eloriekam: (Doctor (Nine) Dances by timelord1)
[personal profile] eloriekam
Title: Whispers from a Black Hole: Looked
Author: [personal profile] eloriekam/[livejournal.com profile] eloriekam
Rating: Teen
Characters: Nine, Rose
Disclaimer: I'm afraid Nine comes back from this outing a bit worse for the wear--good thing the BBC owns him, eh?
Word Count: ~1100
Author's Notes: This is along the same general lines as this fic. It's also my first time writing non-cracky Nine, so I really hope he doesn't sound too Ten-like as he's perceiving Bad Wolf. Written August 2013. Some dialogue is reproduced from S1 episodes, including Parting of the Ways.


He stood there, waiting, peaceful. It was all quiet for a moment, and quieter still inside him. A coward, every time, and now the Daleks would kill him, as he had killed everything.

"I watched it happen! I made it happen!"

There was no way out, now. Jack and a few brave souls were being killed below, giving him time to construct the delta wave he'd never activate. He'd sent the TARDIS back with Rose. She was back in her time. Safe. He'd promised.

An impossible sound impinged on his ears. Impossible and terrible, he'd not wanted his TARDIS to become prisoner or weapon for the Daleks, to be bound in by their mad Emperor.

A moment later, something still more impossible stabbed through the void in his head, whipping through the barriers against madness and shining relentlessly, golden-yellow and infinite and loving and something he'd not quite seen before. He turned around, and the doors opened, and unbound light spilled out. It filled his head, all chance and luck and possibilities.

He looked into the Untempered Schism again, long ago, and ran. This time, he shrank away, cowering, and raised his arms, futilely trying to ward off on the physical plane something that only mattered in Time. It crashed through him, would crash through him, had crashed through him. His silent insanity, grief for his people, that scabbed-over wound in his mind, became open, unbearable, shattering and reforming in an instant. Everything he could see but chose not to pressed at him: worlds spinning and burning and dying and being born.

The Vortex, in a physical form. Time burned, and it would burn away at any and every vessel that hadn't been made for it. That physical form... Rose, and yet not. All that humanity, squabbling little apes with their kind hearts, with so much Time.

She'd made the TARDIS less lonely, took away the unbearable isolation, and now she'd taken the Vortex, looked into the TARDIS. He was their Doctor, and they wanted to save him. That form now held more power than he had, when he'd ended it all, into a drowning vacuum of agony.

He stumbled back and lost his footing. He was the Doctor. He'd always run, if he could.

Oh, his head. It was too much. He'd locked it all up because it was too bloody quiet and now it felt like half the universe was running their laundry through in his head. But Rose... he'd promised.

Bad Wolf. The phrase that wasn't a phrase, that they'd seen so many times in so many places, and with golden-Vortex-Bad Wolf-Rose clamoring in his head, so loud he couldn't even feel the scars of silence, he knew they weren't finished seeing it. They would run into it again.

The Vortex, Time, with enough of her, enough of both of her, to focus on him. She wanted to save him. If he didn't stop her, he might break a promise that made him hate the universe a little less.

"I want you safe. My Doctor." She'd looked, seen something--it didn't matter what, really--critical about the Daleks and the Time War.

"I'm the only survivor."

Everything changed in the room. The Emperor had challenged an entity too powerful for any of them, and now things ended, strands connected to her will spiraling and split, further and further. She grew in his head, tumult resolving to a purpose, saving him from the moment.

Impossible, infinite time where young Jack had given himself up, but that was too much for him to think about right now.

It all turned around. He could see himself resuming, not ended here, but the Bad Wolf held so much power and time and he could see her starting to burn.

Control over life and death, over everything. She could see everything. She saw what he could see, all the time, had seen for hundreds of years longer than he would admit to anyone.

His little human had looked, had merged with Time. Now the physical form stood before him, the mental form howling and calling through every atom of his emptiness. The Bad Wolf understood him, understood what he saw, all the burdens and insanity that came with it.

He could have companionship again, on a level that humans could never provide, much as he liked them when they weren't being stupid, silly apes. He could have someone to talk to, there, and to feel, and be felt in return. It would be on a level more concrete and consciously accessible than the TARDIS.

For how long?

He could change time's perception and passage, but so could she, now. The Vortex was burning away already, as ruthless and pure as Omega's creation.

He had stopped thinking about running. They were a match, in this moment.

For how long after this moment?

He could be almost whole again, for a tiniest fraction of Time, but lose her. He'd faced that, before.

It was too much for both of them, would be too much. It was starting to really affect her, and he couldn't and wouldn't run, but cowardice made him stall an extra moment.

He missed other people in his head. He'd hardly dare to speak of missing other people, but he did.

Silence for her life. It was a fair trade, more than fair. The Bad Wolf was slowly burning, but she still howled her power to the universe and the universe listened.

"I think you need a Doctor."

The Vortex was soundless in him, without physical form and the unique combination of entities that had made Bad Wolf to save him. He took more of it, and felt golden agony sparking along his neurons, matched with Rose's potentials restoring.

She had to stop him from dying.

He had to stop her from dying.

The Vortex swallowed him, mismatched with his biology, and his mind went silent again.

He knew what would happen next. The shock had near enough killed him, last time. It wasn't as bad this time, but he was just that little bit too physical to handle Time and the Vortex both without burning up, eventually. He couldn't handle both of them. Pity he'd not really explained, but he'd never been any good at it.

Her possibilities were restored, flaring and flowering around her like her name. So happy, so hurt.

It was a bit of a shame about this body, but at least this time the shock was for a good reason.

A fantastic reason. This time, he wanted to live.
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