A/N:Yet another of my dodgy experiments. Part of a writing challenge, this theme being 'Complicated'.
There wasn't really a 'morning' in the depths of space, but nevertheless, The Doctor had taken his optional one-or-two-hour snooze and performed the typical rituals of one accustomed to human society. He had picked out his clothes for the day – shirt, trousers and braces of course – along with a new bowtie that was dark blue with little white stars embroidered on it; taken his ablutions in one of the TARDIS's many bathrooms; combed his hair (with somewhat less gel than usual, he reckoned he'd been getting a bit overzealous of late) and then marched off toward the control room, contemplating where his next adventure would take him. The Doctor was without companion these days, utterly alone in his beloved blue box.
At least that was what he had thought.
As he approached the TARDIS's hub, he was alarmed to hear someone shouting, female most certainly. "Oh, god! No!" the shrill voice gasped.
Panicked, The Doctor came running into the control room, preparing to fend off whatever was attacking his mystery guest. His jaw dropped. The woman stood with her back to him, gripping tight to one of the handrails surrounding the console. She tilted her head upward, lifting her voice to the ceiling.
"Don't do that!" she cried. "Not for touching! Oh, oh god, no, no-no-no-no-no, oh -." She continued to gasp out, writhing in her stance until at last she gave out a low, husky moan.
Eyes wide, The Doctor stared at the figure in the Victorian party dress that had very much appeared to have experienced the height of pleasure with no aid whatsoever. By the shape of her body and the sight of her dark, wild hair, he knew who she was in an instant.
The slim woman turned, panting, half smiling, her eyes a-twinkle. "Oh! It's my thief again!"
The Doctor resumed gawping before blurting out, "TARDIS?" His fingers twiddled restlessly in the air.
"I thought you called me 'Sexy'," she replied, straightening up. She clasped her hands at her back and swayed to and fro on the spot in child-like conduct.
He swallowed. "But… how? That body was atomised when your consciousness was returned to the core… you can't be here. It's a dream. A very… er, strange, dream. Too many mini Babybel before bed."
"But it is me! I re-created this body. It was shown to me by the child, the special child. She liked guns, likes guns, will like guns? She likes you, too. Water in the forest. Is it supposed to do that?" Idris shook her head at the jumble of thoughts before smiling once again at her timelord.
"River?" The Doctor puzzled. "River showed you how to do this?"
"Yes, that's it, River. The river showed me. Or is going to show me. Maybe you find out and show her. It's all very confusing trying to understand in this container. I'm temporarily channelling my energy into reconstructed matter."
The Doctor scratched his face, bemused as ever, eyes still boggling. He descended a few steps from the higher platform. "But… this isn't possible. Even if it were, your consciousness can't stay split apart from your main core. None of the systems would work."
Idris kept on smiling innocently, even as the time rotor ceased to move and the lights and engines of the TARDIS powered down. Pale green auxiliary lighting took over to compensate but, all around, silence washed over the room.
"You can't do this," Idris exclaimed before the words had passed The Doctor's lips. "Your shields are down, we're drifting defenceless in open space! There'll be no heating or air for either of us if you stay like this. See, I know you were going to say that. Please don't worry, my beautiful thief, I won't be here for long. Besides, as long as I stay close to the controls, I can boost the power to anything I choose. I just wanted to walk around again, to see things the way you do. I've done it a few times while you were out on the surface of some new planet, wishing I could be out there with you. Now you've seen me. Hello again, Doctor."
"Hi…" he answered quietly, taking a few more steps closer, reaching the last of the stairs before he would reach her level.
"I have questions," she said.
"Questions?" he repeated, somewhat worried.
"Yes. About this." She brought her arms out in front of her and splayed her palms.
She frowned. "No, no." Her hands swept the air, indicating her whole body. "This. All this. It doesn't make sense. There's enough to be going on with inside here -," Idris clutched her head, "but there are so many systems to keep track of and they don't work at all like me. Take this for example… I got my… oh, what is this thing called?" She gripped her skirt and ruffled it.
"That's it. I got this dress caught on the stairs and ended up on the floor, and then there was this horrid, sharp sensation in those knobbly joints you living things have in the middle of your legs."
"Yes, and it was awful. They felt really funny, only not enough to make me laugh, and I couldn't get up and there was no clear way to fix it. Nothing was broken anyway, so I don't see why this body had to make such a fuss about hardly anything at all. What's the point in a system that overreacts to every little thing?"
"Let me finish, thief. I think I've been working some more things out, though I'm still not sure of the purpose. I've been examining more about what it means to be alive and here's where the questions come in." She crossed the glass floor to meet him. "What… exactly… are these?" Her hands cupped around her breasts and regarded him with all sincerity.
"Er… they're… mammary glands."
Idris nodded. "Ah, yes, devices for the nourishment of young mammals. But, the thing I don't quite understand is this – what is the function of the sensations caused when there is no offspring to feed? You see, I tried squeezing them and they don't actually do anything, although I did feel all warm and tingly and I've no idea why. It's surprisingly comforting. Look, why don't you hold them and tell me what you think?"
The Doctor tripped backward on the stairs. "Agh! No, no it's fine. I'm sure that's perfectly normal." He picked himself up hurriedly and slipped past her, moving around the dormant console. Idris turned and followed.
"But you don't have them?"
"No. They're generally found on females." He did not make eye contact and began flicking switches, seeing if there was anything he could affect whilst the TARDIS was out of her box and swanning around in a smaller one.
"Well that all seems rather silly. What's the point in having two genders? I mean, to make a new creature you'd need one of each type. It's all a lot of fuss. If all of you had all of the parts already, there wouldn't be all this chasing about and having to go off in pairs. Needing two genders is so wasteful. What happens if there's only one of you left?"
Having leant over the communications panel to pointlessly tweak its backmost dials, The Doctor consequently jumped up and smacked his head on the underside of the monitor. Gritting his teeth, eyes scrunched shut, he snapped, "Then you spend your life doing what you can to protect the other species that survived, that the universe saw fit to allow to continue, and then use the spare time to fiddle around repairing a time machine you pinched. Honestly, centuries of time and space and you haven't grasped basic evolution?"
Idris pouted. "I've upset you."
The Doctor sighed. "No… no, you haven't. It's not your fault. You're a dimensionally transcendental entity trying to make do with a sum total of three. Not to mention all those bubbly wubbly female hormones you've probably got whizzing around in there."
"Oh yes, these chemicals are very odd. Even just one conversation with you and I've felt so many of, um, oh, what are they again? Happy, sad, upside-down and unable to locate the wiring…?"
She beamed. "Yes!" Idris sashayed nearer, peering into his evasive face. "I keep getting new ones that change with proximity. Everything goes all fuzzy and too hot and things don't work as they should. Is there something wrong with this body? Just look at these legs. They're all wobbly." She perched on the edge of the console beside him. "They're even worse now and this squashy heart thing on my port side feels like it's wanting to escape. I really don't think that's right. Can you fix me like this, thief? You're not the best engineer even in my usual form, but you're the best I've got."
The Doctor met her gaze with another awkward stare, colour draining out of his face. "No, I can't. Sorry, it's – that is – a human or indeed timelord body isn't something that can be sorted out like a ship. Besides, I don't think there's anything wrong with you, other than this entire situation."
"Are you all right, thief?" she asked, concern upon her features. "Your circulation keeps adjusting. It's all over the place."
"What? How do you -?" The Doctor glanced up to the scanner and saw that it had begun working, tendrils of energy coiling into the panel from Idris's resting fingertips. Upon the screen was a detailed map of his current biological patterns. "Oi! Don't -! Don't do that!" He switched the monitor off and carefully placed his hands on her shoulders to reassure her. "You can't – I'm sorry but you can't… do that sort of thing if you're a living person. It's private."
Idris's brow furrowed. "But how am I supposed to help if I can't see what's going on inside you? It's like a room full of balloons in there and someone's going around with a big pin. Did you know your body temperature's risen? I've not even turned the heating back on!"
The Doctor cringed. "It's just something you have to live with. People can read others through subtler things like body language or eye contact, or they simply communicate with sound or touch. They can't make a breakdown of every single chemical imbalance and draw conclusions from it. That's not what makes you -."
"Alive, yes I see." She placed a hand upon his chest and softly tapped his shirt. "You feel so very different like this. When I'm in my real form and you poke about, it's not the same. I'm in so many places at once I can't focus except to know you're there and what you're looking for. Sometimes, just sometimes, when it's all quiet and we're drifting, I almost think I can feel. But it's not like this. Thief, I'm really not sure I'm all right. I have this really strange feeling in these lower parts, like I need fuelling, but it's not an energy receptacle down there. I tried to work out what it was for, and there were some interesting results, but I still don't -."
"And best you don't worry about it," The Doctor interjected, backing off. "Maybe it's time you got back in your box. You'll feel better. So much more room, too."
"I don't understand. I think it's something you're doing. The intensity increases when you're closer." She dashed up to him and wrapped her arms about him in a tight hug. "See, you can help. I feel better already. You do this all the time with your humans. I can see why. It's very nice. Maybe better than kissing! What comes after kissing?"
The Doctor prised her off gently, cheeks flushed. "You've had enough answers for today."
But she wasn't finished yet. Idris glanced downward. "Wait, I've damaged you! Your plotter's sticking out! I think that's where your vital fluid was getting to. Is it supposed to do that? Let me help." Ignoring the timelord's scrabbling protests, she tugged open the zip at his jeans and pushed her hand through.
"Oh, god! No!" The Doctor yelped. He stumbled back, desperate to get free, but her determined grip brought forth his survival instinct. Not letting a mad time machine in a woman's body get her way was probably not a way to keep your fertility intact. "Don't do that! Not for touching!"
"Don't be such a baby. You're making it worse. Oh, why won't it move? I can't find where it's supposed to go."
The Doctor yelled. "It doesn't work like that, please, let go! Please, or you will damage me."
"I want to help," Idris whined. "You always repair me, every time. I know now what it's like, feeling like you do, that odd hollow feeling. I'm remembering, I've seen you do this. When all your strays are gone and you only have me, your chemicals are all wrong and this helps. That word, that other word I couldn't think of, not alive… alone. I never felt alone, not until I was in this form. But you do, you feel it always, my poor thief, and I hate it. But I know this helps… what is it you do?" She loosened her grip and mimicked the actions of a lonely Gallifreyan.
The Doctor gasped. "Oh, oh god, no, no-no-no-no-no -." He shuddered in her grasp, his legs giving way. She fell down with him to the glass floor.
"Don't worry," she said. "I think I'm getting it now. And now I want to do this…" She leaned across and kissed him, far more tenderly than the first time she had done so. He stared up at her, eyes glazed, too breathless now to form coherent words. Broken noises escaped his throat, pleading for something, probably for her to stop one way or another. Energy slithered from her fingers and coiled around the part of him she held, intensifying everything. He yelled and gasped with every motion, gawping up at his spaceship as she observed him with delight, trembling more and more violently, whimpering, until finally he emitted his own replica of the sound he had heard Idris make when he had first entered the room.
Idris smiled fondly as he lay still and closed his eyes with a sigh. "My beautiful thief." She reached up with her least-laboured hand and stroked his hair from his face. A thought sparkled in her expression and she tilted her head ponderously. Her skirts spread out across her eternal companion, the TARDIS giggled. "Doctor," she whispered. "I've just worked out where your plotter's meant to go."