Author's Note: Previously posted but now re-edited. I am currently in college and working, so please bear with me for chapters. After reviewing my outline for this story I have decided to change it to Doctor/OC. Also, please review if you can! Thank you!
- ECHOES IN TIME -
Chapter 1: Meeting John Smith
My name is Bella Finch, and this is the story of how I died.
Once, I was human, like you. I had a nice life, a nice job, a nice boyfriend, and a nice career ahead of me.
Then, I met the Doctor...
I remember the day I first met the Doctor.
Well, technically the first.
It was New Year's night, and I remember going outside to have a look at the stars. Before going out, I wrapped myself up in three layers of sweaters, two layers of jeans, and three layers of my favorite pairs of white long-socks.
A week before, I and my boyfriend, Demetri, had moved into flat number forty-seven of the Powell Estate, a few days after Christmas. Our families hadn't been too happy about that, but it had been our dream to finally move to England...and here we were, with our own flat in London. We even had a nice neighbor from the flat next door, Mrs. Jackie Tyler, bestow us a fruitcake as a housewarming gift.
Demetri had decided to go to bed early. He was trying to get used to a new sleep cycle, as well as recovering from a pretty nasty bout of the flu. I, however, couldn't sleep. We'd both normally had been natural night owls, and my insomnia and boredom drove me outside.
Donning my white Converse sneakers, I shuffled outside, a folding-chair bag eased over my bundled shoulder, and headed downstairs to set up in the middle of the deserted Estate. A fresh layer of snow blanketed the concrete below, and as I trudged through it, my heated breath curled into tendrils of smoke. As I unfolded the chair and eased into it, I leaned back, tipping my head up to gaze at the stars...or, rather, the smoky night sky. Sighing, I realized that London was too smoggy to see anything in the night sky, much less stars.
"It's a shame."
Spooked, I jumped out of my seat, swiveling around to see who was there.
There stood a tall, slim man, dressed in a dark brown suit with blue pinstripes, a tan trenchcoat...and white Chuck Taylors.
I stared at him, wide-eyed, but his eyes were focused on the sky.
"There are so many stars up there," he added, wistfully, "So many worlds yet to explore...so many adventures waiting to happen. And humans are just beginning to see a tiny glimpse of what's out there."
I studied him, not sure how to respond. His gaze flicked to meet mine, and his gaze was so intense that it made me uncomfortable. My first impulse was to turn away from this stranger's stare, but I managed to meet his eyes for a few moments before succumbing to it.
He was handsome, to be sure. Friendly, and most definitely sober, check. Charming? Oh, yes.
However, there was something in his gaze that seared into me as soon as our eyes met...it tore into the seat of my soul, bringing up something deep, and painful, that I couldn't quite explain.
I glanced back at him...cautious, but expectant.
"Oh, forget I said anything. You wouldn't be interested anyways," the stranger said, his tone slightly teasing, "I'm just an old soul...speaking of which, I'm probably too old for you." He paused as he looked me over, his eyebrows knitting. "Definitely too old for you."
"I love old things," I said, out of the blue, "They make me feel..." ...what was the word?..."...sad."
"What's good about sad?" the stranger asked.
"It's happy for deep people," I replied, oddly sure of my own words. They felt familiar on my tongue, a memory from someplace forgotten - but where?
Suddenly, he doubled over, a pained grunt coming from his mouth as he clutched his abdomen.
"Are you alright?" I asked, concerned.
"Yeah," he managed to say, still hunched. I began moving to help him, before one of his arms shot up.
"Don't," he rasped, "Don't come any closer."
"Did you...did you get food poisoning, maybe?" I ventured, saying the first thing that came to my mind as I watched his hands clench around his stomach area. Thank God we were outside, because from the looks of it, this poor fellow was about to retch any second all over the snow.
"Something like that," he mumbled. He stumbled a bit as his free arm flailed, trying to help keep his balance. After a few seconds, he seemed to stabilize himself, stretching up his figure to stand firmly on both feet.
"Are you...are you alright to walk, sir?"
"Yeah," he dismissed, his face scrunching up, "Yeah, I'll be fine."
From the veiled tone of his voice, I could tell he was most likely bluffing, but he looked to be fine at the moment. Better to help him now than just leave him to the elements, especially since he wasn't dressed up so thickly...
"I think you should head home," I suggested, "Y'know...ride out whatever it is."
"Yeah," he murmured, his eyes downcast.
"Oh, don't be sad," I quipped, proffering a wide smile. "It's New Year's Day! A time for new beginnings. To turn over a new leaf. Stuff like that. Cheer up, mate!"
"Yeah," he mumbled, "I guess you're right."
Pausing, he looked at me for a few, long moments...his , to me, seemed almost wistful, as his eyes seemed to (uncomfortably) focus on my face, as though he were apt to forget it.
"Trouble remembering faces?" I queried.
"Not exactly," he replied softly, smiling sadly, "Two strangers, probably never to meet again...one can never revisit a moment like this. You're one of the few people I've met who are brilliant. Truly brilliant."
"Thank you, sir," I replied, pleasantly flattered, "I'm smart, all right...but I dunno if I'm quite brilliant."
"Oh, you don't know how brilliant you are!" the stranger exclaimed, sounding genuinely happy for the first time since we'd spoken. He was smiling from ear to ear, and I couldn't help but return his smile, feeling my mood uplifted by his sudden change of attitude.
Then, he frowned, looking at me curiously.
"What year is it?"
That question of his caught me off-guard, and I found myself staring blankly at him.
"Um..." I began, "...2005? January 1st?"
"Blimey!" he muttered under his breath, "2005...there you are. I bet you're going to have a really great year."
"Yeah?" I inquired, intrigued by his surety as I ventured to meet his eyes again. Unlike before, they were brimming with enthusiasm, yet still bore a sort of sad look to them, as the stranger and I looked at each other for what seemed like an eternity.
Finally, he broke the silence with a nod.
Just then, his face blanched, his face twisted, and he let out a groan of pain.
"I better...get going," he said through clenched teeth.
"Yeah," I affirmed, "Better get back to your house while you can still stand. You sure you don't need any help...?"
"No!" the man nearly cried, then added lowly, "I don't want to get you...sick."
"Oh!" I said. Maybe he had stomach flu, and needless to say, I didn't want to catch it after the last time I had it. One hospitalization for severe dehydration was enough for me. "S'alright then...have a safe trip home, then. I really hope you feel better."
Smiling, his face etched with pain, the man began to limp off.
"Wait!" I called suddenly, and he turned, arching an eyebrow. "What's your name?"
"Smith," he yelled back, "John Smith!"
With that, he went out of earshot and around the corner of the Powell Estate, back towards the highway.
Disclaimer: Doctor Who and all related literary characters are © 2012 to the BBC. This is an unauthorized work of fiction, and should not be regarded as canon or real in any way. Echoes in Time, all unrelated characters, including Bella "Bip" Finch, are © 2012 to me, and are not be used in any other works of fanfiction not authorized or written by me without my permission.