A Word from the Future. [ft. Thirteen]
So... apparently I have a repuation for tearing out hearts with my writing. As much as that flatters me, I wanted to try my hand at a much softer, warmer and funnier approach to my character - show that he isn't all about doom and gloom. A few feels crop up, but there was no getting round it because it was necessary for the overall story. Even if you chuckle once while reading this, then I've accomplished my goal. This piece also contains an excellent guest spot from Thirteen Skadoo, who very kindly agreed to write a small section (and subsequently made me cry with it) - it made the piece rounder and fuller and I'm so thankful she wrote it.
The time teen crept toward the door of his father's closet like a thief on jewel heist. He'd successfully dodged the laser beams, the complicated lock system, the night-vision cameras and the holographic three-headed dog and finally his prize was ahead of him. A closet packed with jackets that the Doctor had managed to hide away from Alex before he and his trusty spray can of bleach could get to them. Not so much hidden away now, were they? "As brilliant as Dad is, he can sometimes be bone-dead stupid," he thought to himself.
Alex reached out a hand and gently opened the door of the walk-in closet, bracing himself for more booby traps on the other side. What would it be this time? A paint-can on a string? A sea of plugs lying with the prongs upwards, ready to cause his feet a great deal of pain? The Master in a bikini? But there was nothing. Just an empty closet... and a treasure trove of jackets, all of different colours and sizes. Red, TARDIS blue, black, lilac, even one in golden brown. This time teen was going to have a field day bleaching all of these.
Surveying the scene around him, Alex approached one of the racks and pulled out a very attractive-looking red velvet with shiny black buttons. "Hmm, this could do with a little re-styling," Alex muttered, pulling the can of bleach out of his pocket and shaking it so that it would spray properly onto the material, stripping it of all colour and texture. Gently, he laid the hangar holding it on the floor and spread the lapels and sleeves out so he could get a good, clear shot at it with the bleach.
But before he could finally start spraying, he heard a rustle from somewhere on the other side of the closet. Alex froze, the bleach can held aloft, his finger just about to press on the pressure mechanism. It sounded like... something scuttling about. A bug? A mouse? An Adipose? Stuffing the can back into his pocket, Alex turned around and approached the back wall of the closet, jackets and clothes surrounding him on all sides.
There, one of the jackets had twitched in the dim light! He saw the material rippling! There was something in here with him, but whether that something was good or bad remained to be seen. Alex reached out a hand to snatch the jacket - it was a nice-looking one too, it could die a noble death with the other one - and sure enough, the material twitched again. "Gotcha," Alex said to himself and pulled the jacket aside.
Before he knew what was happening, long swatches of thin material, looking a lot like never-ending coat sleeves, had knocked him off his feet and he landed on the ground hard. In his desperate attempt to get up and escape, they had wrapped themselves around his legs and were pulling him from the floor, quickly turning him so he was hanging upside down. The jackets were alive, and they were starting a mutiny!
Alex struggled frantically, trying to pull the living material free from his legs, but they held on way too tightly. Looking ahead, he saw a jacket uncurl itself from one of the hangers and approach him, looking a lot like his father... except he was invisible.
"Stop hitting yourself!" the jacket shouted, a sleeve slapping Alex in the face. "Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!"
About five times did this happen before he was yanked backwards and pinned to the wall. The jackets descended on him, wrapping themselves around his entire body. He was trapped! The jacket mutiny was in full swing!
Suddenly, the room was filled with the sounds of electrical beeps and whirs. A formal female voice called out, "Incoming Transmission! Incoming Transmission!"
A woman fizzed in from the Tardis holographic matrix. She wore short blue trousers with yellow braces and a black shirt with a rainbow graphic across the chest. She had short blonde hair that tucked behind her ear that had a shimmering silver chain that dangled around it and warm friendly hazel eyes. A broad smile across her face as her eyebrows shot up, “Hi!” she said with enthusiasm. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. He won’t thank you for it.” She takes a step closer to him, “Oh my god just look at you.” The smile slipped from her face, “Sorry I can’t actually see you, but was it convincing?” She thought for a moment, “Never mind, best not to talk back. I’m just a recording, after all.”
His eyes widened as he realized that this was a future incarnation of the Doctor, his father... in female form but still undeniably his father. "Dad... I can't breathe!" he called out as the jackets started to wind their way towards his mouth. "Let me out of here!"
“Alex, I know, I know. Just let me talk. It me your dad…or your mum.” She pursed her lips for a moment thinking about, “Well, right now in your Tardis I’m your dad. I had a bit of an upgrade. Anyways,” she said as she started to pace the space with her hands on her hips, “Things haven’t been really great between you and me.” She looks down stopping her pace and then suddenly she looks into his eyes, “I want to tell you I’m so so sorry for that. Right now, I’m having a really hard time communicating my feelings.” She gave a slight smirk, “Guitar strings sing me better right now than words. But that not helpful for a time teen who just needs his dad, yeah?”
Her hologram shimmers as she steps closer to him, she looked as though she was studying his face through time. “Son you can’t keep doing this.” She said pointing to the pile of jackets, “I mean they are just things, easily replaceable. But, it a choice, and that single choice is an echo through time. Like a pebble being tossed into the lake, it ripples.” She said gesturing with her hands an expanding circle. “This want of destruction it is going to build and bubble until destroying jackets aren’t enough. Where will it end? You are a Time Lord you are one of the most powerful beings in the universe, and you don’t even know it. You could destroy a whole civilization with one intention, one action, or even the wrong word.” She says her brow furrowed and her eyes pleading.
Alex looked past the hologram of the Doctor and spotted the jackets lying on the floor, spread out. He was going to destroy them... but what was he hoping to achieve by doing that? The Doctor, the Doctor he knew right now, to shower him with loving affection and give him anything he asked for - whether that was a hug or a trip somewhere? What if jackets became people? What if jackets turned into something he could seriously cause harm to if he really wanted to? He felt the guilt and shame rise up in him as he heard her words.
“I know you, son. You are a beautiful soul that has the potential for so much good and kindness. But it comes down to a choice. Right here, right now. Because right now it more than what do I do to get ol’ dad’s attention isn’t it? It about becoming the Time Lord you were meant to be.” Her gaze drifts to the floor before looking back into his eyes, “I will always love you, no matter what.” She nods to him, “Make me proud, yeah?”
A tear slid down Alex's cheek as he looked back on how things had been recently with the Doctor. Not the best, no. There were days where he felt loved and appreciated and listened to, and some days where he felt like the Doctor would rather anyone else in the world but him for a son and that he was the biggest waste of space in the entire universe. "But what do I do?" he pleaded. "Why doesn't he like me?"
Suddenly the words “Exterminate.” come through the recording. The Doctor spins around and then looks back at Alex, her eyes are wide with fear. She grabs a light blue raincoat with rainbow trim slinging it over her shoulders, “Sorry son can’t stay and chat. Got get a shift on.” Her hologram fizzles away as she sprits away her coattails fluttering behind her.
As soon as the hologram vanished, the jackets immediately released their hold on Alex and he went sprawling to the floor. Scrabbling to his feet, he looked at the jackets he had been planning to bleach and immediately, without even thinking, he picked them up, replaced them neatly on their hangers and put them back. The future Doctor's words still swirling in his brain, he crossed to the door and opened it.
The Doctor... his Doctor... was on the other side, shades on and coffee mug in his hand.
"Enjoy yourself?" he asked him, looking over his glasses at him.
But Alex didn't say anything. Shaking slightly, he passed the Doctor and ran out of the room. The Doctor turned to watch him go, smiling slightly.
"Nice job, future me," he said softly, taking a sip from the coffee mug. "Although I hope my coffee skills get better."