Story: First Steps
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 21476
Author's Summary: There's being born, and then there's being born into a world with no adults, no clothes, no food and a terrifying alien Thing upstairs. When their Looms birth them straight into the middle of an emergency, can Our Heroes muddle through?
Characters/Pairings: Irving Braxiatel, The Doctor (1st), The Master (Academy era)
Recced because: Firstly, this is utterly adorable and completely fantastic. Unfortunately, there aren't an awful lot of accurate Academy - era fics out there, so it's really good to find one. I suppose I should say that, despite this being insanely cute, features some eldritch-y type monsters and a fair amount of suspense for our little Loomlings. Oh, yeah, LOOMS. Which are explained really, really nicely to those who may be unfamiliar with the intricacies of Gallifreyan biology. Which is complex. Plus, the Doctor Who Extended Universe needs a little more recognition.
The Loomlings' tiny bare feet slap on the cold floor as they run. By the time they lose the Thing, Snail has gone from hypothermic to toasty warm. His lungs burn as he gasps for air, and his legs ache and strain; not only from the running but also because he hasn't quite got co-ordination sorted out yet. He's trying really, really hard not to trip over his own feet.
He pulls Flabbaduckarusa flat against the wall and sidles for a look back. The shadow belongs to a huge, faceless mannequin of dark wood. It's standing outside the room they were born in, scanning telepathically for them. An ancient memory from one of his psychodonors tries to surface, but as it does so the howl comes from upstairs again, and just as that happens the mannequin notices him, turns, and begins to bear down on them. Snail grabs Flabbaduckarusa's hand again, and pulls him onwards. They run flat-out for nearly a minute, following the curve of the corridor. Doors pass in a blur as toasty warm becomes unbearably hot and sweaty; his breath comes in ever shorter, faster gasps and his feet sting from hitting the cold, hard floor. There are two things going thumpa-thumpa loudly in his chest that he thinks must be his hearts, and he's getting so dizzy —
He catches one foot on the other. The next thing he knows he's on the floor, every particle of him in agony. Flabbaduckarusa falls on top of him, sobbing a little.
The faceless mannequin is close behind them — they didn't even lose it! — and bears down on them, its hands reaching down to pick them up. Not a single muscle in his body will move right now. He squeezes his eyes shut as the mannequin picks him and Flabbaduckarusa up, and hopes against hope that it won't hurt either of them.
The mannequin's arms are surprisingly warm and comfortable as it glides along, its smooth, rhythmic movement and the spicy scent of its wood lulling him. He feels safe. Secure. Sleepy...