eloriekam: (Doctor (Ten) Ood by jordansavas)
[personal profile] eloriekam
Title: New Face, Old Ghosts, Vast Wardrobe (2/3)
Author: [personal profile] eloriekam/[livejournal.com profile] eloriekam
Rating: Teen
Characters: Twelve, Clara (SPOILERS for Twelve casting)
Disclaimer: Not mine, no money.
Summary: He's still not much good after regenerating, but he might be better at picking what this face will usually wear... assuming he can get over the shock of his face, and avoid some garments he hasn't seen for a few bodies, and doesn't want to see again.
Word Count: 1815
Author's Notes: I'm still not sure why I keep getting the urge to write Twelve, but the second scene here is one I think we as fans kind of expect (though it did go on for a while--sorry about that, but they kept going on and on), and I'm not sure we'll get that scene. The foreign phrases were obtained with Google Translate and Freelang. And I'm posting this before I completely lose my nerve. There's some Oncoming Storm in this chapter--he just showed up and wouldn't go away. There also classic series references-enjoy. ;-)

Part 1: Dreamwidth/LiveJournal


Three days, four hours, and some minutes later, he becomes aware of himself again. He knows he existed in the interim, because he could hear the TARDIS, but he gets a bit distracted from the minutes and seconds and so on because he's in a short gown, and it takes him five whole seconds of sheer terror before realizing he's still safe on his ship and his clothes must be a bit of a joke from the TARDIS.

Three days.... blimey, quite a mess this time. He blinks awake, and looks around.

"Oh," he absently mutters in response to the TARDIS answering his fumbled query. Slowly, he sits, reaching for a glass and draining it carefully, then stands and peels off the gown and looks down. Everything seems to be there, though this body will most assuredly not be mistaken for someone who ought to be wearing the local school uniform. One of the teachers, maybe, but not a student. Actually, he can think of a few exceptions, but he quite wants to put some clothes on and see what this face looks like, so he wanders slowly down the corridor.

It's after he passes the fourth spot in the wardrobe room that he knows ought to hold a mirror that he stops and puts his hands on his hips.

"What are you doing?" He shakes his head. "Now, stop it. Oi, you can't keep me from seeing this face forever, and why would you possibly care what I look like? Are you worried I'm going to stop calling you Sexy if I see my face? Do you not think I can perhaps see, even in my admittedly rather addled post-regenerative state, that this body is starting out older than one I've had for a while? No, I don't bloody care if I look ridiculous with my hands on my hips while I'm naked. Now, could you please show me a mirror before Clara wakes up and starts looking for me?"

If he didn't know better, he could have sworn the sound she made at him was indigestion. But a mirror is now visible ahead.

"Thank you," he mutters, and steps toward it. "You're worse than the first time I broke your chameleon circuit."

Another low rumble. He rolls his eyes and almost trips. Perhaps he should have stayed in bed a bit longer.

He agrees with the TARDIS as soon as he looks into the mirror.

"No. Oh, no. What did I do that for? It was a rhetorical question, shush." He closes his eyes and searches for still-active glimmerings of change, but it's too late. Not that he'd ever been able to manage that sort of thing, in any case, but he suspected if he'd still been able to he would have taken the risk this time. This is really quite strange, even for him.

"Why?" He looks at the face in the mirror. He's seen that face crumple in terror and stare in amazement. "Exactly," he mutters. "Remarkable. I suppose it must be a vague temporal imprint echo. And I'll have to try a toga on first." He pokes at his nose, sighs at his hair, and suddenly frowns, his wild brows drawing together. "Oh. Oh, no. Jack is going to kill me. I am definitely not going to be able to explain this very well." Worn fingers massage his brow, and he looks another time, hesitantly. Guilt is running through the pale eyes staring back at him, and he knows he couldn't, he knows, but the deconstruction and ultimate devastation of the human whose face he now bears destroyed Jack more effectively than the Daleks had, so long ago.

It takes him some time to realize he's sitting down, and he almost grumbles at the TARDIS again before realizing she's keeping him warm, singing louder than usual.

He really ought to tell Jack, now, before he might actually run into him. With his luck, he'd manage to land the TARDIS just after, or even during, and be caught out too far away from her to explain to Jack before the Captain rightfully lost his temper.

Jack Harkness is absolutely going to kill him. Which would solve the issue, admittedly, but he's truly, honestly, not sure what's going to happen next time, and he's tempted to look, but it just hurts his head when he thinks about it.

He really ought to tell Jack. How? He's got all the technology of the TARDIS at his fingertips, so he could send a message, easily enough. Or, he's fairly certain Martha's mobile is still rattling around somewhere.

He could send Jack a text! Brilliant! It could read, 'Hello, Jack. I've regenerated looking like someone who ordered your assassination. Please don't shoot me on sight. Love, the Doctor.'

Yes, that would go over extremely well. Furthermore, there was no possible way that the message could ever be misdirected, because his life was absolutely a straight line.

Even the TARDIS makes a snorting sound at that level of sarcasm.

He's also starting to think he might be a bit out of sorts still, because he's been traveling with other people long enough to know that wandering around the TARDIS naked, even if it counts as walking around his home naked, is going to be seen just a bit oddly, or perhaps very oddly.

Clothes. Yes. Clothes, that's what he needs. He pushes himself up to standing, and makes some faces in the mirror, running his hands through it and making himself look a bit madcap, then starts exploring.

He absently holds a spacesuit up to himself, then another type. Hmm. That might possibly be a bit much? Plus, the helmets would probably echo. And the helmets might break, which was annoying, and in all honesty he does not want to think about a broken helmet just now. It was all swirling around, still.

When he finds the scarf a few minutes later--somehow, he always finds the scarf when he's doing this, unless he has to steal, err, borrow, someone's clothes because he's away from the TARDIS--he wraps it around his hips just in case Clara comes looking for him unexpectedly.

The TARDIS calls him an idiot. He mutters something about spare parts at her, and keeps searching. Almost an hour later, he's sure it's not a coincidence that he had to check every level and a few nooks and crannies of the wardrobe room to find it all. He does look quite marvellous, standing in front of the mirror, all gold and red with braces and a link necklace.

His eyes pass over something purple, and he realizes there's one thing this outfit is missing: pockets. He really needs more than one, just for the sleight of hand, and he's not even entirely certain there's one pocket. He catches a glimpse of ginger out of the corner of his eye, then red leather, bright yellow, a swimsuit, his wrist braces but not his, a schoolboy's tie, some old girl's jumpers, a white dress, and wraps his arms around the nearest support, dripping tears onto his ship, before peeling off the outfit almost manically and looking at the clothes again.

Reluctantly, he at last picks up a waistcost and tosses it over one shoulder, but only because it's the third time he's gone by the same one. Pairs of shoes keep appearing in his path, and he finally toes one set in approval, then kicks it down to a lower level.

The TARDIS presses against him.

"I'm not worried," he mutters at her. "I'm not. That entire timeline was probably swallowed up in the War, or some other war. There's nothing to worry about."

Hmmm, she says, and he hears her say 'hello' again.

"Dirty," he grumbles, stalking to the lowest level. "Oi, stop it." There is immediately an air of innocence around him.

The clothes used to be different, just a few momentss ago. He's quite sure of that... regeneration hasn't left him quite that barmy.

He's about to yell at the TARDIS, and not only out of anger, when he realizes she didn't do this. He didn't either, so he's not quite sure who, exactly, issued the command for her equations to produce this, but by Rassilon, it's terribly not funny.

Finally, he pulls one of the offending outfits off the rack and furiously yanks it on, hands trembling. Black robe with silver lining, and a broad black collar, also edged with silver. Not his house or chapter colors, not any house or chapter colors he would ever acknowledge, but he knows this. His hands take, almost without volition, a close-fitting black cap and tug it onto his head, and he looks in the mirror.

"No," he hisses. "No. I will not. Not this. I won't, not now or ever. That is gone."

A vision of nightmares stares back at him. It's not identical, but this... no.

"I've faced you," he snarls. "I faced you then, and I face you now, and you cannot have me, offset in darkness. The Time War must have turned you to ash, you slanderous coward. You wouldn't have even been able to run, as the Master did, because you wouldn't have even had the courage to use the Arch. I blazed, and I did again, and I looked into the pit of darkness that was my world, had been, and you weren't even a speck against everything there. I've already gone mad, uncaring. I've already been broken, broken Time, taken all of my darkness and focused it and become the black hole at the core itself and made the choice to kill them all again, and you cannot possibly compare to that." He pulls off the cap and clenches his fists around it, tearing it apart, then leans forward, snarling at his reflection that he doesn't trust is only a reflection. "Do you hear me? I killed them all, I ended it, twice over, and your paltry little game of my lives isn't even child's play compared to what I've done. I ended it all and brought it back and I've watched a young father with his son and I've watched a mother lose a daughter and meet her again and failed to save the same face twice and failed one of my best friends and destroyed those I love most and I am telling you now and for all of time and space: this is not yours and you have no idea what you're up against now, so BEGONE!"

The Doctor tears at the collar and robes, pulling them off frantically, and suddenly everything blurs, clearing to show him standing naked in front of the mirror, the clothes around him a reassuring motley of styles from dozens of worlds. Breathing hard, he grabs the closest item and buries his face in it for a long time.

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