Warnings: Character Study, Introspection
A/N: Written for who_contest's Prompt: Blur. I started with one fiction idea when this contest came out...and this was not it. This was another one that just hit out of the blue and I couldn't keep struggling with the original idea and just let this one pass by. I don't quite know if this is a good decision or no, but I will leave that to you - and hope you enjoy what passes for my mind has dreamed up. 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 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!

It was confusing: distorted faces, overly bright lighting that seemed to flicker with the endless ebb and flow of movement all around. He couldn't see the possibilities. He couldn't see…something. Something he needed to see. Or was it something he already knew, he just couldn't remember?

He remembered….cold. Which was strange. He had never noticed 'cold', really. The sensation was startling and unwelcome at that moment. That moment that seemed to stretch forever –

There was…there was a voice. Singing –

– senza far risposta

And one…crying out –

"I'm lost, where am I?"

And then there was…nothing.

The Dark – the long dark. Then cold (so much cold) and another voice. But he couldn't hear him over the loud thub-thub of his own hearts; then a scream from somewhere (else) within the room.

Was it a monster?

Was he a monster?

There was screaming – at him – and then silence. People only scream when frightened. And people were generally frightened when there were monsters. The conclusion was unsettling.

Especially when one took into account that he shouldn't know that.

After all – he didn't even know who he was. Who he is. Who he is supposed to be.

"Who. Am. I!?"

But he stopped the cold (he found garments, ways to layer himself against the chill and the stares and screams), he found his way to other people –

Maybe they could tell him….something.

There was something he was supposed to remember. A journey he had to make. At least, that was what tasted truest in his mind.

There were faint shimmers of light (potential? how did he know that?) streaming from the faces around him. They made the lights seem brighter and yet unimportant. And as ever, there was the overwhelming thub-thub, thub-thub of his own hearts in his ears.

Maybe he should get them checked.

The idea left him colder than before he found his current clothes, so he dismissed it, tucking himself in amongst a small knot of (warm, so very, very warm) people, the blur of faces, lights and noise soothing, even as it was distressing. He felt…he felt he had somewhere he had to be. Something he was supposed to be doing.

There was a ticking that made its way through the noise-light-blur of too much-not enough. He found his eyes drawn to whatever would make that noise, blinking through the haze that seemed to be wrapped around his sight, swallowing against the nausea that threatened as he forced himself to focus –


A clock.

"Time," he heard himself say (but was that really his voice?) and he touched his lips to make sure he was truly speaking, mind trying to sort through the sensory overload to land on that one thing (out of many?) he seemed to be missing – the most important thing. This had to be it. It felt right. It sparked within his mind, cut through the whirl of information he was drowning in. "Time?"

The clock ticked.

Timelines ebbed and shifted.

He stepped away from the wall.