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Wayward Son, Chapter 9: Child of Innocence


He was walking slowly through fields of dark red grass, gazing up into an amber sky. Rocky outcroppings of red, brown, purple and gold surrounded the fields and led him to the north. A bloated reddish sun shone upon his back, warming him, and the sharp spire of a building loomed directly ahead.

The Tomb of Rassilon. He was on Gallifrey, and he was walking toward the wastelands of the Death Zone.

He didn’t know how he got there, or why he was there. He couldn’t even see himself. He felt young, though. Not young as in being chronologically youthful, but he didn’t feel the burdens on his hearts that he had carried since the War. Amazingly, he didn’t feel the crushing despair, guilt and grief that he usually encountered when thinking or dreaming of his native planet, in spite of the fact that he knew it was gone. Placing his hand over his chest, he realized he had one heart beating there. How odd. This him had never stood on Gallifrey. It was long gone before his creation.

Plodding along, blissfully basking in the feel of the air and sun against his skin, the smells of Home, he became aware of a strong presence. Opening his eyes, he glanced to his left and immediately stopped with a start.

An enormous white wolf was pacing him, its withers easily reaching the level of his waist. Its tail was long, bushy, not unlike that of a squirrel or raccoon. It was watching him with the darkest of brown eyes, like bitter chocolate - almost black in appearance - but fathomless, ancient and ageless at the same time.

Do not fear, Child of Gallifrey, Child of Earth, Child of the TARDIS. A deep, but feminine, voice reverberated in his head, speaking perfect High Gallifreyan. An undercurrent of benevolence and acceptance accompanied the voice, like that of a mother or loving aunt, putting him a little more at ease. He was fairly sure she was not about to attack him. A niggling thought arose from the depths of his rational brain: There were no wolves on Gallifrey, and certainly nothing quite like it on Earth.

“Wh-who are you,” he asked tentatively as he recovered his voice.

I have many names, as do you, she responded.

“What should I call you?”

You may call me “Tokos”, for lack of a better one.

“Tokos… Tokos,” he whispered quietly to himself. The accent was difficult to replicate, even with his gift of tongues.

Come, the wolf said as she urged him forward. Your next task awaits you.

“Are you… are you the... the... Bad Wolf,” he ventured as he followed and caught up to her.

A gentle laugh washed through his mind, sounding musical and light, almost like chimes in the wind.

No, young one. Her dark eye was full of mirth. I am the source from which she sprang.

“I’m hardly young,” he said. “I’m over 900 years-old.”

Older than that, came the sage reply. And yet, still the blink of an eye to some.

The Doctor mulled over that, trying to make sense of the enigmatic words of this strange creature that seemed to know so much about him.

“You created the Bad Wolf? Do you come from the energy of the Vortex, then?”

A wolfy smile crossed her furry muzzle as she bared her teeth… frighteningly sharp and feral-looking teeth.

Not quite, she replied cryptically. I exist within the Vortex and without, within the Void and without, within the multiverse and without. They hold no power over me, nor can they touch me. You will not be able to understand, my Child.

Although he understood trans-dimensional space better than most, he couldn’t grasp how something could simultaneously exist beyond and within everything and nothing. But he’d once met a creature that said he existed before the creation of the universe. Anything can happen, he thought.

“But I thought the Bad Wolf created herself,” he said, skipping to something he thought he might understand better.”

It is I who created the Paradox.

He was stunned. Why would a creature of such enormous might and scope be interested in him? The Bad Wolf was unimaginably powerful, manipulating the forces of life and death through her will alone. This creature, Tokos, was saying that she had ultimately created even the Bad Wolf entity.

As if he had spoken aloud, the white wolf answered his question.

We have come to journey with you for this brief moment, ‘though we are with you always, so that your conscious mind may understand. Now that you have chosen your Path, you are ready to take on your next task.”

“W-w-we?” he stammered. There is more than one of them?

The wolf shifted her serene gaze over to his right. He turned his head and gasped.

A gigantic white Terran-like lion, enormous mane shifting as he padded silently at his side, gazed down at him. He was huge. His ears towered at least a foot above the frightened Time Lord’s head. Large ocean-blue eyes looked down at him, clear and depthless. Like an Earth ocean, they teemed with life, vitality, and the same ancient and ageless quality as the wolf’s. He was truly one of the most imposing creatures he had ever encountered so close.

Unable to contain his panic at the unexpected presence of the lion, the Doctor jumped back with a squeak and cowered against the wolf.

Fear not, little one. Seldom do I devour my own young, the lion intoned. His voice in the Time Lord’s head was rich and silky smooth, like the best caramel or ganache. It was not particularly deep for a male voice, but it was resonant, warm in timbre, somewhat quiet and almost unctuous. Beneath it ran a hint of a smile. And power and… danger. This was not a creature to be tampered with.

The wolf leaned her head down to give the recovering Time Lord a gentle lick of reassurance to his neck. Her smell was intoxicating, like cinnamon, sandalwood and musk.

My mate, she explained. You may call him “Tau.”

Straightening up, he took a few steps towards the lion and tried to calm his racing heart. His efforts at gaining back his courage garnered a look of approval from the huge beast.

You will need great courage, strength of character, wisdom and perseverance to complete this task. Such gifts you have in abundance already, Tokos told him. On that single task, that cornerstone, the eventual fulfillment of your destiny lies.

“There must be a mistake,” he said as he hung his head slightly. “I’m not the full Time Lord. I’ve lost most of what it means to be a Time Lord when I became part human. And we’re both so alone now.” He spread his arms. “All of this is gone. We’re the only two remnants remaining, and I am nothing.”

Time’s Champions may yet exist, as long as the Last Two Children of Gallifrey persevere, Tau said. But that is only a part of your destiny, and you will not fulfill it alone.

“Should the Time Lords return? They were corrupt, heartless, xenophobic and power-mad.”

Then see to it that they are not, Tokos said gently. You have been given a great gift: A universe to protect and keep safe. You do not need to burden yourself with the acts of your predecessor, only of your own actions.

“But... I have but one human lifespan to accomplish this. How can I fulfill a panoptic destiny in such a short time? Who will take up the banner when I am gone?” he protested.

We did not say it would be easily accomplished, painless or quick, came the response from Tau.

And we did say that you would not accomplish it alone, added Tokos.

“What must I do,” he sighed resignedly.

Remember these words: “The Storm must tame the Wolf”, said Tokos.

Eyes widening, he repeated her phrase. “The Storm must tame the Wolf.”

Tau dropped his furry head close. “The Wolf must temper the Storm,” he said as he blew his warm breath on the Time Lord. A heady fragrance, like burning amber and cloves, settled around his head and shoulders as he breathed it in. He felt a calmness and strength seep into him, as if the great lion were giving him a benediction and imparting some of his power to him.

“The Wolf must temper the Storm,” he repeated.

And now, we must take our leave, Tokos said sadly as she turned to move away.

“Wait! Please,” plead the Time Lord as they both started moving swiftly away. “What about him? What about the Time Lord in the other universe? Will he be helped, too?”

But, of course, he heard faintly, as they both disappeared into thin air.

He sank down into the soft grass, a feeling of wonder come over him. Drifting over the breeze, he thought he could hear an achingly familiar song. The TARDIS!

His eyes snapped open, only to have the vision of red grass and rocks fade away to the white walls of his bedroom. Evening sunlight was streaming through the curtains, causing him to blink in confusion. Why was he in his bed?

Sitting up to look at the clock, he could see it was a little after 5.00 pm. He remembered now. He’d barely slept last night. Desperately sleepy, he’d begrudgingly decided to take a kip before dinner.

Rubbing his eyes, he suddenly remembered the dream and scrambled to get a small notepad and pen from his bedside table. Scribbling madly, he tried to capture every word of the interchange he’d had with the two mysterious beings, Tokos and Tau.

Reading over his words, he laughed. The bizarre nature of the dream wasn’t what made him laugh, but the idea that he, a mere human-Time Lord Meta-crisis, was somehow worthy to be visited by a couple of god-like beings in his sleep.

“The Storm must tame the Wolf,” he muttered. “The Wolf must temper the Storm.”

He repeated the phrases several times, trying to get past the obvious meaning. He was sure the Storm was he, the Oncoming Storm. The Wolf, no doubt, could be none other than the Bad Wolf. The words seemed imbued with so much more meaning than on their face values. But what? Was his sub-conscious merely trying to make sense of his current situation? Perhaps it was trying to bolster his confidence as he prepared to meet Rose at dinner time? Why such an elaborate dream?

And what were they going on about with the Time Lords? Time’s Champions, they’d called them. As far as he knew, there was only one who could claim that title of Time’s Champion, and it was no longer he. But the beings spoke in the plural.

And how the Devil was he or the other Doctor supposed to bring the Time Lord’s back, anyway? Breed them back into existence?

“Oi,” he said with an emphatic nodding of his head. “That…that would take a loooong time, much longer than the maybe 70 years I have to live. Oh, I can see it now. I go to Rose and I say, ‘Rose, not only are we getting married and all because it’s our destiny, but you’re gonna have Time Tots until your womb falls out.’”

He broke into peals of hysterical laughter at the thought of the resulting mayhem.

Heading into the en suite, he wiped tears of mirth from his face as he prepared for Sunday dinner.


*******************************

Ten II has a strange dream involving two interesting beings.

Ok, I lied. I was really planning to launch into the dinner during Chapter 9, but this short dream came to me that morning and wouldn't leave until I finished it. I promise....I sincerely promise, the next chapter will be the dinner!  Oh, and what a dinner it will be!  :)



Title: Wayward Son - Chapter 9: Child of Innocence

Characters: Jackie Tyler; Ten II; Pete Tyler; Tony Tyler
Genre: Alternate Universe; Angst; Character Study; Het; Romance
Author's Description: Set mostly in the AU of Pete's World; TenII hits a big snag in his efforts to forge a new life with Rose and finds himself facing an unexpected identify crisis.
Length: WIP
Rating: Teen for slight swearing