Quiet, apart from a gentle humming, and eerily empty, the TARDIS control room was a peaceful, if slightly unnerving, place. There were no wildly flashing lights or shrieking sirens or even whirring, twirling bibbity-bobs that usually signalled the occurrence of something exciting but equally dangerous. There wasn't even a madman dashing around the console, tweaking knobs and yanking levers with as much gusto as a child on a sugar-induced high. It was just…quiet.
The lights were out and a bluish-green hue, cast by the heart of the living time-machine, was the only source of illumination in the large, open room. The unnatural atmospheric beauty and serenity of the place was almost breath-taking – well, if there was anyone in the room to take a breath. As it was, the occupants of the TARDIS were elsewhere.
In a comfortable bedroom somewhere in the depths of the ship lay an exhausted figure, curled up beneath her covers with her duvet pulled right up to her chin like a sleepy toddler, russet hair cascading onto her snow-white pillow. The delicate shells of her eyes were almost translucent in the gentle glow from the thousands of stars that bejewelled her velvety blue ceiling – they were 'a bit of the outside, on the inside' he had declared when she first moved in. Unseen by the sleeping girl, a shooting star traversed the sky, its fiery tail leaving a fizzing orangey-rainbow trail in its wake. It was as if someone had sprinkled glitter across a rich navy canvas or spilled sherbet across a table. The tanginess was almost tangible.
In all honesty, it wasn't surprising that the human slept so soundly because, when you battled aliens and monsters on a daily basis, it's bound to take it out of you. The only thing that sometimes upset such a well-deserved, ached-for sleep was the nightmares. The memories. But they only came on occasion.
As the girl slept, her companion waited for her to wake up. He would wander the corridors, listlessly sometimes, at a loss for something to do. On some nights there would be gadgets to fix, spare rooms to paint, books to read or artefacts to pour over but on nights like this one he merely lingered like some lost, old ghost, haunting the passages of his own time ship.
It wasn't that he didn't need to sleep, he just didn't like to, not any more. There was too much lurking in the darkest recesses of his mind waiting to come crawling out – to remind him of what he'd done and who he was. It was easier not to and somehow his body had adjusted to accommodate that. Time Lord Biology at its best. But, no matter how much he disliked lying in bed and letting the monsters cloud his brain, he never allowed his companions to do the same. They would sleep and he would be the one to make sure of that. Of course, it was easy to get caught up in the excitement of space and time and not want to waste a minute of it – humans were very excitable creatures – but that would not do in the long run. It was easy to forget when night and day occurred because, after all, they were in a time machine and the days did tend to meld together but, even so, he didn't want to be responsible for depriving them of their much needed sleep; it was part of the innocence they still held onto after all. A luxury he no longer had.
Several times throughout the 'night' he would check on his friends, just to make sure they were safe and sound asleep and not having nightmares. He was quite good at nightmare watch by now. It was as if his ears had attuned to the sound of distress and he was there within an instant, either to shake them from it or gather them into his arms after it had occurred. Although he would never have thought it, not when he was younger, but he was quite a good comforter these days. He supposed it was probably because he had experienced everything they had and twice as bad.
Considering his fiery haired companion had only been travelling with him a few weeks she had had a fair few nightmares and, unlike the others before her, she hadn't wished to share or explain. Therefore, he guessed, they weren't just a recent thing and perhaps weren't linked with the adventures they'd shared. By the intensity with which she'd screamed and thrashed and the physical strength which he had to apply to calm her, he guessed that the thoughts and emotions that caused the nightmares ran very, very deep.
That was the statement he always came back to and he had a really, really horrible feeling that the dreams were down to him. Perhaps, he had damaged her irreversibly.
Running a long-fingered hand over his smooth jaw and leaning back against the familiarly warm wall of the corridor, the Doctor contemplated the horrifying idea and found the guilt that came with it almost too much to bear. Instead, he buried it deep inside him like he always did and decided to distract himself. This was what always happened because he just couldn't take the thought of having ruined another life needlessly – so he took the coward's way out and he hated himself for it.
What could he do to pass the unending hours of this sleepless night?
Amy Pond woke up with something white on top of her face, suffocating her. She couldn't breathe. She let out a shriek of fear and lashed out, trying to dislodge whatever it was. Surprisingly, it fell away from her quite easily and gave in to her frantic punches like the malleable clay she used to pummel in art class. Oh, she suddenly realised feeling very foolish, it was the duvet.
Flushing, even though no one was actually here to see her ridiculous behaviour; Amy sat up in bed and allowed the once very dangerous duvet to fall carelessly onto the floor. Trying to compose herself, she coughed a little and ran a slender hand through her red locks, feeling her fingers catch on all the knots and tangles. Sighing with irritation, she slipped out of bed and dropped her feet into a pair of slipper boots that she'd taken to wearing round the TARDIS. They were very comfortable and protected her from all the very odd things that often seemed to be scattered around the place, ranging from a very spiky gizmo that she had painfully trodden on to what looked like a squirrel with a dragon wings that had skittered past her bare ankles. Yes, one couldn't be too careful.
Padding across the soft carpet, Amy stood in front of her mirror and glowered at the reflection which met her. She looked awful: pallid skin, matted hair, inky purple bags beneath swollen eyes and, if she wasn't mistaken, there was a massive spot peeping out from beneath the hair on her right temple.
"You have got to be kidding me!" she growled at the dishevelled face that stared back at her. "Ergh!"
She'd expected all this fresh air and exercise and planet hopping to be helping her pale Scottish complexion, not ruining it. Giving herself a rather vicious slap on one cheek, as if such retribution would change her appearance, Amy turned quickly away from the depressing image and considered getting dressed. But, frankly, she wasn't in the mood.
Stomping across her room once more, Amy grabbed the door handle and yanked her poor unsuspecting door open. The TARDIS made a sort of harrumphing noise which signalled her displeasure but the human girl wasn't interested. She was on a mission. A mission to find some good spot cream.
Several thunderous door slams later and Amy was still without any decent cream and she could feel the spot throbbing on her head as if to remind her that it was still there and still ruining her face like a miniature volcano – red and angry. After yet another disappointment where she found herself in a room full of hourglasses – she wasn't even going to ask – the flame-haired girl was about to give up and return, still spotty, to her bedroom when she came across a door that she was sure she hadn't seen before. Of course, she'd done lots and lots of exploring of the TARDIS already as the Doctor had encouraged her to 'take a gander' at all his nooks and crannies that were filled with bits and bobs from here, there and everywhere.
But this door was new.
Feeling a bud of excitement flourish inside of her, the young girl pressed lightly on the surface of the door – because it had no handle – and felt the warm, rough wood beneath her sensitive fingertips. Strangely, it felt very raw and very alive, more so than any other part of the spaceship. Tentatively, Amy pushed harder and found that the door swung open. The breath caught in her throat.
Immediately she knew this was the Doctor's room and immediately she got the feeling that she really wasn't meant to be in here; that she was intruding on a very private place but she just couldn't help herself. Amy was a very bold and very nosy person; once her slippered foot touched the wooden floor on the other side of the threshold, there was no going back.
In her chest, her heart thrummed with excitement, like a small bird flitting against her ribcage as she drank in her surroundings.
The Doctor's Bedroom.
An Aladdin's Cave more like. Every surface was littered with something: there were bits with things on and things with bits on; broken chairs with extra legs; ornately carved boxes nestled between shiny globes and techno-gadgets; richly woven tapestries depicting all sorts of weird and wonderful events from years gone by and years yet to come, well, from Amy's point of view at least; a brightly coloured croquet set laid out in one corner, how very Doctor-esque; a pile of bean bags and a motley collection of books towering beside them in a very precarious pile; a sceptre; a fishing net; two golden statues; a massive plastic dinosaur without a leg; a smattering of papers, some that looked like sheet music, well, that explained the piano and the other alien instruments that looked like they needed several mouths to play; an entire Chinese dragon, bedecked with streamers, ran along the length of one wall; a painting that looked like the Mona Lisa but it couldn't be, could it?
It was actually insane. There was too much to take in. Amy's eyes were the size of dinner plates.
"Bloody hell," she breathed, softly.
Cautiously, not wanting to disrupt anything major and leave evidence of her intrusion, Amy shuffled further into the room. Her eyes continued to scan the astounding place. It was like the Doctor had created his own microcosm of clashing cultures and alien worlds. She'd never had him down as such a hoarder. He was like an old woman!
A Time Lord's Nest. She should write a book.
There was even a dressing table – like one of those ones out of American films about Broadway, with lights and everything. The surface was scattered with creams and hair products and brushes. Wow, she didn't realise how vain the Doctor was. Then again, she guessed his hair didn't naturally end up with that much fluffage. And no wonder he had such nice, smooth skin what with all those ointments. She might just have to help herself to one of those. Yoink.
However, now she had got over her initial shock at the chaos she began to spot things and guessed these were the insights into the Doctor's life that she wasn't meant to see. For starters there was no bed, well, not a bed she could see under all the rubbish. Actually, that might be a bedstead over there, piled high with giant chess pieces. That suggested to her that the Doctor didn't sleep and there must be a reason for that because she knew he could, considering what had happened with the Dreamlord. Then there were the random pictures scattered haphazardly across a mosaic table – which she guessed was an original and not a copy – that showed images of people, mostly young and, she guessed, human but you could never tell. There was ginger haired woman with skinny man in a pinstriped suit and then the same man again with a dark skinned girl in a red leather jacket standing on a large rock in the middle of what looked like the Grand Canyon. There were several of this man and Amy couldn't help feel that she knew him somehow – it was something about the eyes.
And there he was again, this time with a young blonde woman who he was hugging in, what Amy viewed to be, a very protective manner. It was a one armed hug but she couldn't help but register the feeling that he would never ever let anything happen to that girl. Not on his watch. Then there was the same girl but a different man, short haired and with a large leather jacket. His ears were really big. There were several pictures of that couple with another man and they seemed to be dancing in the TARDIS.
Who were all these people? And why weren't there any of the Doctor? If these were his friends then why hadn't he been photographed with them?
A small frown line had worked its way between Amy's eyebrows as she placed the perplexing photos down and turned round to look at the rest of the Time Lord's bedroom. On the floor, she had noticed, towards the back of the room were a series of children's toys and she found they were what disturbed her the most. A soft looking pink teddy bear; a picture book about the moon; a broken rattle…a very small striped jumper laid delicately on a chair. A toddler's jumper.
When they cry silently it cos they just can't stop, any parent knows that.
She remembered those words so clearly and she remembered the blank look that the Doctor gave her when she asked him if he was a parent. He just kind of froze. And here was the proof. The horrific proof that the Doctor once had children. But where were they? Why weren't they here with him?
He said he was the last of his kind. Did that mean his children were…dead?
Okay, so I just feel there's a lot that goes on unspoken and I thought I'd try and give both the Doctor and Amy a voice.
Might end up romantic but who knows. I do like Eleven/Amy together though. I'll explain Rory's absence in my story at some point. :/