While technically her companions did all the running from the Master’s threats, the four and a half inch tall woman was in an equal state of adrenaline, hanging on tight to her Time Lord’s collar in order to not be thrown off in all the chaos.
Hours later, she sat on Captain Jack Harkness’ shoulder, mostly so she could speak more directly to the Doctor for once. They had finally reached a place of safety, and the captain just returned with hastily scavenged food, a few bags of chips.
Jack lifted a chip to his shoulder, smirking at the pun while Zepheera took it. She eyed it suspiciously; she didn’t often have access to fried food, and when she did it was usually old and mushy and a real hassle for a borrower to eat.
When she expressed her concern, the Doctor vouched for the chips. “Actually, they’re not bad,” he said, munching on another. “Go on, give it a try.”
With a thoughtful frown at the chip in her lap, nearly tall enough to reach Zepheera’s shoulder, she gave a shrug and broke off a small portion of the tip. If she didn’t like it after all, she could always give whatever she didn’t finish to one of the humans.
She gave it a small nibble, and soon found herself finishing her portion, breaking off another piece for seconds.
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.
“Blimey, you’re a lightweight…” muttered the Doctor, bracing a hand on the console as he dropped to his knees.
“Oi, zip it!” Zepheera called up irritably through the grate of the floor she’d fallen through moments ago. It was one of those rare special occasions that inspired the Doctor to unearth perfectly aged alien wines for his companion and himself to enjoy. Zepheera simply lacked the uncanny Time Lord ability to control just how drunk she got. “I am four and a half inches tall and haven’t touched the stuff in nearly thirty years, I’m the definition of lightweight!”
The Doctor grumbled as he reached down for the handle that would lift up the panel, uncovering his tiny companion sitting on a trunk and staring up at him with her arms crossed.
“Well. Now you know where the floor is. And that it has holes in it.”
“I hate you,” murmured Zepheera, offering no further protest as the Doctor reached down to retrieve his friend.
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.
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.
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.