Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: The Tenth Doctor/Donna, the TARDIS
Length: 13,000 words, six chapters. Completed.
Warnings: Torture, attempted sexual assault, adult language
Disclaimer: These characters belong to the BBC, not to me.
Ahhhh. Physical appetites… the hunger of the body…
Hunger… need… lust… I had almost forgotten…
“Out! Go away!”
Don’t be absurd. The voice rumbled through him like thunder. You are mine now, and I shall consume you. And then… I shall consume everything else in my path.
“Stop it.” He spoke through his teeth, clutching his head, fighting against It. “Stop it right now.”
Mine… mine… all these dark desires, all this hunger… after so many centuries, so many aeons…
He threw everything he had against It, but It only laughed.
There is no need to fight, little man. Give yourself to me. We will enjoy the pleasures of your body together.
He fought, clawed at It with his mind, struck at It, but to no avail. No matter how he fought, he couldn’t even seem to touch It. Nothing he did had any impact on It. He was outmatched, and he knew it.
But he went on fighting for a long time.
And all the while… It laughed at him.
Donna discovered the Doctor in the TARDIS’ galley. That, in and of itself, was not surprising. Half the time he’d get so busy tinkering in the control room that he forgot to eat–and as skinny as he was, that couldn’t be a good thing– and then suddenly he’d notice he was starving, and would head for the galley to get some toast and jam, or biscuits and tea, or something equally nutritious.
Sure enough, he was digging his fingers into a jam jar again. Marmalade, it looked like. Almost empty. She narrowed her eyes and opened her mouth, intending to yell at him. The man was always sticking his fingers into their communal food, usually without bothering to wash off the grease from the TARDIS engines first. It was disgusting.
But something about the desperate way he was scooping out orange globs of marmalade and shoving it into his mouth made her halt with her mouth still open. He wasn’t just eating, she realised.
He was devouring.
It wasn’t as if the Doctor had wonderful table manners–he’d lived alone too long, she suspected, or maybe most of his companions had had too much respect for the great Time Lord to complain when he chewed with his mouth open–but he didn’t usually gobble food as if he were afraid it was about to run away from him, never to be seen again. She stepped to the side to get a better look at him, and saw a peculiar expression on his face, a look of sheer bliss, as if the Dundee marmalade he was consuming was ambrosia.
“Doctor?” she said, hesitantly.
His eyes flickered open. His eyelids were heavy, and he still had that odd look on his face. He looked for all the world as if eating marmalade was better than sex.
Ugh. Sex, the Doctor, and marmalade. There was an image she needed to bleach out of her brain, right now.
“This is delicious,” he moaned, and the low, sensual tone of his voice once again made her think of sex. God. All of a sudden she had sex on the brain. Was there something wrong with her?
Or was there something wrong with him?
“You all right?” she said, stepping into the galley and looking him over. The refrigerator door stood open, as if he hadn’t wanted to take the time to close it, and behind him, on the counter, she could see an array of emptied jars and containers. Jam, pickles, mayonnaise, Nutella, boxes that had held leftovers which should have been thrown out long ago. How long had he been standing here, digging food out of the refrigerator and stuffing it into his mouth?
“Course I’m all right.” He reached his long fingers into the jar, scooped out the last glob of marmalade, and stuck it into his mouth, licking off his fingers with slow, thorough strokes of his tongue. His eyes fluttered shut, and that strange, unsettling expression of bliss crossed his face again. “Why wouldn’t I be all right?”
“Dunno,” she said, watching him worriedly. “You’re eating right out of jars, Doctor. Didn’t even bother yourself to find a spoon.”
“So,” she said, “it isn’t like you to be this hungry. And besides, ever since you came out of that temple on Vena IV this morning, you’ve been acting kind of…”
His eyes flickered open, and he looked at her alertly. “Kind of what?”
She sighed. “Kind of barmy, actually.”
He uttered a short laugh, tossed the marmalade jar onto the counter with a clink, and turned back to rummage in the refrigerator.
“Doctor,” she said, frowning in concern. “Haven’t you had enough to eat?”
“Never,” he answered, his voice dark and low. He straightened up, an uncooked egg in his hand, and took a big bite, shell and all. Raw egg dribbled down his chin, and his face went slack and happy again. Her stomach turned.
She backed out of the galley, and he didn’t seem to notice that she’d left.
“There’s something wrong with him. Really, really wrong.”
She sat in her bedroom, talking to the walls. Before she’d come on board the TARDIS, she would have thought talking to a machine was a mark of insanity.
But that had been before she’d met the blue box.
The day she’d moved in, Doctor had explained in an offhand way that the TARDIS was sentient, and she’d rolled her eyes, thinking he’d lived alone too long, the poor bloke. But within a day or two, she’d begun to feel the TARDIS in her mind, in a way she couldn’t explain. Before long, she’d found herself accepting that the time machine was indeed another person, albeit a rather strange one.
And since there was no other humanoid besides the Doctor on board, she had no one to turn to now except the TARDIS.
“I don’t know what’s wrong,” she said with a sigh. “He’s been really… odd. Even for him. And that’s saying something.”
She felt agreement in her head, and concern. The TARDIS was worried too.
“I found him just now, eating everything he could find in the fridge. I mean, everything. Didn’t even matter if it had mould on it. He was just… eating.” She remembered the expression on his face, and shivered. “And this morning, right after we came back on board, I found him in the med bay, with a hypospray, and I swear he was…”
The TARDIS hummed unhappily.
Donna thought about the sight of the Doctor, lifting the hypospray away from his own arm. God only knew what it had been filled with, but she knew perfectly well that the Doctor was almost always healthy. He’d bragged about his superior Time Lord physiology often enough. He didn’t need vitamins or supplements, and there was no good reason for him to be injecting himself with any sort of medicine.
Unless… unless he’d gotten sick down on Vena IV, and was just too proud and Time Lordly to let her know about it. She supposed that could be the case. God knew he’d been acting odd ever since he'd visited that silly temple, and an illness could explain that, couldn’t it? In any event, she liked that idea a lot better than the first one she’d had, which was that he’d been doing drugs just for the hell of it.
She closed her eyes, remembering that moment in the med bay, the look of near-ecstasy on his face. He’d looked a lot like he had while he was eating, actually. Blissed out in a way that was very unDoctorlike. And she knew, with a dreadful sinking of her stomach, that he hadn’t been injecting himself with anything that he truly needed.
He’d been getting high on something. And that was just not the Doctor she knew.
She sighed, and dropped her head into her hands.
“We have to help him,” she said. “What can we do?”
The TARDIS’ response was as worried and stressed and as impotent as she herself felt. The blue box clearly didn’t know what to do, either.
Donna sat up, lifting her chin and stiffening her spine. “Well,” she said to the walls, “the one thing I’m not doing is sitting in here, hiding. I’m going to go have it out with him.”
The TARDIS seemed uncertain if confronting the Doctor was a good idea, but Donna didn’t care. She wasn’t going to hide away if there was something wrong with her best friend–and the Doctor, despite all his annoying ways, was undeniably her best friend. There was clearly something wrong with him, and she was bloody well going to figure out what it was, and help him.
Let me go.
“Don’t be absurd, little man.” It spoke out loud, because there was no one else around to hear It–well, besides the blue box, and that technology could do nothing to hinder It. The blue box had entered Its mind, trying to join the fight against It, but like the Time Lord, it was helpless against Its superior power. “Your body is mine now.”
Let me go!
“You just don’t shut up, do you?” It had finally grown sated with food, and had decided to explore another appetite. There were so many delightful ways to enjoy this body, and It had barely got started. It sloshed whisky into a glass and drank it hungrily.
Only Its fourth glass, and already the room was beginning to spin. Lovely, lovely body. So much fun.
I’m going to get free, sooner or later. I swear it.
“Why can’t you just be quiet and enjoy the ride?” It groused. At first It had found the little man amusing, but he was rapidly becoming a nuisance. Not that his feeble struggles could accomplish anything, not that his efforts to free himself had the slightest chance of success, but he was just so annoying. It was trying to delight in the appetites of this body, to lose Itself in the half-forgotten pleasures of flesh, but It couldn’t fully enjoy Itself with the little man yammering constantly.
Right, then. It’d just drink the little man into oblivion.
When Donna walked into the Doctor’s dark-panelled study, he was seated–sprawled, really–in his leather desk chair, his tie and jacket and vest off, his shirt half unbuttoned, his sleeves rolled up to his elbows, his feet propped up on the desk. Near his feet she saw a bottle of whisky, two-thirds empty. He looked bleary but blissful, and he was belting out a song in some language she’d never heard before.
Gallifreyan, she’d heard. It was a beautiful language, even when he employed it to cuss out the TARDIS and her systems. But this wasn’t Gallifreyan. She was sure of it. Gallifreyan was a tonal language that sounded like the ringing of a bell or the gentle chiming of a celeste. This language sounded guttural and coarse by comparison.
Of course, the Doctor probably knew hundreds of different languages. But if he was really drunk, she’d expect him to be singing in his own language.
In any event, whatever he was singing must have been vulgar, or the TARDIS would have translated it. Clearly it didn’t meet her ladylike standards.
“What the hell are you doing?” she demanded, walking into the study.
The guttural words cut off, and the Doctor opened his eyes and looked up at her. It appeared to be quite an effort. “Ahhhh,” he said, his voice so thick that she could barely understand him. “The companion.”
She glared down at him, annoyed that he was so drunk he couldn’t even remember her name. She didn't appreciate just being another in a long line of companions.“Why are you getting drunk?”
He lifted the whisky bottle, saluted her with it, and took a huge mouthful straight from the bottle, spilling it over his cheeks and chin. Then he put the bottle down, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
“Because I can,” he said.
She frowned. She’d never seen the Doctor drink seriously before, but he’d mentioned once or twice that his body could counteract the effects of most drugs. She'd even seen him recover from cyanide poisoning, so she guessed it wasn’t easy for him to become inebriated.
And yet here he was, drunk as a bloody lord.
Drugs, marmalade, and whisky. She tried to make the pieces of the puzzle fit into a whole that could explain his behaviour, and couldn’t. Something was clearly wrong here, but she couldn’t guess what.
She wanted to yell, because shouting was her preferred method of dealing with situations she didn’t understand, but she thought sympathy might get through to him in a way than anger wouldn't. She crossed the room, shoved aside some of his clutter of papers, and sat down on the polished surface of the desk.
“Doctor,” she said, very gently. “Talk to me.”
He looked up at her fuzzily. His dark eyes had always been so expressive that they showed every thought, and even though he was drunk, they still reflected what he was thinking. Right now they were filled with a kind of hunger.
Shocked to see that expression in his eyes, aimed in her direction, she started to stand, but his hand struck out like a snake, capturing her by the wrist and holding her there. Startled by his sudden move, she tried to wrench her wrist away, but couldn’t. For a long, skinny streak of nothing, he was a surprisingly powerful man.
“Ahhhh,” he said, his voice soft but very dangerous. “There’s an appetite I haven’t explored yet.”