Word Count: 14290
Author's Summary: The Doctor stops a bullied teen from committing suicide.
Characters/Pairings: Eleventh Doctor, original companion
Warnings: Swearing (also as the recc-er, I will add a warning for descriptions of pretty extreme bullying and suicidal thoughts and actions, taken from true events in the author's past, so beware if that is triggering.)
Recc'ed Because: It's a stark story that makes me hate how cruel high schoolers can be, but also amazes me at how resilient, brave, creative, and generous the author is, and how she has used the hurt from her past to help others. It's a story that strikes a chord in too many people, I fear. It's also an unabashed "self insert" story, told in first person POV, that might make readers skip past it on first glance. But while it might be a bit rough around the academic literary edges, it is more important than that. Because it manages to transcend those humble trappings to tell a story that is both deeply personal and difficult to read in parts, but also wonderfully creative and ultimately affirming. More than that, it actually *works* as a Doctor Who story. Eleven is perfectly in character, and the adventure that he and the companion Cyndi embark on is both a proper space opera, and a metaphor for Cyndi's need to find something positive about herself that she can hold on to, how frightening and hard that is to do, and the lifesaving power that it holds, for Cyndi to have faith in herself and know she matters in the universe even if the rest of her schoolmates will never, ever see it.
It makes me desperately wish there was a Doctor and a TARDIS out there for everyone who's faced bullying like Cyndi did, and well, this story is the next best thing :) I've never met the author, and yet I am immensely proud of her, and so glad she made it through, as the world is definitely a better place with her in it. The more people this story reaches, the better.
I'm going to cut and paste the author's note here, because she says it better than I could: [author's note, again note the warnings]This is a self insert because I'm not going to pretend it isn't, and this semi-autobiographical story is about surviving bullying. The incidents I describe did actually happen to me(sans the Doctor, of course!). Names, occasional times of day and places are changed to preserve privacy, and for clarity's sake I gave made-up names to people whose names I forgot.
I've long since forgiven the people who did these things, but it took me almost two decades to reach that point.
This fic is dedicated to anyone who has been or is being bullied right now. I'm thirty three years old, and I almost committed suicide because of severe bullying back in the 1990's. "Bullycide" is not a new thing, but it is worse because of the internet. And if people are going to use the internet to hurt, then I'm going to use it to heal!
I hope this story reaches out to anyone thinking of suicide or self harm. I've been there, and I want you to realize you're not alone. It gets better, so hold on. You're going to make it through this. I care about you because YOU MATTER!
The tears I held back found freedom as I wrote my name, address and home phone number on a piece of notebook paper. I wrote that nobody cared about me, so I was taking myself out of the world because I was tired of everybody hating me. I signed my signature, crumpled up the note and tossed it to my left, not caring where it landed. Not like anybody would find it anyway.
With that settled, I unsealed the Pepsi bottle and began systemically freeing the Benadryl capsules from two of their blister packs. I figured a dose that big would kill someone small like me pretty fast. The pile of pink and white capsules on my palm were accusing eyes staring into my soul.
Even my own death jeered me.
Cold wind blew through the pipe. My wet head started to ache.
"God," I whispered, "If you don't want me up there, make me spit these pills out."
Taking a deep breath, I palmed the capsules and unscrewed the lid off the Pepsi bottle.
"Oy! Spit those out!"