Prompt: Doing What You Love

nightmares06 asked:

“At least you’ll die doing what you love; Walking into danger.”

Finally getting around to this lol

From this list of dialogue prompts. Feel free to send in more!


What just happened?

That thought swirled on repeat in Stan Baker’s head as he returned to his flat, a place small enough for the 21 year old to afford on his own humble salary. He leaned against the door after it shut, stunned.

“Rough day?”

Deep green eyes widened and darted to the side. Sitting idly on the hooks on the wall meant to hold keys or coats, hooks Stan rarely used for such things, was a tiny woman no taller than a finger.

After a moment of staring, Stan let out a huff of a sigh that ruffled the woman’s short hair. He recognized her. Hard not to, she hadn’t changed a bit since the last time he saw her.

“Don’t people normally outgrow their imaginary friends?” he asked dryly.

She shrugged. “Suppose so. I always did think we had a special something, though.”

He shot her a flat look. “Well, thanks for dropping by, Tinkerbell, but I’ve grown up.”

“Zepheera,” she corrected, pushing herself up to stand balanced on the metal hook, hands on her hops. “Bit childish to resort to name-calling, don’t ya think?”

Again Stan huffed. “I don’t need to listen to this. You’re not even real.”

A moment passed between them.

“Well?” Zepheera prodded. “You’ve got long legs. Go ahead and leave if you don’t want me around.”

Stan’s brow furrowed, but he couldn’t look Zepheera in the eye. When he still didn’t make a move to leave, he sighed.

“Not a rough day,” he admitted, answering her initial question. “Just…kind of a weird one.”

At last he met her much smaller gaze, tiny pinpricks of violet that once had Stan convinced she was a faerie of some kind. With those eyes as kind as ever, Zepheera offered a small smile. “I’m up for tea if you wanna chat about it.”

Stan couldn’t refuse.


As always, Zepheera was a good listener. She sipped her tea evenly (from a cup Stan could swear she materialized out of thin air, unless she simply carried it around all the time in her tiny rucksack) and waited patiently for the end of Stan’s story.

“Sounds like you’ve got a new job lined up,” she commented.

“I haven’t accepted the offer yet,” Stan reminded her.

“And why not?”

Stan ran a hand through his hair.“Because… It’s a big decision. Punching out the occasional creep on the street is one thing, but this… If I make good here, I’ll be dealing with serious criminals. Terrorists, too. I could die.

The words hung heavy in the air for a few breaths, a solemn silence broken after Zepheera finished off the last dregs of her tea and got to her feet.

“Well,” she sighed, making her way slowly closer to Stan as she stowed her cup away, “the Stan Baker I know never could sit back while bullies were running rampant.”

Stan chuckled and found his chin lowering onto his folded arms the closer Zepheera came.

With a smile, she gave a small shrug. “And, not saying you will, but if things do get hairy out there, at least you’ll die doing what you love. Walking into danger.”

Stan blinked at Zepheera’s phrasing, feeling hope creep up on him. Then he heaved a world-weary breath, slumping his shoulders and burying his face in his arms.

A feather-light touch patted against one of his knuckles, and from that same direction Zepheera said, “See ya ‘round, Baker. Do what you think is right.”

The next time Stan looked up, Zepheera had vanished. Just like she always did.

“Don’t think I won’t,” he grinned.

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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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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.


Asks and Prompts are open! | Submissions too!

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!

Prompt: Rainbow

((I’m back! Fell into a bit of a writer’s block earlier in the week, but I’m slowly getting back on track! Anyway, here’s another prompt from this list of one-word prompts. Feel free to send in one!))


Zepheera crept furtively up to the drawing room where she was sure to find her husband. They both kept supplies for their personal crafts in there – pinched fabric and old socks and small pins for Zepheera’s sewing and knitting, and paper scraps and pencil tips for Orrick’s drawing – but Orrick used it most often. There was a sizable crack in the floorboard that made up the ceiling in the small room, giving him ideal lighting (second only to sketching outside, which was risky for a five-inch-tall man).

He sat with his back to the door, granting Zepheera the perfect opportunity to sneak up on him and plant a quick kiss on his fair cheek.

“Happy anniversary,” she chirped, wrapping her arms around his shoulders from behind.

Orrick started, then sighed and took one of Zepheera’s hands in his left one (his right was used for drawing and therefore covered in graphite). “Ah yes, how festive. Celebrating five years of marriage with a heart attack. Love you too, Zeph.”

Sarcasm aside, he smiled and pecked the back of Zepheera’s hand. She chuckled and pulled away, pulling up an empty spool to sit alongside him.

“And I was still thoughtful enough to make you this.” She presented a coil of rope she’d made to replace the one that had snapped on him a month and a half prior. This one she’d twisted herself using three lengths of dark-colored sewing thread to allow for more stability and durability. “Couldn’t manage to swipe your hook, but now that it’s officially yours we can attach it later.”

Orrick’s mouth hung open as he hastily cleaned his hands on a damp cloth. He took the rope in a firm grip, testing its strength and observing the feel of it.

“So this is what you’ve been sneakin’ around to do,” he smirked.

She nudged him playfully. “Unlike some, I’ve been borrowing since I was ten. I’ve long since mastered the art of the sneak.”

He pulled Zepheera in close, her slim frame fitting right into the crook of his arm. “I love it. Thanks.”

Zepheera smiled and leaned into his chest.

“Alright, let’s see what you’ve drawn for me this time.”

Regardless of how long she’d known him, Orrick’s skill still managed to impress Zepheera. Not only was his talent for pencil sketches unmatched by anyone she’d had ever met, but he was able to remember moments and images with uncanny accuracy and then transfer them into a drawing without flaw.

He never got tired of drawing Zepheera. There didn’t even need to be an occasion, but Zepheera was sure to receive a drawing from her husband for her birthday or an anniversary. Usually of herself and always unprompted.

She recognized this year’s portrait as a scene from their trip to the garden two weeks before. It had been raining for four days straight, keeping the humans in the house at all times, which in turn all but trapped the borrowers in their own home under the floor. Orrick and Zepheera knew it was irrational to be afraid of a flood washing away their livelihood since the house was on elevated ground, but after days of being cooped up they started to worry. Finally a bright, sunny day came along and the humans went into town too resupply and socialize. This left Zepheera and Orrick ample time to meander about the less waterlogged parts of the garden.

In the picture, Zepheera was leaning back on her hands, basking in the sunlight with her eyes closed. She remembered the exact moment: the way the warm breeze had blown through her long, dark hair and blessedly filled her lungs with the fresh air they had been deprived of all week. She just hadn’t realized Orrick had been watching.

She gaped at the level of detail in the sketch, from the tiny four-petal flower Orrick had picked and tucked behind Zepheera’s ear, to the clouds in the sky and…

“What’s that?” She pointed to a gray streak that stretched across the sky, darker and more linear than the fluffy clouds.

“It’s a rainbow,” he explained.

Zepheera frowned at it for a moment. “C’mon, I pointed it out to you. Don’t you remember?”

Recognition lit up Zepheera’s deep violet eyes. “Oh yeah, I remember. But that was later on, I was half-asleep.”

“It was still there, even if I didn’t notice it at the moment. I was just…admiring a more beautiful view.”

Orrick shook his head at the cheesiness of his own line.

Zepheera smiled anyway, moving the drawing from his lap to her own. The rainbow didn’t really matter too much. At the end of the day, it was a background detail in a portrait that was focused entirely on Zepheera.

“Thanks, love. It’s wonderful.”

Orrick gave her shoulders a squeeze and kissed her hair, which had been pulled back into a messy, careless bun.

With a smirk, she added, “I do appreciate how you tried to distinguish the colors from each other.

“Well!” Orrick scoffed, a mirthful smile playing across his lips. “If you want a life-like rainbow, then you’re going to have to borrow your poor deprived husband some colored pencil tips.”

“In this house? With possibly the least artistic humans in existence?” Zepheera giggled.

“Exactly.”

Now it was Zepheera’s turn to shake her head.

“You’re a dunce,” she sighed.

“Yeah, but I’m your dunce.”

Zepheera smirked and lifted her chin to meet his bright blue gaze. “And don’t you forget it.”

She leaned up as he leaned down to press his lips against hers. In that moment, they couldn’t be more content.

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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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Prompt: Fragile

From this list of one-word prompts, which I’m still taking. Feel free to send me one!


“Zepheera.”

The seven-year-old groaned as she was gently shaken awake by her uncle. She rolled onto her back and sleepily blinked up at him from his lap. He smiled and brushed her tousled hair back. “It’s time, sweets,” he whispered.

Zepheera grumbled unintelligibly, covering her head with the blanket Boston had wrapped around her earlier in the night.

He chuckled and scooped up his small niece into his arms.

“C’mon, sleepyhead,” he grunted as he stood and headed out. “You wanna meet the baby, don’t you?”

Zepheera pouted and buried her face in his shoulder. She really didn’t, but she knew that was wrong to say so she held her tongue. She wasn’t sure how she should feel about the new baby. It wasn’t like she was worried about the baby stealing her love; her stepfather had no idea how to talk to her, and the attention she got from her mother was all bad. Zepheera had never seen a baby, but her uncle described them as small and chubby.

Then he had to explain to her what ‘chubby’ meant.

All Zepheera knew was that she had been sent away to her uncle’s home for what felt like days (even though Boston insisted the day hadn’t passed) while her stepfather and his sister took her mother away while she was in labor. No one would tell her what labor was. Clearly, it was time-consuming.

Boston put Zepheera down when they were outside her house. She gripped the leg of his trousers, almost hiding behind them as they stood in the doorway of her parents’ bedroom. She’d never been in there, and she’d learned to be wary of any room her mother was in.

Her mother was asleep in bed, her bright red hair pasted to her forehead with sweat. Zepheera frowned, staring for a moment to determine if that was even the same person. She looked so…relaxed. Peaceful.

And she’d never put much thought to it, but her mother was quite beautiful in such a natural state.

“How’d she do?” Boston asked, cutting off Zepheera’s thoughts. She realized that her stepfather was sitting beside the bed.

Baycliff smiled wearily at Boston, his golden eyes bright even in the late-night darkness. “Sis says she did great. Hardly screamed. Boy, did she want to, though.” He tilted his head when he saw Zepheera peering curiously at the bundle of fabric he was holding.

“Come see your little brother.”

It took an encouraging nudge from her uncle for Zepheera to pad carefully across the room. She gasped softly when she got close enough to see an itty-bitty head and pudgy little arms poking out of the bundle. Uncle Boston had said small, but she didn’t think it’d be that small.

“Do you want to hold him?” her stepfather asked Zepheera, to her unfiltered surprise. She glanced at her passed out mother, who would never entrust Zepheera with anything nearly as delicate as this baby seemed to be. Still, as long as it was being offered… She nodded.

Baycliff carefully passed the bundle to Zepheera, showing her how to properly support the head in a sturdy yet gentle grip. Even so, she froze once she had the baby all to herself. She could feel his little feet shifting in his sleep against her arm. He hardly weighed a thing, even to Zepheera who was small for her age.

‘Small and chubby’, though accurate, were hardly the tip of the iceberg of adjectives that flooded into Zepheera’s mind as she took in every detail of her brother. He was light, soft, warm, innocent, and so pale; even Zepheera’s very light brown skin seemed dark against his.

Her uncle’s even darker hand reached down to smooth down the baby’s unruly strawberry-blond hair. It was an innocent enough gesture, but it made Zepheera stiffen a little. Seeing how big Boston’s hand was in comparison expanded her list of words for the baby: weak, helpless, fragile. Something protective awoke inside her, and she held the bundle closer despite the fact that Uncle Boston was one of the only people in the world Zepheera loved and trusted.

Boston sat cross-legged on the floor and carefully pulled his niece in to sit in his lap, to help her relax.

“What’s his name?”

“Kernel,” Baycliff replied.

Somehow, having a name to match the face added a new layer to what Zepheera thought about the whole affair. This was a brand-new person in her arms. He would be a man one day, but for now Zepheera could hold him without issue.

“Kernel…” Zepheera echoed, barely a whisper. On an impulse, she leaned down to gingerly kiss his forehead. His little brow scrunched in spite of how soft Zepheera had tried to be, and his buttery-yellow eyes blinked sleepily open.

“Hi, Kernel,” said Zepheera fondly, unable to hold back a smile. “I’m your big sister. You’re safe with me, I promise.”

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