From her perch on top of the railing around the console, Zepheera watched the two human-sized men across the room. She knew better than anyone that neither of them were human, and in fact, they were the same man.
The TARDIS had gone berserk, throwing the four and a half inch tall woman off the Doctor’s shoulder and halfway across the room. She was thankfully unharmed, but it didn’t take long to notice the entirely new presence. At first Zepheera scrambled to hide from the stranger, but when the Doctor seemed to recognize this man, her wariness shifted to confusion.
This was only magnified when the new man referred to himself as the Doctor, and was seemingly unaware that he was face to face with a future incarnation of his.
Rather than clearing up the confusion and introducing his tiny companion, Zepheera’s Doctor was entirely caught up in his nostalgia and the excitement of the impending crisis. Zepheera had never seen someone so entirely pleased to meet himself.
She’d have to introduce herself, she determined as she dashed across the thick pipe of the railing.
Zepheera would never understand how one could simply drain an entire planet of color, but according to the Doctor it was an extremely malicious procedure. Once every single thing was dulled to black and white, total corrosion of the planet would begin.
When the Time Lord and his four and a half inch tall companion arrived, they were one of the few things left in the area that were not black and white. However, it didn’t take long for them and even the TARDIS were monochromatic. It was a race against the clock to find the machine instigating the calamitous procedure and shut it down so they could even begin to reverse it.
Zepheera clung to the Doctor’s shoulder as he ran through the alien spaceship, nearing the motherboard that could shut down the entire thing and restore the planet to its original state. Desperately, he fished out his sonic screwdriver and gave it a quick buzz, relieved to find it glowing blue. The last color in the world.
Out of seven likenesses of Zepheera, six fell to their knees writhing in pain as the Doctor sauntered into the room with a noise maker. The one that wasn’t an alien brightened and hurried to join her friend.
Being four and a half inches tall, she naturally crossed the room at a much slower rate than the Time Lord, and suddenly he was standing over her, the noise maker still going on. Ever aware of his borrower companion, the Doctor came to a stop when she approached him, staring pointedly at the alien doubles of Zepheera as he continued to spin his strange weapon against them.
“I think you got em!” Zepheera called up, glancing back at her copies. Most of them had fallen unconscious from the sensory overload their extremely sensitive ears were experiencing.
Looking back at the Doctor, he gave the noise maker a few last turns for good measure, then bent down to offer a hand to his tiny friend.
“And a happy new year,” he quipped, lifting her to her usual spot on his shoulder.
The borrower blinked hard, dazed. The voice– her Time Lord’s voice was loud but distant to her ears. barely breaking through the ringing that filled her head. Heat and smoke surrounded her, along with rough blurry shapes, some stationary and looming and others towering and moving fast.
It came back to Zepheera in pieces; landing in the middle of a battle, being separated from the TARDIS and then from the Doctor. Something hit Zepheera, knocking the breath out of her as she tumbled to the ground. Everything was chaos, and the Doctor was calling her name.
He was getting closer, she could tell. His voice was louder, and the ground beneath her started to tremble with more rhythmic force that the nearly constant low rumble of the battle. Zepheera blinked again and tried to sit up, but she was pinned from the waist down by a chunk of rubble. The pressure dawned on her, and she gave a pained moan, coughing involuntarily.
Zepheera had always been able to heal remarkably fast, but she was not invulnerable. If she was hurt badly enough, she would certainly die. And at four and a half inches tall, to say that this was a useful ability would be an understatement. The fact that she was still alive despite the weight on her waist and legs was a good sign.
“Doctor!” she croaked, propping herself on her elbows and craning her neck to find her giant friend. She bit back a wince as more tremors– footsteps getting closer and closer– aggravated her lower body wounds. It was worth it to see the shape of her friend come into view.
But he didn’t see her right away. His hearing was usually accurate to the point of being uncanny. In the chaos of battle, however, everything was thrown out of balance. He knew better than to wander aimlessly, but Zepheera’s heart sank at how panicked he looked, eyes manic as they searched desperately for his tiny companion.
“Where are you?!” he shouted over the commotion. The battle was escalating, and the Doctor and Zepheera were both unarmored and unarmed.
“Down here!” she yelled back, waving one arm widely and doing her best to be as visible as possible.
The Doctor’s eyes finally landed on her, and he quickly hunched protectively over her as he removed the debris pinning her down. Naturally, he fretted over the state of her legs, but Zepheera assured them that they were starting to heal; she could feel it the moment she aligned the bones. The larger of the two needed to focus on getting the both of them to safety.
The Doctor froze as his tiny companion piped
up from his shoulder. By the time he glanced over to look at Zepheera, she’d
clambered over the edge of his shoulder and started climbing down his arm with
the obvious intention of reaching the floor this way.
“Wha–?” he gasped; the borrower he
traveled with had no qualms about using the Doctor as a jungle gym in the past,
and he usually didn’t mind, but she’d never tried to do it while he was standing,
let alone walking around.
Without warning, he twisted his arm around
front to see his companion. Zepheera gave a startled cry as she lost her grip
on the pinstriped fabric of his suit, scrambling until her feet touched down on
the inside of the Doctor’s bent elbow. She shot a glare up at him after the
surprise wore off, rolling her eyes as his brow shot up like he didn’t know
what she was upset about.
The Doctor turned his hand to face palm-up to
make up for it, and Zepheera begrudgingly jogged along his forearm to stand on
it like a platform. From there, he carefully lowered himself to the floor and
let her off nearby. She hopped off immediately, excitement filling each of her
four and a half inches.
“Check this!” she called up,
darting across the floor toward a small object that the Doctor had nearly
walked right past. Crouching near the strange item, Zepheera looked expectantly
up at the Doctor. He was the expert on alien things, and she had no doubt that
this fell into that category. “This what we’re looking for?”
“Could be,” the Doctor conceded as
he dug through the inside pocket of his suit. He whipped out his spectacles and
threw them on before leaning in for a closer look at what Zepheera had found.
“Why do you do that?” asked
Zepheera as she backed off a few inches to give the Doctor room to inspect her
find. “You don’t seem to need those.”
“Sure I do!” the Time Lord
protested, looking utterly offended.
Zepheera put her hands on her hips. “No,
you don’t! You’re just wasting a few seconds so you can look a bit
The Doctor shot her a look, caught between a
glare and a pout.
Zepheera’s mind reeled. She and the Doctor had gone in search of someplace in the universe to relax and have a good time, and as usual ended up running for their lives. Zepheera hardly understood what was going on, but as the Doctor piloted the TARDIS away to buy precious time before their pursuers could catch up, he explained what he needed to do.
The Doctor needed to become human and lay low on Earth.
Before Zepheera could even begin to ask how he would accomplish that, he started rattling off a list of things she would need to do to take care of him. She gaped at him from her spot on the console, wondering how in the world he expected a four-inch-tall woman to take care of a six-foot-one human.
“And five, very important, five,” the Doctor emphasized, breaking Zepheera out of her thoughts. “Don’t let me eat pears. I hate pears!”
“How exactly am I supposed to accomplish that without being seen?” she huffed. That was back in Number two in his instructions; at least she and the Doctor agreed that they couldn’t predict how this human version of him would react to a tiny woman. He wouldn’t be the Doctor anymore, so she was encouraged to take precautions.
The Doctor shrugged. “I dunno, steal them if I – er, he – purchases any!”
“We’ve been over this,” Zepheera frowned, “I don’t steal.”
“C’mon, for me!” the Doctor pleaded, pulling his puppy-dog eyes. “I’m sure you’ll think of something, you’re always clever like that.”
Zepheera rolled her eyes, knowing full well that he was buttering her up and hating that it was working. “Number six?” she sighed.
Thanks so much for your patience, guys! Midterms are wrapping up, and I am working on the prompts in my box, so keep an eye out for those!
“Y’know, I do have a life outside of work,” griped the Doctor as several officers led him through the crowded halls.
For his tiny companion’s part, Zepheera kept close to the Doctor’s neck. The borrower often rode on his shoulder, but it wasn’t often he was called in to U.N.I.T. The United Nations Intelligence Taskforce had employed the Doctor as an alien expert decades ago for them, centuries ago for him. Time travel didn’t stop them from summoning him unexpectedly, and since it was usually when the world was in danger, the Doctor continually felt obligated to come.
Zepheera was usually wary around humans or other humanoid creatures she and the Doctor encountered; it was only natural, given she was four and a half inches tall. But these UNIT folk… they were both scientific and militaristic. Half of them carried guns and the other half carried clipboards, and Zepheera had deep reservations about such people. But they thankfully ignored her, apart from a few confused or curious glances.
The Doctor was led in to a room with very large screens and a set of very important-looking people. All except a shorter, dark-skinned woman saluted the Time Lord as he entered. Rolling his eyes, the Doctor smiled at his old friend.
“Doctor Jones, pleasure as always.”
Martha nodded, grinning at Zepheera who already felt more at ease with someone she recognized.
“Alright, what’s the dealio this time?” the Doctor sighed as he sank into a computer chair, propping his feet up. Zepheera jumped up and darted across the Doctor’s body, grateful for a path to a solid surface. The Doctor was prone to fidgets when agitated, which he often was at UNIT. People with guns put him off.
One of the Important People stared at Zepheera as she slowed her pace to carefully navigate the folds of fabric and the awkward angles of the Doctor’s crossed legs. “What is that?” he demanded.
“She’s with me,” said the Doctor, brushing it off.
“He said, she’s with him,” Martha cut in emphatically. “They travel together, and I can assure you she’s more than clever enough to keep up and keep secrets.”
The Important Person resigned himself after seeing the scathing looks from both Martha and the Doctor. “Very well… Our officers found something that might be of interest to you, Doctor.” The screen before them brightened as it turned on, displaying an incredible image just as Zepheera hopped past the Doctor’s Converse and onto the table. “Can you identify it?”
Zepheera stared in awe at the screen, then turned to look at the Doctor through the gap in his shoes. He gave a pout and shook his head. “I dunno,” he answered, though Zepheera suspected he was being less than honest. He did enjoy messing with the tightwads that worked for UNIT on occasion.
Zepheera’s breathing shuddered involuntarily as the ground shook beneath her.
After 158 years of living on Earth, the borrower was no stranger to what it felt like to be on the ground while humans were moving about. At least then, like most borrowers, she could sense when they were coming before the tremors got too bad.
The Doctor wasn’t human. He was a 6′1″ Time Lord who was still getting accustomed to having a four and a half inch tall companion aboard his TARDIS. And he was fast.
The red converse just flew by Zepheera, crashing into the floor inches away. She gave a shriek and hid under the nearest object with a small space underneath. The rumbling footsteps ground to a halt in the distance and slowly made their way back. Vibrations rattled Zepheera up through the floor as the Doctor dropped to his knees.
She didn’t answer, feeling an embarrassed heat rising in her cheeks. Even though she’d spent her entire life growing accustomed to humans, even though the man out there was not only her friend but her rescuer, her time spent in captivity seemed to have reset everything that had made Zepheera who she was. All her life she had been the strong one, the one others her size could depend on. Now she felt weaker than ever, and she buried her face in her knees shamefully.
A sigh rushed out of the Doctor’s much larger lungs. “I’m so sorry,” he breathed. “I’m an idiot, I should’ve… I’ll be more careful from now on.”
More rumbles as he shifted even more. Shoulders tense, Zepheera glanced at the Doctor. What little she could see of him was pressed to the floor, his big brown eyes shining and contrite. She instantly relaxed with that soft gaze upon her. It’s just him, she reminded herself. Just the Doctor.
“Please come out,” he whispered.
With a deep steadying breath, Zepheera nodded uncurled from her tense ball, walking out of the comforting darkness and into the light.
After well over a year of traveling together, defeating monsters and rescuing alien civilizations, the Doctor and Zepheera decided to take it easy for a day. Nothing fancy, just a few hours spent in 21st century London, eating chips and seeing the sights.
Then a kid on a skateboard came speeding past the Doctor while he wasn’t paying attention and clipped him, knocking the Time Lord flat on is back in the middle of the sidewalk.
Zepheera flew off the Doctor’s shoulder. Ordinarily she would be hanging out near the edge of one of his pockets with this many people around, or at the very least under his collar, but she wanted a proper view of the city she’d spent so many years hiding underneath. So she sat tucked against his neck with a small perception filter attached to a TARDIS key in her lap. But after the fall, two things became apparent once she’d come out of her daze. One: The key was nowhere in sight, making her perfectly visible to anybody who bothered to look down. More importantly, two: she’d been thrown several feet away from the Doctor.
She tried to hurry back to him, but a few kind souls in the vicinity flocked to his side to offer help. That meant dozens of feet crashing down around her, some coming within inches and centimeters of crushing her. Instinct kicked in and she ran; logic inserted itself to insist that she’d need to get to safety first, then she could reunite with the Doctor.
Meanwhile, pedestrian feet were corralling Zepheera further away from her giant friend.
By the time she reached relative safety against the wall of a building, she’d lost track of her Time Lord. She could hear him calling, but it was muffled in the layers upon layers of people between them and the incessant rumble of footsteps. Zepheera was forced to climb rough brick wall behind her in search of higher ground. She was all too aware of the enormous risk she was taking, but at the moment she didn’t care about being seen as long as she could find the Doctor.
But when she reached a windowsill to look out from and she immediately met a humongous someone’s icy-blue gaze, she suddenly cared a lot.
Contrary to the Doctor’s worries, she wasn’t
remotely interested in Captain Jack Harkness in any romantic sense
or…otherwise. She’d only just met the man. The only thing she was curious about
was his apparent inability to die. For as long as she could remember, Zepheera
couldn’t seem to age. So in a way she and Jack were quite similar.
As fate would have it, an opportunity arose
for Jack to make use of his ability. There was a room filled with incendiary
radiation that sat underneath a rocketship which was prepared to ferry the last
of the human race to a paradise at the end of the universe that they called
Utopia. The radiation had already killed one technician who was connecting the
couplings that would get the ship off the ground. Now it was up to Jack, the
only man who could enter that room without dying.
Zepheera had tagged along at the last second,
eager to watch this bizarre ability firsthand. But the next thing she knew,
Jack was undressing. She was most definitely not attracted to him, she was
adamant about that. But watching someone sixteen times her height move so
quickly, even doing something as simple as removing his shirt, was undenyably
fascinating to the four and a half inch tall borrower.
She jumped when the Doctor popped into her
view, checking over the radiation levels and the other readings on the control
panel. He hadn’t yet noticed Jack. It occurred to her that the radiation he
would be subjected to wouldn’t affect the clothing he was stripping off, so she
regained her composure and cleared her throat.
“Er, Jack?” she piped up, still a
little timid around this new giant.
The Doctor glanced Jack’s way, only to
double-take once it sank in.
“What are you doing?” he demanded.
“I’m going in,” Jack reminded him.
“But–from what I can tell, the
radiation doesn’t affect clothing, only flesh,” said the Doctor.
“I look good, though.”
With a smirk at the Doctor and a wink at
Zepheera, Jack pulled his braces back on and strode purposefully into the
radiation-ridden room. Thankfully, only his wool coat and button-down had been