Hi, everyone! This story attempts to narrate the most important childhood memories of the Doctor and each of his companions, and how those events shaped who they would become later on. I hope you all enjoy! The first one is the Doctor's, and the next one will be Rose.
Doctor: The Dreams That Are Real
Sometimes, little boys who get it all wrong turn out to be right.
"Please let that be true?"
He was a rogue; he like that word, rogue; rolled right off his tongue and sounded undeniably clever. Probably.
He'd long since been told to stop second-guessing himself but he still did it, every time.
Theta Sigma. Oh, what a tragedy that young Time Tot was, they'd say, wouldn't they? He always heard them talking about him, because he was the naughty one—he'd sneak around the back of the garden and listen in on their conversations. He was always in trouble for one reason or another. He didn't like sleeping in the house because he was afraid of the other boys and the monsters that snarled in his dreams; ever since he looked into the Void he'd seen them, and they never left him alone when he was in the dark.
The stars he could see called to him and so did stars beyond them, stars from planets he'd never see or hear of. Wouldn't he? Did anyone else hear the stars calling? Well, Koschei did sometimes, but then again, Koschei always was one for ditching him at the last minute whenever they made plans. He never really tattled on Theta, but he did have a mysterious way of disappearing when his best friend was about to get in trouble.
Theta just wished Koschei was scared like he was, of the monsters. Then maybe he wouldn't have to spend the nights alone in the freezing barn, all by himself. It really wasn't very nice, and they all teased him about it when he stayed inside and found himself crying.
One night, he was cold and very alone. The caretakers had come in the barn to talk about him and call him in. They thought he was a coward. Well, he was.
He heard the voice and hidden under his blanket and cried and shoved the blanket in his mouth to make himself be quiet but it didn't work, so he decided he'd had enough.
His spindly boyish legs swung over the side and feet hit the straw, shifting over the layer of dust beneath. He was going to find that monster. He was going to thrash it grind it to a pulp and make sure it never bothered him again. He was going to—
Icy fingers wrapped around his ankle.
He froze, breath hitched in his chest. The nails dug into his dry skin. He'd never felt so afraid. Hearts hammered bum bum bum bum! Bum bum bum bum!
Should he scream? Should he run back to the house? (Suddenly it didn't seem so scary; not as scary as this!). Should he cry, because he felt like crying. He had been crying. Now he really wanted to. Should he wrench his leg free and stomp on the hand as hard as he could and kill it, whatever it was? That's what a Time Lord would do.
"S' okay," it whispered.
He started, but not enough to feel the fingers move. They stayed, gripping tightly, cold against the tiny hairs on his leg. "This is just a dream."
The voice was quiet, still, not screaming and growling at him like in his other dreams. And the fingers felt real, like flesh.
"Just lie back again," the voice came again. "Just lie back on the bed. It'll all be okay if you just lie down, and go to sleep."
His hearts didn't slow, but he considered moving. Just sitting back on the bed, lifting his legs back up, ignoring the hand like it wasn't there. But if it was really only a dream, how come he, Theta Sigma the future Time Lord, was so scared of it?
"He'll never make a Time Lord…"
"Just do that for me," the voice grew a little louder. "Just sleep."
He had to trust it. He had no choice. He lifted his dusty feet from the ground and tucked them back under the blankets, shaking all the while. He felt the tears return as he grabbed his blanket and threw it back over his head, leaving nothing more than a little bit of his head poking out the top. Maybe this dream wasn't anything to be afraid of, after all. Maybe it was everything else that he was afraid of. He'd never make a Time Lord.
"Listen." The voice was closer this time, right by the edge of his bed. Those fingers, now seeming a bit warmer than they had before, touched his forehead with their tips. He kept his eyes hidden, but they were wide open as he stopped trying to stifle his continued sobbing. "This is just a dream," she repeated, her voice growing louder now. "But, very clever people can hear dreams, so just listen. I know you're afraid, but being afraid is all right."
What? Nobody had ever told him that before. He unconsciously leaned into her touch as he felt her stroke his hair again.
"Because didn't anybody ever tell you?"
"No," he wanted to say.
"Fear is a superpower." she whispered in his ear. "Fear can make you faster, and cleverer, and stronger. One day, you're going to come back to this barn. And on that day, you're going to be very afraid indeed. But that's okay."
He felt his hearts surge, even as he continued to tremble. For a dream, she was nicer than any of the real people he knew. But she continued.
"Because," she finished, "if you're very wise, and very strong, fear doesn't have to make you cruel or cowardly." She bent down, very close, to whisper, her warm breath wafting over his chilly ears. "Fear can make you kind."
He couldn't have repeated anything she said, but the warmth of her voice echoed through his small mind. He snuggled deeply under the blankets. Vaguely, he realized he'd stopped crying. Barely hearing the creak of her shoes on the ladder, he felt his eyes begin to close.
And when he drifted off, it was to the most wonderful sound he'd ever heard in his life: the brakes of a time ship, making music on each other just for him, as she hesitated halfway between the universe of her Thief and another, stranger, bigger one that lay beyond.