Characters/Pairings: Theta/Koschei (will grow to be Doctor/Master in later chapters)
Rating: PG (for now, may go up to M in later chapters)
Warnings: Some classic series knowledge is assumed; Uses some fairly well known theories and quasi-canon material about Time Lord culture as well as some personal theories, all of which may be Moffed later.
Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to Stephen Moffat, Russel T. Davies, and the BBC
Summary: Two outcasts meet on Gallifrey and become friends, then lovers, then enemies. This is their story.
A/N: The Daisiest Daisy
( Chapter One )
( Chapter Two )
( Chapter Three )
( Chapter Four )
Theta woke up to silence. He always missed the chattering of the other boys when he woke up at home. Not home; Lungbarrow house. It had never felt like home. It felt even less so now. Yesterday he had learned that his parents had not been who he thought they were. He got up and went downstairs to find the house empty. He made himself some breakfast, then headed out to the garden. It was the only place at Lungbarrow house that he ever felt some semblance of peace. He wandered through the rose bushes avoiding the thorns. Roses were the only flower in the universe that grew on multiple planets in multiple systems naturally. Some say it was because, in the early days of the Time Lords, when the rest of the universe was in its infancy, one Time Lord planted them on every planet he visited because they were his favorite. Theta leant down and inhaled one. Whatever sadness was in his life, Theta found that it was much easier to bear if you always made time for smelling flowers. He looked up at the first morning sun. The second one was still rising over the mountains. He could see the old monk sitting under the tree on the hill beyond the yard. That monk had been there for as long as he could remember. Theta had never spoken to him, but he’d always wondered about him. He had decided last night that he was going to try and find his father. He had stolen a map of the citadel from the records room in the library. It was one of the few that existed that included the layout of the tunnels underneath the city. Lungbarrow had it because one of its first members had helped design the citadel. He went back up to his rooms and put on his heaviest robes, packed some food and a knife in a satchel and headed out.
When he’d finally snuck his way into the tunnels, he found them empty as expected. They were dank and wet and they smelled of things Theta didn’t want to think about, but if he found his father alive it would be worth it. He came to a grate that lead into the forest. It was easily removed. When he walked out into the world outside the dome the first thing he noticed was the air. It was much colder and drier. Breathing in it stung his throat. The wind whipped his face, but he noticed that it did something else as well. As it blew through the silver-leafed trees, it made them sing. It was beautiful. He listened for a moment, then he headed into the forest and up the mountain.
Theta had been walking for hours. He was tired, his legs hurt, his throat was sore and it was becoming harder to breathe. To his right was a rose bush. He thought perhaps the smell of one of the flowers would reinvigorate him, but as he approached the bush, it rustled. He backed up and out of the bush walked a wolf. It must have been one of the animals he and Koschei had freed. He froze, afraid it would pounce. It didn’t, though. It just looked at him. He looked back into its golden eyes and felt sure it would not hurt him. Then, suddenly, something attracted its attention and it scampered away. Theta let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding. He looked around to try and get a bearing on where he was and saw a column of smoke rising from the treetops in the distance. A cabin? He followed it. After about fifteen minutes, he arrived at the cabin. He stopped outside. Was his father inside or was it someone else who had been banished? He gathered up all his strength and knocked. The door swung open a crack. “Hello?” called Theta.
He entered cautiously and saw a disheveled man sitting in a rocking chair facing away from him in front of the fire. “Hello, my name is Theta.” No answer. “I’m looking for my father.” The man looked up at that, but didn’t look around at Theta. “He was banished forty years ago for mating with a-“
“Rrrraaaaaaaaaah!” The man suddenly got up and began throwing things, anything he could get his hands on, at Theta. “Get out! Go away! You did this! It’s all your fault! Leave me alone!”
Theta didn’t hear anymore because he was running, running away from that house, from that man that might have been his father, down the mountain, through the forest, through the tunnels and back to Lungbarrow. He ran into the garden and dropped to the ground crying. He cried for a long time, cried his lungs out. When he was done, when he was out of breath, he looked up to the hill behind his house. The monk was still there. Maybe it was because he felt so lost now, but he decided it was time to talk to him and he set out across the yard for the hill.
When he arrived the monk did not react to him. He just continued to meditate. Theta wondered whether he should disturb him. After a moment the monk spoke without opening his eyes. “You seem troubled, young Time Lord.”
“Yes,” he breathed. “Yes I am.”
The monk opened his eyes and looked at Theta expectantly.
“What’s your name?” Theta asked.
“K’anpo,” he answered. He said nothing else, just looked at Theta, waiting.
Theta didn’t know why, but he felt very comfortable talking to this monk, this hermit. Perhaps it was because he was a stranger and he felt like he had nothing to prove. Perhaps because the old hermit seemed like he had the answer to anything and everything, but Theta didn’t mind sharing with him even this most private problem. “I found out yesterday, that I’m not who I thought I was,” he said. The hermit didn’t respond, just listened. “I’m not a Time Lord,” he continued. “I’m half human. My mother was human. My father was banished because of me. My mother died because of me. I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know where I belong. I guess I’ve never known where I belonged. Not at home, not at school, not with my family, not on this whole stupid planet! I’ve been wondering if I would belong on Earth, but I’m not really human either. I’m more Time Lord than I am human, genetically, but I don’t feel like the rest of them. In my soul, in my heart, I feel different. I’ve always felt different. I want to visit Earth and see if they’ll accept me, but I’m scared. What if they don’t? What if I don’t belong anywhere? I went to find my father. I wanted him to love me like my uncle never did, but he hated me! He hated me even more than my uncle! I don’t know what my life means anymore or where I’m supposed to go or what I’m supposed to do! So, can you tell me? What does my life mean? What is it for?”
The monk was silent for a moment, then he lifted his withered hand and pointed. Theta followed his finger to see a little flower, a weed, growing out of a crack in the grey, cold rocks all around them. Then suddenly he felt the monk’s mind nudging his. He’d never experienced contact before, his psychic powers were not sophisticated enough to initiate it. He let the monk into the forefront of his mind and suddenly he saw the flower as K’anpo saw it. It wasn’t just a little weed, small and unimportant. It was life. It was so alive. It swirled with all the colors of the universe. Its roots reached down into the dirt under the rocks. It drew nutrients from the ground that before had seemed so barren, but it was not barren. It was teeming with life. Microbacteria, and worms, and bugs, and water, and roots. And the rocks were filled with minerals that enhanced the soil and water. Everything was so alive! Everything had so much hope and promise. That was the meaning of life. It was life itself. Even death was a part of life and the dead things fed the growth of new life. He felt the monk’s mind leave his and he realized there were tears on his face. He laughed. Then he laughed harder and he heard the monk join in with him. He knew he would never look at the universe the same way again. Everything was so much more beautiful than it was before because he was seeing it properly now. So, he didn’t come from two Time Lords. So, his father was a crazy old man. So what? He was alive. In fact he was more alive than he’d ever been.
“You are unique, young Time Lord,” he heard the monk say. “Not many of our kind are willing to open their minds to that kind of beauty. Embrace what you are. Cherish it. It gives you a perspective no other Time Lord has. I think you are destined for great things.”
Theta and the K’anpo talked for hours after that and when Theta went home, he felt more hope for the future than he ever had before.