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Borrowed Time (1-3)

Title: Borrowed Time
Fandom:Doctor Who
Beta:The lovely Dracox Serdriel
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Night of the Doctor
Characters: Eighth Doctor, Cass, The TARDIS
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or these characters, no profit was made from this work.
Summary: Her name left his lips like a prayer, they both knew her actions was their salvation, but would she take it or let them burn.
A/N: This is my first venture into the Who fandom (for writing) I’m extremely anxious, please be gentle. This is also the introduction to the “Borrowed Time” series, the adventures we could have had.

EDIT: I reposted the prologue in this now that it’s beta’d



There was no way out, and death was seconds away. Though most of him was ready to die, after all the pain and all the loss, he couldn’t let go. There was still a spark of life within him ready to explore the universe. He couldn’t be alone anymore; he needed Cass. He saw something in her that he had seen in everyone he had taken with him. Granted, she hated him so much that she preferred death, but he couldn’t let this end like this.

Closing his eyes to clear his mind, each passing moment slowed to his command. It was something he did not enjoy doing. From the other side of the deadlocked chamber, Cass let out a hard sob as she felt the weight of time slowing. It passed through the ship like one, solitary heartbeat.

“Why? Why are you doing this to me? Just let me die,” her voice was broken as his hearts, and his pain only grew as she doubled over, sinking to her knees. She shoved herself into a tiny corner; sobs ripping out of her in such anguish that he knew words were useless, though he was going to try.

He had never seen a human so afraid of him, and it cut deeper than he thought it could. Knowing her tears and pain were because she found him, because he was there.

He found his voice finally and called to her. “Cass, I’m giving us a few more moments…open the door.”

“I don’t want to see you! Even if I did, I want to see you burn!” she could barely get the snarl out through her sob.

He tried to sonic the door to no avail. He felt his hold on time waning. Then he remembered one key thing. He could contact her mind; he could reach her there. Of course, she would be absolutely against it, and he didn’t like to force himself into the mind of another. But there was no time.

Drawing one, slow breath, he reached for Cass’s mind. This was different than any meld before due to her hatred for his people. The walls she built were strong and thick. He knew barging in was not the way to reach to her. Instead, he decided to show her what a life traveling with him could offer.

He sent her images of what he had been doing over the last years. All the lives he tried to save and all those he lost. He projected his sorrow for the blood shed and his love of the human race. His need to explore and save, it was his nature. Then he began to project the places he would take her, all the places they would have gone…could have gone. The running, the adventure, the wonder.

Her sobs became louder, and he realized she had climbed to her feet and placed her hand on the door. “Please…”

“Just open the door, I’ll save you,” he pleaded for what he hoped was the last time.

She hung her head, and he could feel the pain in every fiber of her being. Half of her screamed that she would rather burn while her other half wanted to travel as she always had. His offer gave her all she ever wanted at the price of betraying all those she loved who died cursing the name of the Time Lords and the Daleks and the War.

“Cass…” her name left his lips like a prayer. They both knew her actions were their salvation.

The breeze of the deadlock opening hit his face, and he almost fell to his knees to worship her.

“You may have to carry me. I don’t think I can make this last step on my own.” Her voice was thick and strangled.


The wear of holding time back began to strain him, and with the last ounce of his strength, he hurled them into the TARDIS. Thankfully, she knew they needed to run. As his vision blurred and his conscience left him, he heard the engines whir to life.

-1-
Leap of Faith

When the Doctor awoke, Cass was lying at his side, curled in fetal position, and shaking in her sleep. As he stood up, he shrugged off his jacket and placed it over her. Once she stopped trembling and sighed softly in her sleep, he took a step away from her. He crossed to the TARDIS console, to look at her screens. She was not pleased. She knew he was meant to perish and was living on borrowed time.

“I know, I know,” he said, trying to sooth the TARDIS. “But do you want me to die just yet?”

The cool sensation of her energy swirled through him, as if saying of course not. He smiled, knowing she’d say that.

As he heard Cass begin to stir, he leaned on the console, waiting on her reaction to their escape. She stood cautiously, letting his coat hit the floor without a second thought.

“So it wasn’t a dream.”

“No, we’re safe.”

Her eyes wandered around the room, taking in the sight. Slowly she approached him with hesitation in each step, as if he would attack if she got too close. He stood still, waiting, willing to give her all the time she needed. After all, time was what they had now. Finally, she came toe to toe with him, and he didn’t flinch as her hand came across his face. It wasn’t unexpected, given her anger at the Time Lords, and he didn’t blame her.

Tears glazed her eyes. He saw so many emotions sweep through her, and none of them were remotely happy. Sure there was relief, but that was as close as she got. He vowed, he would bring her joy no matter what it took.

She stalked around the council. “This is a TARDIS. Stories are true.”

“Which?”

He could see her jaw rivet as her teeth came down together. “Does it matter?”

“Sure. Each TARDIS is different. This is mine, and she is one of a kind.”

A hard scoff left Cass’s mouth. “She?”

“Can’t you feel it? Sense that feminine…almost maternal feeling?”

When Cass fell silent, he knew she couldn’t deny his words, instead she growled out. “I need a shower. The last thing I thought of this morning was that I would need to shower now that I’m not dying. I would like one.” Her eyes raked over him. “Seems you could use one, too. When was the last time you bathed?” her voice was scathing, but he didn’t mind. Honestly, he couldn’t answer her. He’d been too consumed in during the rescue to even think about it.

“Very well then, come along,” he offered, tuning on his heel and heading for one of the corridors. “Do stay close, the TARDIS is well aware your opinion of me, my kind and her. She will not take it lightly and may intentionally make you lose your way. She is infinite.”

He noticed, with a small smirk, that Cass walked closer. He lead her to a spacious bathroom, and she let out a breath of awe. There were multiple vanities and showers, something she had no had access to on the gun ship, though there were no curtains, just a short stalls. That did not deter her. At the sounds of Cass disrobing quickly behind him, his eyes grew wide. She sprinted for the shower.

Steam rose from the water that poured on her, and he swore he heard her laugh. It was soft and breathy and a welcome sound. Apparently, she was not as self conscious as the other humans he had known in his life because she had no problem calling to him.

“So…this traveling then…when and where do we start given we’re on borrowed time?” she asked.

He met her gaze. “Anywhere and anytime you like, are you ready to take that leap of faith and consider yourself my companion?”

“Give me time,” she snapped.

A soft chuckle left his lips, “That’s all we have right now.”

-2-
Terror in the Night

His screams filled the darkness around him; it was all he could hear. It was even louder than his own heartbeat. Heartbeat. One solitary heart.

No.

No. No. No.

His mind raced, this cannot happen again. How, how could his heart fail? It was not like before, when it was removed. He knew the organ was there, but it did not pump or flow.

No.

An almost animalistic scream left his throat as he slammed his fists into his chest, urging the failed heart to start.

No. No. No.

No.

This cannot be happening again.

“Doctor!” echoed through the darkness. Cass was coming to him. Instead of her gunnery armor, she wore a white gown, which was practically glowing in the darkness. He wearily thought she looked like a goddess. He felt his tears course down his face as she went fell to her knees in front of him.

“Doctor.”

She peered up at him with such a quiet and thoughtful look, very not like Cass. If anything, she was rage and energy, never quiet. It hit him in that moment: she held no fear. On this planet, in this spell of absolute terror, and with her worst nightmare coming true, she felt nothing.

Anger began to flow through him at the thought. How could she be in such a state? All other companions would have succumb, would have been a wreck like him. But not her.

“Why?” he roared. His hands dropped from his chest to grip her arms on either side, his fingers bruising her skin. “Why?”

“Why what? What’s wrong?”

He shook her as fury still surged through him. “My heart! My heart is dead because you insisted we come here! And you, you feel nothing! This planet is making our fears consume us, and all you can do is stare at me like an invalid!”

That spark of anger crossed her face but vanished quickly. She was learning to cope with him. Later, he would realize this was the moment she started to let her pain of the past go. Cass, the woman who wanted death over the possibility of being saved by him. The woman who hated Time Lords as much as Daleks. The woman who wanted to travel the universe. She was letting go because he gave her the chance. The begrudging that initially filled her thoughts was fading into friendship.

“You’re my greatest fear.” Her voice cut into him like it had when she pulled away from him on her crashing ship. “Just the sight of you. I see you now, I see what you are. A coward, a selfish coward, something I’ve always known from your kind. You think you all had rights over the universe, but who are you but miserable cowards? Look what you’ve done to everything. What is there to carry on about anymore? All we have is this borrowed time, so to be honest, I don’t care anymore because all I want to do is live and I know I can’t.”

In his silence, he still only felt one heartbeat. His hands return to his chest as he looked at her. “One of my hearts have died, Cass. I-I.”

“It’s just your fear, I promise.”

When he tried to convince her otherwise, she sighed and placed her hand on his chest. Her face was blank, which to be honest, wasn’t helping. Though the fact that she was resting her hand against his chest without recoiling fascinated him. Slowly, she began to move her fingers, and he sighed.

Tap-tap-tap-tap. Tap-tap-tap-tap.

She kept tapping out the rhythm of the Time Lord’s heartbeat, the series of four. “It’s there,” she whispered. “It’s so…unusual…”

"I’m ok?"

Cass sighed, “Yes. Come on, before you have another panic attack.”

When his legs refused to work, he groped through his pockets for a cigarette. Her eyes momentarily widened at the sight, catching him murmuring the name of Fritz. He searched for a lighter that refused to be found. With the sudden snap and a flame before him, he looked to Cass who offered a smile along with the light.

After he finished it, his hands were no longer shaking.

Cass put her arms around him, she struggled to lift them both and heaved them both, one step at a time, towards the TARDIS. As they raced away from the planet, silence consumed them. For now, nothing had to be said.

-3-
Dancing with the Devil

The planet of Gogh was celebrating the end of time. Granted, it was because of the Time War, and The Doctor was wracked with guilt. Cass laughed merrily with one of the locals, and they clattered their glasses together in toast. She was surrounded by men, women and other beings, and they all seemed to be attracted to her. The Doctor had to admit, he was jealous. Mostly because Cass still had issues trusting him.

As music began to fill the air, people paired off for the Cardassian waltz. The Doctor took this moment to cut in. Reaching out his hand, she arched her brow but placed her hand into his. As a vocalist started to sing to the gentle pluck of a harp, he launched into the steps, something akin to an Earthly waltz. Cass effortlessly fell in with him; it seemed she knew this dance well.

As the vocals grew stronger into the sweeping ascension of the song, they paused as the aria changed. From the elegant melody, it swiftly turned into a quick salsa. Without missing a beat, they continued the dance, changing from the box step to a quick pace.

Their bodies came closer than they had before as they moved with the music. She swirled around him, his hands on her hips, as they came face to face. She was flushed, excitement in her eyes. Their feet dancing swiftly to an entwined beat, bringing them so very close. As the beat picked up again, they moved even faster. Soon he was lowering her into a dip, his hands bracing her as if she were the most valuable object in the world. As the music slowed again, they stopped to twirl before continuing their salsa steps again.

As the song finally finished, they were breathless, which was impressive for the Time Lord. He was too surprised, too focused on Cass’s smile. She was genuinely happy and amused. There was no darkness or suspicion in her features.

“This is the first time I’ve seen you happy,” he blurted.

Cass smiled, “Well considering how I just waltzed with the devil, I’m surprised that he is one hell of a dancer. I like that.” Her voice was a gentle tease instead of her usual barbs.

“If you think the devil is in my moves, you should see me play,” he told her with a grin, feeling all the heavy burden and guilt and anger beginning to melt away.


“I’d like that,” she admitted, “Another day.”

——

To be continued
Thanks for reading!

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