The Tales of Those Left Behind
A Doctor Who General/Angst Fanfic
When the Doctor touches your life, just for a moment, it's forever changed. Even if he stays a nameless entity who prevents calamity, you can never return to the life you used to live.
Rated K+ for references to maybe a couple things.
Disclaimer: All of these characters are mine. Most of these situations are mine. The Doctor, in ninth, tenth, and possibly fourth (we'll see about the scarf-man) regenerations belong to BBC. Nine and Ten are technically RTD's, but still.
A/N: This idea came to me awhile ago. I don't exactly know when, 'cause I'm typing this up on a computer that's not my own, but I had a flashdrive version of what I've worked on (and this document, since I won't upload until I get back). Anyway, no need to regale you with my life's story, but basically this idea has been floating around in my head for a bit and was re-sparked by a fic I beta'd yesterday.
Chapter One: Becky (1217 words)
Rebecca Elaine Pierson never returned to her mundane everyday life. Her parents blamed it on her loss of a job. Her mates blamed it on a man. Her ex-boyfriend blamed it on their breakup. Her sister blamed it on her move. Her brother blamed it on her lack of contact with any of them. Her every acquaintance from before blamed it on her new job.
The problem with these guesses was that they were all a result of what happened.
Becky, as her friends knew her, had been living a pretty normal life before that strange man entered it. Touched it, would be more correct. She never even knew his name, despite everything he'd done for her. Or did he even know how much he'd done for her? Sometimes, Becky wondered. She had been a part of the background, a part of the scene, but in that one moment, he'd looked right at her and she'd figured she'd mattered.
But then he'd turned around and fended off the Thing, as Becky came to refer to it. She really had no idea what it was. Massive, flaming, but with a form and apparently intelligent enough to communicate with that stranger, the one who'd saved her life.
Becky had never been much of a religious sort, but even had she been, she would have found no better explanation for this man than as a god. He was quite godly in his selfless actions, and properly godly in his anonymity, and certainly a savior of at least her fleetingly unimpressive life.
At first, everyone had thought she was crazy, even Becky herself for a time. But the smallest, strangest things kept springing back into her mind. Stuff she couldn't have possibly made up would resurface from her everyday life. One day, she was washing the dishes with a new lavender-scented soap and she was reminded of how the Thing, despite its flames, smelled of fresh lavender. She had stood there in shock, staring at the plate she was supposed to be washing, until her boyfriend had come home from work and worriedly asked if that was where she had been all afternoon.
She explained her slight pause – to her boyfriend – as a side-effect of the Incident, which she called that time. The Incident, in which she and a hundred of her former co-workers had been shoed from their building by a strange, big-eared northerner. Becky, who had always wished for some sort of adventure to upset her otherwise dull life, had stopped for a moment as she tried to find out what was going on, to no avail. That man, the god, had only unleashed a broad smile in response to her question of "What's going on?"
"Run," he'd ordered. "Go on, run!" Four words, and they'd made all the difference.
Her instinct had told her to follow those orders, so she did. She ran, and she blended back in with the crowd. She was the only one among them who'd gotten a glimpse of the fire creature – and the Thing's smell of lavender. So there was no one she could turn to, because she was the only one who'd gotten a little bit more.
There were many times when she regretted that decision. What would have happened if she'd refused to run? What if she'd demanded that he tell her what was going on? Would he have? Would she have learned his name, if she'd asked? It seemed lonely work, saving people. The lonely god. He was alone, wasn't he? She wouldn't know – she hadn't asked. Not that he would have answered her, had she done so. Maybe that was just what it was, though, to be a good. There must be few gods left, for such loneliness to radiate off him like that. The loneliness was thick, palpable. She had a desire to reach out and touch him, to make him less lonely, in that moment that he spoke to her.
Which was completely silly, as he was the one who had touched her life and simply disappeared. Absolutely no trace of the mysterious northerner who'd told them all to get out of the building just in time for them to turn round and see it burn could be found in the remains. Very little evidence of anything could be found in the remains. The fire had ravaged through the building as a quick, hot blaze, completely destroying everything. Needless to say, Becky was out of work.
She was the only one treated for any injuries relating to the fire, in the end. She had a strange burn she hadn't felt until a paramedic had pointed it out to her. It wasn't serious, just a brush, but it left a scar. Something must have touched her, only for a second, the doctors said later. She was quite lucky that this was nothing serious, that nothing was really wrong with her, that she had gotten out. She must have been right in the thick of things, but saved at the last moment. Someone must have saved her.
The police had, of course, asked her if she'd seen anything mysterious. She described the northerner, but no matter what words she put to him she hadn't felt she'd done him a justice. Eventually, she stopped trying. The incident was eventually officially blamed on some faulty wiring in the file room (which was nowhere near Becky's office, so they'd had a hard time explaining why she'd gotten the burn, especially since she hadn't said that she'd been anywhere near the room).
Now, Becky's scar was the only thing about herself that she really liked. The symbolism in the scar that ran across her palm from thumb to pinkie didn't escape her. She used it as a source of inspiration, of determination. She'd turn her left hand palm-up whenever she was feeling low and remember that chance meeting and move forward.
The problem was that even when she closed her hand, even when she turned it over, she knew the scar was still there. It was never going to go away, so she had to try her hardest not to look at it.
So she moved across the country, found a new job in a small company that was nothing like her old job, broke up with her boyfriend, eased out of contact with her acquaintances. She trained herself not to look at her palms. She closed her hand around the scar, but it was still there, and sometimes she caught a glimpse of it.
But the glimpses were reassuring, like re-reading a well-loved book, comfortable in the knowledge that nothing had changed. And they were just another thing that proved that she would never, ever, return to her old life.
A/N: Well, how do you like it? I've got another one, too, though that one's a lot different. Did you expect to see Nine in a fic of mine? I sure didn't. :D