Rating: I have no idea how to rate this. Let's say "PG-13 for themes". But if the two above lines sound icky to you, don't read, 'k?
Word Count: 750
Spoilers: Rise of the Cybermen, Parting of the Ways, the big spoiler for the background of the new series that everyone knows by now.
Disclaimer: The BBC owns all. But I pay my licence fee, so ... (Yeah, that argument's not going to fly, is it?)
Summary: The TARDIS's POV during the opening scenes of Rise.
Author's Note: Inspired by This (minorly spoilery for Rise) post on doctorwho. My first reaction was "he's always doing that". My second reaction was "wait, this is my OTP, it should bother me more than it does you". My third reaction was, well, this. I'm going to the special hell. Without passing GO.
They are laughing, remembering the places she has taken them. But that is not what she is thinking about. There are many benefits to a non-linear consciousness. Some are huge, almost gross: reaching back into the past to plant the seeds of her own actions, a creation ex nihilo that is only a paradox for those forced to perceive it in one direction. Some are more subtle: being able to think about things before they happen. She is thinking about his punishments.
They are a sign of love, of being needed. She knows that. He only hits her when she let him down, when she needs to be reminded that he needs her. He gives her what she needs to bring her into line, to make her do what she yearns to do anyway.
She is his, utterly. The only true constant in his life, now more than ever. He needs her to be that, to be ever reliable, ever the same. In one of their games, he pretends he wants her to change her appearance. Once, during an unstable, unhappy time for him, he had pushed the game so far that she had made a couple of landings in other guises. But he had quickly pulled back from the brink, as she'd known he would.
And he is hers. Hers to love, hers to serve, hers to transport. She would go anywhere for him, do anything. Absorb explosions, again and again and again. Go into exile with him. Tear herself apart to keep his timeline pure. Sacrifice her sisters, every last one. Even share herself with another more completely than she ever can with him.
She had known he was special from the beginning, nine centuries and as many bodies ago, on a planet that no longer existed except as the dream of an idea. She had perceived that he was not like the others, that he would use her as she needed to be used, unleash her full potential. With every landing, she could create a new universe, different -- better -- than the one that had been there before. And yet the makers who had imbued her with such power specifically forbad its use.
He has stripped her so many times, rebuilding her physically and psychically (as if there was a difference) from the inside out until her mighty, eldritch heart beat within a body that thrilled to his every command, his every encouraging caress, and yes, his every thump and kick. He has taken her parts away on a whim, and forced new ones into her in dire emergencies.
And he has shared her, with all the many mayflies that flutter in and out of her doors. She has reached into their minds and given them all they needed to be able to live in his beautiful, terrible world of wonder and magic. She has even shown them how to use her, bridged the gap between intention and action to help them help her help him. But when they leave, or die, as they all eventually must, she is still there for him. She always will be.
The very latest of them, the human male, is even now being inducted into a relationship too subtle for him to grasp. They are weighing him up, calibrating how he factors into their equation. She thinks he might be a kindred spirit, but she is not sure whose. He held her down for far longer than was necessary, but only because he hadn't been told not to. Which of them did that make him closest to?
But more, so much more than anything else, she was his ship. She took him where he needed to go; she took him where he was needed. Even if that was somewhere she could not go herself -- a universe beyond the one it was in her power to sculpt, to recreate ...
She plunged through-- into-- beyond--
There was a gap -- a timeless, spaceless interval of utter unconsciousness. A period impossible to measure where she was, effectively, dead.
And after that interval:
She felt his foot against her console. Kicking her, reminding her that he needed her. And because she had been thinking about this before it happened, she was ready to respond.
The human male was there too: "Did that help?"
"Did that hurt?"
Her Doctor understood her. Her Doctor needed her. And that was all she needed to keep going.
In an insignificant circuit, a tiny vestige of her greater self began to glow.