|DW: Sleeping Beauty (not the Disney version)
||[Feb. 6th, 2014|08:08 pm]
Title: Sleeping Beauty (not the Disney version)
Fandom: Doctor Who BFA
Summary: She never thought she’d ever enjoy the sound of her own screams. Spoilers for "Blue Forgotten Planet"
Word Count: 658
Sometimes they wake her up for their experiments. None of the words that would have met her mother’s approval can begin to describe the agony of those experiments, so she screams, wordlessly and from the core of her being.
It’s difficult to retain knowledge of who she used to be amidst the pain, but she knows that she didn’t used to be a screamer. She never liked to give a sense of victory to her tormentors, but that doesn’t matter any longer. The Viyrans are too alien to feel satisfaction in her screams, and too emotionless to hold her weakness in contempt. If it’s not within their mission parameters, they simply don’t care. If they don’t care, then why should she? So she screams, both at the physical agony and the psychic ache she feels at the loss of her old self, the one that would have died before screaming at the monsters.
Despite the pain, Charley prefers it when they wake her. She doesn’t like to sleep amidst her enemies, or whatever it was that the Viyrans are to her. Of course she does sleep—for decades and even centuries at a time, apparently—but she tries not to think about that. The knowledge that she dozes through many of their experiments makes her skin crawl. The Viyrans note her goose-pimply flesh just as they note everything about her. They never ask what causes this reaction.
Her childhood seems far away now, but she can still remember an Italian fairy tale that she read in school. A princess pricked her finger on some flax and fell asleep for a hundred years. While she slept, she was impregnated by a passing prince and woke up to find herself the mother of twins. Her younger sister had thought the story terribly romantic, but Cissy was a bit silly back then. Charley had been horrified by the story, and still was. The Doctor had insisted that they watch a cartoon telling of the fairy tale for one of their infrequent “movie nights.” The animation was beautiful, but the story itself wasn’t much improved from the original.
And now she is Snow White. She’s never woken up with twins, but she might some day. Perhaps even the next time they revive her. She doesn’t have a clue what the Viyrans do to her while she hibernates, and experimenting with human reproduction might make as much sense to them as anything else they do to her.
In her saner moments, Charley knows that this is a lie; that it will never happen. Babies aren’t viruses, and so are of no interest to the Viyrans (unless they happen to be infected with something that falls within the Viyrans’ purview). Charley hates these saner moments. She hates facing the fact that she’s become as silly as Cissy, dreaming of being violated in the hope that she might create another human being that she might touch. Somebody who would scream with her, so she doesn’t have to scream alone.
In her sanest moments, she reflects that she’s become far less than the Italian Snow White. She’s sent her prince away, you see. She had his memory wiped clean of all memory of her, and then sent him away. One prince dead, another prince gone, and the girl who never wanted to be a princess in the first place is left to sleep eternally amongst the brambles of the Viyran’s cold, bleak ship. Thankfully, her sanest moments only come once a century these days, if that.
The Viyrans never understand why she makes a fuss every time they put her back into a state of cryogenic hibernation. It doesn’t hurt that much to be frozen.
She thinks about telling them that she’s trying to avoid her fairy tale ending, but she never does. They’re not interested. Perhaps it's just as well. "And she slept indifferently ever after" just doesn't have the right ring to it anyway.