A/N: Ok, so I got you guys' reviews, which made my day actually, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to put this story up. You see, my teachers seem to have all decided to jam everything in before spring break, resulting in me having three tests, a presentation, a paper, and a speech to memorize all this week. As an extra plus, my AP Bio teacher is making our test over 11 chapters and the pothead (literally, he got kicked out of our school when he went here as a student for smoking weed) doesn't even teach us and I also just happen to be horrible at the math I have a test on. So sorry for the wait, but if it's any consolation, I stayed up to write the beginning of this WHILE I had more important school stuff do. Yes, that was smart. So enjoy, and please tell your friends to read, favorite and review…because seriously reviews are my drug
Disclaimer: I own nothing, which is depressing every time I point it out. Well, I created Emmaline….so I got something goin for me.
Ok, so this is very very extremely not good. Not the food, the food is wonderful. The three men behind me talking about using the inhabitants of this ship as slaves for their new Gryxi Empire (in a language foreign to everyone on board this ship, except me). Yeah, that is all kinds of not good. Space cruise ships really are wonderful for relaxation when they're NOT being taken over. Pity….Now I see what Amy was always going on about-I DO ramble when I'm agitated.
Well, I suppose I should think of a plan now. Plans help
Option One-Run. Not particularly fond of that one. Don't get me wrong, I love running, me, I've been running my whole life. But not when people are at risk. Never then. I run when it's only me involved.
So that option's out.
Option Two: Call River. Seeing as she speaks Gyrxi more fluently than I do and would be less likely to accidentally tell their leader to 'Go to the cheese bathroom' instead of 'Leave this ship, now'. I always get the Gyrxi for 'ship' mixed up with their word for 'bathroom.' Normally, the Old Girl would translate inside my head for me, but she um...refuses to do that until I stop leaving the breaks on. I also happened to have upset River the last time I visited her- an incident with handcuffs, a lost key, and a rat….eeeuh, I really should lock Sexy's doors- and I don't want to risk running into a River that's still angry with me.
Option Three: Do something clever. I think I'll go with that one. I'm normally very good at that….Normally.
Alright, well, standing up from the table would be good. Right. Now, to get the three Gyrxi alone so as not to allow the other passengers to overhear our conversation and you know, become frightened and start rioting. Rioting is bad….although they wouldn't be able to understand us…because none of them speak Gyrxi. Right.
"-need a refill?…sir...hello," I looked up from tweaking my bowtie in time to see a young brunette woman in a 23rd century maid's uniform. Think more blue spandex and less lace than normal maid's outfits.
"Hmm…oh yes, right. But uh, no, I'm good thanks," I grinned at her, being polite and all.
That's when I realized I was holding a cup.
The maid gave me an odd look then walked away shaking her head…..well that's a strange reaction to my manners.
I strolled over to the back of the dining hall, opting to lean against the wall until the three Gyrxi leave the hall. I hate things that require waiting. It gives me too much time to think. The Ponds always told me that I have a thinking problem. How did Amy put it? 'You either don't think at all when it's necessary or think yourself to death over things you can't control.'
She always did think I had no control over the bad things. She was wrong. Understandable because her human brain doesn't see time and decisions and effects of those decisions like I do. I may be a selfish old man, but I'm not blind. I know what I did to her. And Rory. And….River. I stole Amy's life away. I whisked her away in my magical box, promising her diamond waterfalls and running and laughing type adventures. Really I just wanted someone to look at me like I was amazing again. I just wanted someone to make me feel like I was good. That I didn't ruin everything I touched. Ironic really, seeing as it had the opposite effect; her baby was take because of me. Rory. Always with the Rory. Well, I took his wife. The only person who he ever really wanted to be there with him forever and I kidnapped her the night before her wedding. Hell, he probably had to hear stories about Amy's imaginary friend for years before I ever came back for her. And River…..I can't even think about it. She never even got a proper chance at life, at normal. Her childhood was brainwashing, she only ever came into being her own person after she killed me. I put a hand to my head, forgetting about the aliens for a moment, and trying to rub the guilt and ache out of my head.
Mum and Dad are talking about our itinerary for tomorrow. It's always something or other with them. Geez, THIS day isn't even over yet and they're planning the next. I never understood why they can never slow down enough to open their eyes and see that they're going in circles. I could see it though. We weren't moving. My family, most of my friends, content to stay exactly how and where they are. I mean there's nothing wrong with that, if it makes them happy. They're wonderful people. Really. But it's me. I'm not happy like this. Sometimes I feel like I'm suffocating, trapped in my bubble world. I look up at the stars and every different angle of light, every sparkle or blink, makes me wonder what's up there. It makes me ask myself why I'm still here. What do I want to do? I want to do something, I know that. I want to change something, make evidence that I ever existed. I want to see all I can and live all I can. Go to amazing places and meet fascinating people and make weird yet awesome memories. I even want to see the horrible places, I just want to feel something. Maybe I could even cause controversy somewhere. I don't know, I just feel like my world is too small for me. I know I could do so much.
I was thinking about all that, leaning on my arm against the table. That's when I saw him. He looked broken. That's the first thing I noticed the strangely dressed man leaning against the far wall. The look on his face almost made me want to cry. But I don't cry. I'm betting he doesn't either. I don't know where I'm getting this, but looking at him…it feels familiar, normal. In a good way. Like looking at a brother. One hand is jammed in his pocket-he stands like I do. Odd.
But it was more than the freaky similarity thing. I feel like...he needs something. I feel like I should help. Not the help with homework or tying your shoe kind of help, but like…he shouldn't be left alone. I don't know why at all, but the stressed look on his face seemed to be edged with something darker. I didn't know what it was, but I knew that if it ever became prevalent enough to be clear to me, than it would be too late. But mostly, he looked lonely. Like devastating-19th century-poet kind of lonely. Maybe he's like me, and just doesn't like to be left alone with his own thoughts. Sometimes my thoughts scare me too. So I got up.
I walked over to him, without my parents noticing I had stood up, and waited there in front of him for a full two minutes, waiting for him to notice. He didn't
"The bowtie and tweed is an odd choice, but I kind of like the suspenders," at the sound of my voice, he finally looked up from the ground.
Green-blue eyes looked up at me, startled. Old eyes, I noticed. I'd read enough in my school books about other planets inhabitants to know that some humanoid aliens can look much younger than they actually were. But still, the look in his eyes….no one could be that old.
"Oh," he just looked at me for a couple of seconds, "You're not another maid here to scold me, are you?" I couldn't tell if he was joking or not. But I could tell that he was using humor to hide something what he was actually feeling.
I cocked one eyebrow at him and gave him an 'Are you some kind of idiot' look, "Am I wearing a maid uniform?" I asked rhetorically. Sarcasm is kind of my thing.
He looked down at my clothes-red cocktail dress with a lower neckline than I'm comfortable with.
"Oh yes…I hadn't noticed the dress before…" he seemed like he was half-talking to me and half-talking to himself.
I laughed, "You're the first male tonight to have said that and actually meant it."
Honestly, the looks some men had given me creeped me out a bit. I'm not an idiot, I could feel their stares on me. And I'm not shy, I know I'm rather attractive…or so my best friend, Lena, tells me. It's flattering yes, but it still makes me kind of angry when guys hit on me. Like the just expect me to fall into their arms. Mental scoff.
He raised both eyebrows in a surprised expression that was remarkably similar to a five year old's, "The men, they were…." He looked around awkwardly, "looking at you?"
I rolled my eyes and laughed, his point of view is refreshing, "Well, yes, I am dressed rather….let's just say, my mom made me wear it. And suffice it to say, look is what men do when a woman is dressed like this."
He made an irritated face, "Yes, I know that," he snapped, "I've been around longer than you might think. Actually, definitely longer than you'd guess. But what I meant was…you're…what? 18? You do go by Earth years right? I mean you are human right?"
I laughed at his ramblings-he went from annoyed to awkard in three seconds. That's talent.
I grinned, "I'm 17 actually. And yes, I'm human. And judging from you having to ask and that look in your eyes earlier, I'm guessing you're not?"
He scrunched his eyebrows together and his crazy mop of chesnut hair fell into his eyes, he pushed it away and tweaked his bowtie. I'm guessing that's a nervous habit, "What look?" he asked as if I'd just asked him something incredibly confusing.
The smile dropped from my face, "When I first came over, you um, you were staring at something. Something in your mind, right? Well…you looked….tired. And I mean, I've read biology books and know that some aliens can look way younger than they are and….yeah, I'll shut up now."
Out of nowhere, he barked a laugh.
I crossed my arms, "It's not funny," I snapped.
He smiled warmly at me, "No, no. Not you. It's just…you remind me of a friend. She once told me that I ramble too when I'm nervous."
"I wasn't nervous…I just don't particularly like talking about personal stuff with people I don't know…or people I do know."
He laughed again then looked as if he'd realized something, "Hold on…we've been having a conversation and we don't even know each other's names yet."
I smirked; he was right, "Oh. Right," I chuckled, "I forgot. I'm Emmaline Rossdale," I stuck my hand out to him.
He gave me a weird look and I suddenly wondered if I was being too forward, but I ignored it. I'm always too forward.
Then he grinned wide and shook my hand, "I'm The Doctor. Nice to meet you, Emmaline."
I returned his smile and turned around, opting to lean against the wall with him, "So, you never said…if you're not human, what are you?"
He seemed struck by my boldness again. I have to remind myself to stop doing that, "You know, most people don't notice at first. That I'm not human. You're on intuitive girl, Emma."
My expression didn't change. I just looked at him, "If you'd hoped that compliment would make me forget my question, you were wrong."
He looked caught between annoyance and amusment, "You know, Emma, I could tell you. But you wouldn't believe me."
He shook his head and decided to just give in, "Well. What could it hurt? Actually, best not to ask that question. But if you really wanna know, fine. Time Lord."
I blinked. He had to be kidding, "What?" I asked dumbly.
He restrained what looked like it would be a sad smile, "I was born on Gallifrey, a long long time ago."
Ok, up until now I've liked this guy. But seriously? Was this some kind of stupid or cruel joke? I'd read about Gallifrey. It was my favorite planet in history class, strange considering the history of the Time Lords and the Time War is actually kinda taboo where I'm from. The Time Lords were the most intelligent race in the universe. Their planet was beautiful, with glittering silver trees and fire red grass and two huge suns in the sky. The Time Lords watched over us all, guarding time and protecting all realities. Notice the past tense. Because…all of them died. Every single one. In the Last Great Time War, with the Daleks. Stupid pepper pots. And Gallifrey had literally been locked out of time. No one can ever go back again. You now see why I think he's mental.
I shook my head, in a warning, "Stop. Right now. That is not funny."
By the time it took me to blink, the look in his eyes had changed drastically, his face hardened, and his eyes narrowed. That dangerous edge I'd sensed earlier. This is probably it. He looked so angry and heartbroken that I was too scared to speak again.
"No," he started quietly, "It isn't funny," he looked me straight in the eyes and the fire in his eyes shook something inside me just a little, "And Emmaline Rossdale, believe the next words that are about to come out of my mouth- NOT. lying. I am Gallifreyan. I'm a Time Lord. I'm the last of the Time Lords. This isn't a joke. And I'm assuming from your reaction that you've read about what happened to my people. I think about it every day. And I'm going to tell you something right now and you have to understand that I'm giving you a chance to leave if you don't want to be near me," he took a deep breath, "I know full well what happened to my people. Because I did it."
I stopped breathing.
I knew it. I knew there was….something about him. Something I just didn't…shouldn't know.
That's when it hit me. All those stories that I read when I was little-about a powerful wizard. They made me so curious; there was just something that entranced me about the idea. So I'd repeatedly ask my teachers to teach us about him. They refused. They told me it was just a fairytale, that it'd be best to forget it. But how could I forget it…when it's standing right in front of me?
I steeled my expression into a mask as I looked on at him and suddenly realized who he was. The Oncoming Storm. I wouldn't have guessed it when I first spotted him in his bowtie, but now….he looks the part. He was staring right into my eyes and I got the eerie feeling that he could see my soul…well he can read my thoughts, that much I already knew. But this was different; it was like he saw all the wrong I'd ever done and was telling me it was okay, because he'd done worse. It was like he saw all the good I'd ever done and he was smiling, because he'd done more and knew I was going in the right direction.
I swallowed and mustered all the courage I could, "I know who you are."
The words rang in the air, filling the intangible silence between us.
He furrowed his eyebrow, "You can't…."
I lifted my chin in a proud gesture, "I can," I defied, " You're Time Lord Victorious."
He looked scared of what I was about to say, like he wished I wouldn't.
"I always knew there was a section of my history books missing. You see, I love books, and I can tell when a story is left unfinished. The section on the Time War….I remember how it ended. It said 'the Daleks and the Time Lords were pinned in never-ending battle it seemed, inevitably destroying each other. But then it stopped. An explosion, the origins of which are unknown, destroyed everything. Everyone. The War and both planets were erased from time and that was the end.' But I never believed that, I thought it had to have a better explanation. Where did the explosion come from?...Now I know. And I'm guessing that's who you want me to believe you are. You're warning me against that side of yourself. But ya know what, Doctor? I read fairytales when I was little, lots of 'em. Do you know who my favorite character was in every one?... The wizard. No one ever knew who he was or where he went. But when they needed him, he was there, and then just as quickly, he was gone. He never asked to be thanked. And there were times in those stories…when he didn't….save them. The people, I mean… The books said he couldn't. They never said why, but they said he couldn't and it made him very sad. So yes, I know who you are. If my stories were true, then I know you. You save people, whenever you can. Probably because you feel bad. You've probably felt bad ever since you escaped your planet. And you try to make it go away, by helping. Because that's who I think you are. I know how Gallifreyan naming worked. You chose your title. You chose to be the Doctor. Why would you do that if you didn't want to help? And I saw your face when you didn't know I was looking-if you were evil, why would you look guilty? Those who are evil do not feel remorse. That's what makes them evil. But you do….so you're not. Evil."
I finished my little impromptu speech, realizing I'd been doing that thing where I get way too personal and talk too much.
But it didn't seem like that was what had struck him. He looked surprised. And slightly incredulous.
"Um, well…s'nice that you believe that."
And with that he turned around and started walking away to the door.
My eyebrows shot straight up. Seriously? I peg him dead on, and I'm feeling all awkward about it over here and he has the nerve to just leave?
"Are you going to admit I'm right or not?" I called after him, slightly louder than was appropriate, I realize in hindsight.
He stops. His back stiffens. He turns to me. And pauses, with a pensive look on his face.
"Emma….how'd you like to help me with something dangerous?"
I didn't bat an eye; helping him with danger was the reason I came over here after all.
I grinned, "What exactly would that be?"
His expression switched from doubtful to gleeful in two seconds. He grinned back infectiously," You're gone have to find out," he did a terrible impression of my American accent, which I promptly laughed at then gave an apologetic smile when he realized how horrible it was.
"I hope you're a fast runner, Emma."