Warnings: Character Study, Introspection
A/N: Written for who_contest's Prompt: Expectant. I had an idea of where I was going when I sat down with this. It was one that hit me almost immediately when the contest came out. But as it often is here of late, finding the time was the problem (ironically). I had an idea - it wasn't perfect, it wasn't stunningly brilliant or cunning, but it was an idea. I say this, because it seems to have wandered far off of the point. Not that my fictions usually don't, but I felt it was only fair to lay out the warning. It started off as one thing, morphed quite into another and I'm not sure where it ended up, but I'm know everyone who reads it will figure it out (as my Readers are all amazing in this respect). As per usual, this fic is mostly unbeta'd and written in one go, so please forgive any mistakes and/or blatant vagueness. And (as always), I apologize for any repetition, misspellings, sentence fails, grammatical oh-noes and general horridness. Unbeta'd fic is overly-thinky/wandery/blithery/dark and unbeta'd.
Disclaimer(s):I do not own the scrumptious Doctor or his lovely companions. That honor goes to the BBC and (for now) the fantastic S. Moffat. The only thing that belongs to me is this fiction - and I am making no profit. Only playing about!
The alarms were going off again.
For the Bay, this was only unusual when it wasn't Section Thirteen. That meant there was an actual emergency, with actual reason to be panicking. Rogue TARDIS' were not a joke – a TARDIS that decided it was time to leave, seek out adventure on another planet (by itself), or attack a Gallifreyian (Time Lord or no), was a TARDIS that was on Its way to decommission.
Except for one.
Generally, She was the source of the alarms.
"Bleeding Old Thing thinks She has the best of us," one young mechanic was complaining over the noise. "One of these days –"
One of these days, the young mech-tuner would learn better.
As an old TARDIS-Tech Servicer, the bent (oft-unnoticed), 'frail' old gent of 13,676 years, he was often dismissed as more of a wreck than some of the museum pieces (like Herself), that they were regularly called to service. She was just more lively than most: just enough trouble to get corralled and called to account (in ways he disapproved of), but not quite enough to get de-commissioned.
Not that She would have allowed such nonsense, anyway.
Well, being an 'old relic' himself, he was rather on Her side after all these years. He remembered when he first saw Her; She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen –
And he knew She would never be his.
She was wild, wise, ancient, proud and cunning. Several men – harder men, colder men – thought to suppress and tame Her: but they might as well have tried to wrestle and tame the Time Winds for all their efforts.
She had been hurt, even abused many a time at the hands of such men. But somehow, She always came out ahead. He had seen prideful and strong men released from Her doors weeping and crazed. Even more emerged (after pounding through Her doors to bring battle to Her on Her own grounds), awed, quiet and never-quite-the-same as when they went in.
He had never tried such a thing as these men. He rankled at their abuse of Her, even as he knew She could care for Herself better than he ever could. He serviced Her mains and did the up-keep on Her inner-matrices as best he could; tolerating Her bites when She lashed out and basking in Her soothing Song when She was so inclined. She had come to know him. Maybe even be fond of him.
But She was not his.
He knew TARDISes. He knew everything of them from their central mechanical systems, to their vastly differing hearts. He knew their Songs, their Dreams, their fears and longings. He knew they could love. Knew they could hate. He could have had any one of Her Sisters…but they would never be Her.
Such is the ways of the hearts.
She made the long years sweeter, though. He had become less sought after as the centuries spanned: his wisdom and knowledge something to be pitied, rather than envied.
A relic among relics – to all but Her.
She was never unkind.
But She was waiting; She was waiting for the One. She Dreamed of him often – and Sang of him always.
It certainly was not him, but he could wait with Her.
Even if it took another 13,000 years.