his voice as he whispered back, “Anytime.”

Zepheera-Vision — Rough Ride

Zepheera clung to an inexplicable hose dangling from the ceiling to the console, the four-and-a-half inch tall woman slowly climbing up the notches one by one to be closer to eye level with her Time Lord and human companions.

“Do you have any idea where you’re going?” Donna demanded of the Doctor as he piloted the TARDIS. Usually she and Zepheera just accepted the turbulent nature of the time machine in flight, but today’s trip seemed particularly rough.

“Of course!” the Doctor scoffed in time with another hard shake of the TARDIS. Zepheera’s grip tightened on the rubbery handholds. Both giants braced themselves against the console, and the borrower suddenly regretted her decision to stray from her usual spot on the Doctor’s shoulder.

That regret didn’t last.

“I’ve just gotta adjust the– criminy!” The Doctor was thrown across the console, Donna against the seat behind her. Zepheera let out a startled cry, wrapping her arms and legs around the hose as it swayed widely. The monitor blipped desperately, and the Doctor swore under his breath, shoving himself to his feet and throwing several levels. The entire company breathed a sigh of relief when the TARDIS seemed to even out.

“What the hell was that?” Zepheera snapped, craning her neck to glare at the Doctor.

The Time Lord locked eyes with Zepheera’s tiny violets, and he held a hand underneath her so she could peel herself from the hose and land in a heap in his palm.

“Got a little too close to twenty-sixteen,” he said by way of explanation.

“What’s up with twenty-sixteen?” asked Donna, gathering herself.

The Doctor shot a dire look toward his human companion and the woman in his hand. “…Spoilers,” he muttered, lifting Zepheera to his shoulder.

She and Donna had learned not to question him when he said that word.


Too political? Probably.

Asks and Prompts are open! | Submissions too!

Reader message

do you think you’ll make “rescued from scientists au” the new canon what with how much you’ve been drawing on it?

No, I don’t plan on replacing my existing canon with the ‘rescued from scientists’ version of their meeting. I do really like it and I’m happy with how it’s been going, so I’m making official DonnaAU canon.

As much as I love this AU I’ve been building, I stand by my original story as well. Hope that clears things up ^^

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Helping Hands — Part 3/3

((aka Happy Belated Hug A Tiny Day!))

Prompt from @neonthebright: The Doctor drops/misplaces his sonic somewhere he can’t reach and Zepheera goes on a mini-adventure to retrieve it for him.

BTaS Canon: No – DonnaAU

Timeline: Post-Midnight, Pre-Turn Left

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


The Doctor couldn’t keep still as he waited for Zepheera. She was so close to retrieving his sonic screwdriver from the underbelly of his TARDIS, something he would never have been able to do without either an unthinkable amount of effort or a four-and-a-half inch tall companion.

“How’s it coming?” he called down  the gap, excited and impatient in equal measure. He hadn’t heard her voice in a little over two minutes, and he was eager to know the current state of his beloved screwdriver. He wished he could see into the hole he’d dropped the device into in the first place.

A small grunt echoed down from the shadows, a little closer than the last time Zepheera had filled him in. “Had to dislodge it from between two…I don’t even know. Things. Then I had to push it up a slope – this thing is harder to roll than it looks!”

“Do you think you can manage it?” asked  the Doctor, a little worry leaking through his voice. He hadn’t thought about how the borrower would be able to retrieve his sonic, a device almost longer than she was tall.

After a pause, she replied, “Don’t worry, I’ve got an idea. Give me a moment, and keep an ear out.”

The Doctor sat back and placed his chin on his folded arms, drumming his fingers restlessly. He hummed quietly to stop himself from actually counting the seconds until he heard Zepheera’s voice again. “Okay, I’ve got it attached to my rope! I’m gonna need you to ease us up!”

“Right! Gotcha!” The Doctor shot up, nearly bumping his head on the underside of the floor. He pinched the tiny rope, the size of a thread to him, in two fingers and tugged. Hearing

Zepheera’s surprised cry, he halted.

“I said ease, not wrench!” she chastised.

“Sorry,” mumbled the Doctor, this time drawing the rope back slowly. He was extra careful when Zepheera and the screwdriver were almost out; she needed to align the probe so it would come out cleanly without crashing into the sides of the long, narrow gap. Once that was achieved, it emerged easily and the Doctor slipped his free hand underneath it.

After his companion dismounted the device, he scooped it up into his right hand, ignoring the rope still attached to it. He adjusted his grip and gave it a buzz. It was music to his ears.

“At last! My arm is complete again!” he exulted.

Zepheera’s fatigued mind had only begun to wonder if that was a reference to something when she found herself being lifted quickly to the Doctor’s face. To her chagrin, he planted an overjoyed kiss to the top of her head.

“You’re the best!” he proclaimed, beaming gratefully even as Zepheera ran her fingers through her dark bob to brush off the feeling his lips left behind.

“Don’t ever do that again,” she emphasized, scowling halfheartedly up at his stupid face. Little did she know the Doctor had only begun to display his gratitude toward his companion, and he drew her close once again.

At first, she worried that he was disregarding her wishes, so she threw her arms up to fend off another peck.

Instead, he pressed her to his cheek and thanked her over and over. Once the shock had worn off, she realized that what she’d done meant a lot more to the Doctor than she realized. She smiled and patted his cheek fondly.

“You’re welcome, big fella,” she murmured.

They stayed like this for a good while, until Zepheera broke the contented silence between them: “Now, I believe you owe me a cuppa.”

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Helping Hands — Part 2/3

Prompt from @neonthebright: The Doctor drops/misplaces his sonic somewhere he can’t reach and Zepheera goes on a mini-adventure to retrieve it for him.

BTaS Canon: No – DonnaAU

Timeline: Post-Midnight, Pre-Turn Left

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


If anyone had told Zepheera decades ago that one day she’d be able to sit comfortably in a human hand, she’d have told them to bugger off. And yet there she was, leaning tiredly against a human look-alike’s fingers as he sauntered off toward the console room. Completely at his mercy, yet with complete trust in him.

She straightened when he entered the dome-shaped room, peering over the edge of the Doctor’s hand curiously. Indeed, one of the floor panels was pulled up and set aside, leaving a gaping hole in the floor. Those compartments were still a bit of a mystery to Zepheera, even after all this time. She’d observed that a few of them were used for storage, filled with old trunks and boxes and the like, but most seemed to be dark mazes of machinery that Zepheera would rather not get lost in.

And now she was about to crawl willingly into one. Spectacular.

The Doctor climbed slowly into the hole, careful to jostle the borrower as little as possible. Crouching, he took up less than half of the space inside, but once Zepheera found herself lowered below the floor level, she saw that there was more room than the size of the panel would suggest.

“Where did it fall through?” she asked, stifling a yawn.

“Down here.” The Doctor leaned down and reached in to lay his hand next to a slight slope. Just big enough for the sonic screwdriver, and too small to fit his hand through. Zepheera slid off the Doctor’s palm at the top of the slope to carefully examine her surroundings.

Nothing in this place was smooth or flat, not even the slope. It all seemed to be made of wire or hose or angular mechanisms and couplings that Zepheera could never begin to understand. She didn’t need to, though. All she needed was a secure place to attach her hook.

The ground shook the moment she reached for the grapple hanging from her shoulder; in her fatigued state, she hadn’t thought to expect movement from the Doctor, so she stumbled a bit before she felt steady enough to shoot a glare over her shoulder. Her silent scolding had no effect, the Doctor was shifting to lay on his back and wasn’t even looking her way.

“As you can see, I was working like  this, on that stuff up there,” he explained, pointing out a few wires and plugs dangling from the underside of the console. “It’s all kinda technical, and actually quite volatile without the right tools–”

“Then I guess I’d better not delay,” Zepheera snipped, securing her hook around a black cord near the top of the slope and disappeared through the gap. “Really don’t need the graphic details.”

The Doctor cocked an eyebrow at the gap. “Well, someone’s grumpy.”

Someone is owed a cup of tea after this.”

She slid slowly down her rope at first; even knowing how quickly it would heal, she’d rather not sprain anything by jumping in too fast and hitting the floor too hard. She couldn’t even see the bottom through the shadows, much less the Doctor’s precious probe.

“A torch would be much appreciated if you’ve got one!” she called up.

“Ah! Right, yes.” Zepheera halted her descent when she felt a few vibrations through her rope indicating the Doctor was moving. Then a pale yellow light washed over her and illuminated her destination perfectly. “Better?”

“Much, thanks.” Now that a floor was in plain sight, a little less than a foot away, Zepheera dropped easily down. She frowned when she didn’t see the sonic anywhere. The immediate area was cavernous and irregular, and a glance upward told her she was about a foot and a half down  from the Doctor’s level.

A massive tangle of wired machinery stood behind her, a few outlines of passageways before her.

While she took a moment to choose a direction, the Doctor’s voice echoed down to her. “See it yet?”

Zepheera rolled her eyes. “Not yet. Give me a minute.” She almost asked him to angle the torch to a better angle, but given how narrow the opening was, she doubted that would be easy. Instead, she started toward the passage right in front of her. It seemed to be wide enough to accommodate a falling screwdriver and was the only logical place for it to go. She proceeded cautiously, trailing her rope along in her hand so she wouldn’t get lost or fall down a hole with no way back. “How’d you even manage to drop it down here?”

“I dunno, it’s never really happened before. Guess I just…got lost in thought or something, and it slipped.”

“You? Lost in thought? Shock and surprise,” Zepheera murmured, a twinge of humor teasing at her lips.

“Oi! Heard that.”

This actually brought a chuckle out of Zepheera, who turned to call over her shoulder. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you’re starting to sound like DonNA-A-A!”

Her foot caught on something she couldn’t see even if she were watching where she was going, and she tumbled down a low slope of hard metal things until something cylindrical broke her fall. It buzzed briefly as she landed on it.

“Zepheera! What happened, are you alright?”

Slightly dazed from the impact, Zepheera shook her head and breathed deeply. “I’m okay!” she assured. As she got to her feet, she realized exactly what she was leaning on for support.

“I found it!”

“Brilliant!” the Doctor exulted. “Can you get it up?”

Zepheera regarded the probe at her feet. It was taller than she was, but she was stronger than she looked. “Hang on! I’ll see what I can do.”

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Helping Hands — Part 1/3

Prompt from @neonthebright: The Doctor drops/misplaces his sonic somewhere he can’t reach and Zepheera goes on a mini-adventure to retrieve it for him.

BTaS Canon: No – DonnaAU

Timeline: Post-Midnight, Pre-Turn Left

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


Zepheera woke up feeling annoyed. She stirred under her light covers and gave a sleepy murmur as she blinked blearily, frowning at the ceiling in confusion. If the sluggish state of her mind was  anything to go by, she hadn’t gotten her full eight hours. What could have possibly–?

Knock knock knock knock!

“Zepheera!”

The borrower in question heaved a sigh. “You’ve gotta be kidding me,” she groaned.

The Doctor continued to knock and call her name, so Zepheera gave in and kicked off the blanket with a grumble. Rolling out of bed, she stumbled toward the exit to her hidden home.

The Time Lord had happened upon four-and-a-half-inch-tall Zepheera in the possession of scientists, trapped in a tank and pumped full of drugs. He rescued her, revived her, gave her a place on his ship and offered her the chance of a lifetime: to see the universe.

After over a century and a half of more of the same, and sometimes worse, nothing could have made Zepheera happier.

In the year that followed, she grew close to the Doctor and his human companion, Donna. They traveled together, ran together, and fought to rescue alien civilizations together. Despite their size difference, the three of them actually made a brilliant team. For instance, the Doctor carried knowledge from across the universe, Donna’s cleverness cropped up in unexpected places, and Zepheera could always find her way into places they couldn’t reach. In their downtime, the larger of the travelers were perfectly comfortable with Zepheera carrying on the lifestyle of her people.

She borrowed from them, scavenging materials from the virtually infinite number of rooms in the TARDIS, and over time she’d put together a humble home hidden behind the wall panels.

She liked to believe that she’d come across the loose panel that was now the entrance to her house entirely on her own, but sometimes she suspected that the Doctor had loosened it for her to find when she wasn’t looking. Either way, he and Donna were both aware of her base’s location in case they needed to find her in an emergency.

Rude awakenings like the one Zepheera was recovering from made her regret that decision.

“Alright, alright, I’m coming!” she called. That silenced the Doctor’s knocks at least. Careful to avoid the few borrowings she left lying around, she squeezed through the gap that led to the corridor and squinted up at her giant friend.

“I. Was. Asleep,” she pronounced, shading her eyes as she tilted her head back to meet his gaze. Luckily, he was kneeling, so she didn’t have to look far. Zepheera’s annoyance softened when she noticed the Doctor wringing his hands and looking quite distressed. “What’s wrong?”

The Doctor blinked. “Ah. Yes, well, y’see, the thing is… Well, what happened was, I was, er, I guess you could say tuning up things in the console room; it’s a bit more complicated than that – okay, much more complicated than that – but anyway, I digress–”

“If you could get to the point, please,” Zepheera pressed, quickly losing patience.

“Right, of course,” the Doctor nodded with a steadying breath. “Long story short, I kinda, sort of…dropped my sonic.”

Zepheera shot him a flat look. “And you woke me up because…?”

“Well, I need your help to get it back.”

She scowled. “Why me? Can’t you bother Donna to–”

“I was working in the space underneath the console,” clarified the Doctor. “It slipped out of my grasp and fell into a nook I can’t reach into. I’m, heh, a bit too big.” He chuckled sheepishly, scratching the back of his head.

As irritated as she was, Zepheera could never stay mad at the Doctor for long. With an exaggerated eye roll, she sighed in defeat. “Fine. Just give me a minute.”

Without waiting for the Doctor’s response, she went back inside to change from her sleep clothes into an outfit more suitable for borrowing. She slipped on her boots and almost grabbed her bag before remembering she wouldn’t be needing it. Instead, she tossed her grappling hook and coiled rope over her shoulder, giving her dark, sleep-tousled bob a quick comb-through with her fingers before returning to the corridor. The Doctor’s upturned hand was waiting for her, along with his grateful smile.

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Zepheera-Vision Epilogue — Abandoned

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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!

Part 1


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
pointed out.

“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
do.”

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
the morning.


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Zepheera-Vision –Abandoned

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“Go on.”

Zepheera frowned in confusion. The TARDIS had
landed and the doors were open, but she couldn’t see anything beyond them. Only
darkness. She looked up at the Doctor; being four and a half inches tall, she
had to tilt her head back quite a bit just to meet his gaze from her spot on
the floor. A sudden pang of insignificance shot through her gut like a cold
hand.

“Where…” Her throat had gone dry
and her voice came out quieter than usual, so she swallowed her fear and tried
again. “Where are we?”

The Doctor nodded toward the door. “Only
one way to find out.

Hesitant, Zepheera turned the other way to
lock eyes with Donna. The human offered a faint smile of encouragement. Even
so, something felt off to Zepheera. But her friends were waiting on her, so she
carefully approached the wide-open doors.

The space outside was pitch-black, the dim
light of the console room didn’t seem to touch it. Even after she’d taken a few
steps into this dark place, Zepheera could hardly believe she was walking on
something solid. She blinked hard and looked around with wide eyes, wandering
about a foot further away from the doors. The absence of light, the absolute
nothingness was beginning to hurt her eyes.

A sudden wave of dread hit her as she noticed
the absence of something else. Vibrations in the floor that indicated her
relatively giant friends following her.

She whirled around, squinting through the
light in the TARDIS that seemed blaring to her dark-accustomed eyes.

"What’s going on?” she called,
holding a hand up as a visor as her vision adjusted. Her pulse quickened when
two immense blurs came into focus.

The Doctor and Donna were exactly where she
left them. They stared down at Zepheera with stone faces. Her anxiety mounted.
She had a feeling about what exactly those expressions meant. She had frequent
nightmares about them. And as the Doctor lifted a hand, fingers pressed close
together in preparation to click, Zepheera’s fears were all at once realized.

Zepheera was being left behind.

“I don’t understand!” She stumbled
forward, still partially disoriented, in the hope that she could make them
second-guess this decision long enough for her to make it back inside.
“Did I do something wrong? Please tell me, I’ll never do whatever it is
again!”

Click.

Zepheera’s blood ran cold at the sound of the
Doctor snapping his fingers, freezing her in place. In reaction to the Doctor,
the TARDIS doors closed on their own. The sound of the blue box taking off
broke Zepheera out of her shocked state.

“No! Please!” she shouted over the
growing noise and rising winds as the TARDIS began to dematerialize.

Vwoorp

She broke into a run, desperately throwing
herself against the wooden doors. “Don’t do this! Doctor! Donna!”

VWOORP

“Come back!!”

Tears flowed freely down Zepheera’s cheeks as
she beat her tiny fists futilely on the door. As the ship that had not only
been the vehicle for the best few weeks of traveling that Zepheera had ever
experienced but her home disappeared completely, she crumbled into a
heap on the ground. Her entire body shook, her sobs the only sound.

She felt the darkness close in on her, all
but suffocating her as she started hyperventilating. All alone. Abandoned by
her only friends in the world. Trapped once again with no way out. For a
moment, she convinced herself that the surface on which she lay felt just like
the acrylic kennel she’d spent six months in before she met the Doctor.

Once that thought invaded her head, her
screaming began in earnest.

Then came the sensory overload.


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Dark or Trapped? Oh golly gosh gee, I thought you said and!

Continued in an Epilogue.


Asks and Prompts are open! | Submissions too!

Midnight – Epilogue

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Midnight | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4


Four hours there and four hours back. Like a school trip, Donna had called it. Such a duration was the main reason Donna had chosen to sunbathe in the Midnight Leisure Palace rather than accompany the Doctor and Zepheera on their little field trip to the Sapphire Waterfall.

Only two months since the borrower had joined their travels in the TARDIS, after the Doctor rescued her from a terrible circumstance, and Zepheera was already willing to spend the next eight hours locked in a box with several unknown humans. All for what would probably amount to fifteen minutes of a pretty view. Donna had to admit it was a rather brave decision for someone less than five inches tall.

Then again, she supposed Zepheera could have agreed to go because the Doctor would be there, and he was going because

Zepheera was gonna keep him company. Go figure.

Four hours later, the pool was still empty, apart from Donna in her robe and long chair. A few people had come and gone, but she paid them no mind. In fact, she didn’t think much of it when another set of footsteps echoed from the entrance hallway. Then she remembered that all the others who visited the pool had either been rowdy family groups or extra-friendly individuals chatting up the quiet staff. The silence of this person’s approach piqued Donna’s interest enough to open her eyes and turn to look.

She gasped and sat bolt upright at the sight of the Doctor rounding the corner, his long overcoat draped over one arm. It was much too early for their return. Something was wrong, she just knew it; everything about him threw up red flags in Donna’s mind, from his stony expression to his somber gait. Full of concern, she got up and approached him slowly.

When she got close enough, her breath caught at Zepheera’s notable absence from his shoulder. The Doctor shook his head when he saw the worry in Donna’s eyes, and he nodded toward his left shoulder. Now that she was closer, Donna could detect the slightest raise in the Doctor’s loosened collar on that side. Miniscule fingers curled around the edge of the fabric as the borrower underneath, partially illuminated by the potent x-tonic light, peeked warily out at Donna.

Donna’s heart sank. Zepheera hadn’t acted like this around her since before they’d gotten to know each other as close friends, and she’d never known the Doctor to be so quiet.

Something happened.

Finding out what would have to wait. For now, Donna’s friends were hurting and needed her comfort. Without a word, she pulled the Doctor into a tight hug, careful to avoid his left shoulder.

It took a moment, but the Doctor eventually hugged her back. A minute later, Donna felt the tiniest of weights dropping onto her own shoulder. A wave of relief swept over her as Zepheera nestled into the soft fabric of the robe near her neck. Whatever happened out there, it hadn’t affected any of the progress between the odd pair of women.

“Alright,” she mumbled into the Doctor’s shoulder, warning them both that she was about to pull away. Meeting his dark gaze only filled Donna with determination. “Tell me everything.”

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Zepheera-Vision — The Companion

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 2.5 | Part 3


“Doctor?”

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.


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Thanks again for the prompts @wingedkuriboh27​!


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