• rating: +17+x

Grabnok rubbed a hand over his face. "Look, I just don't know the risks."

"This is the only way," the Doctor responded. His voice was even and calm as always, laced with an undertone of urgency.

"What's the worst that could happen?" I added lightheartedly.

"I just… I've never encountered myself in another universe before. No matter how many times I've gone there, even if I've appeared in my own cell, there never is someone else– well, except for that one time. Either we all hop at the same exact moment, or…"

"Or what?"

"I've been thinking for a while… what if I replace the already-existing 507?"

The Doctor and I exchanged a glance. After a pause, I spoke up first. "Would we keep our memories?"

"I mean, I always do. But I'm me. Neither of you are me, and neither of you have reality jumped before. Right?"

"That is correct," the Doctor responded.

"I just don't know what would happen."

I reached into my pocket and brought out the small skateboard– tech deck– that Grabnok had given me all that time ago, and held it out to him. "Assuming there are infinite realities, it was infinitely impossible that you ended up here twice. You're due to go back very soon, and I'm certain that we're never going to meet again. You're our only hope."

He sighed loudly. "You could get lost in the middle. I've heard of that happening. Floating between realities. Forever."

I felt my nonexistent stomach drop, and I looked at the Doctor with anxiety in my eyes. He stepped closer to me and put his large hands on my shoulders. "Would we be together?"

"Hypothetically… I guess so?"

"Then we will be alright, even if that does happen."

I felt my eyes widen and I turned my head to look at him. His eyes smiled gently and he squeezed my shoulders slightly. My mouth formed a small smile in response and I looked away in a bit of embarrassment, but it wasn't bad. Stereotypically enough, I felt that kind of sensation of warm fuzziness.

"Yeah. As long as we're together."

“Alright, you two lo- I mean… uh. Anyways- I’d say get your things, but the Foundation will take anything from you when they inevitably find you again. That’s assuming you aren’t directly transported back into your cells when you hop with me. Maybe leave something behind to… I dunno. Let your friends know where you went.” He checked his watch. “Oh, jeez, we really don’t have a lot of time. Wouldn’t want me to leave without you, would you?”

I cringed at the mention of friends. I didn’t want to leave all the other UnHumans behind. Sure, we barely knew each other, but they… cared– at least somewhat– about me. That was really rare, and I didn’t want to seem like I was sucking up all of their kindness and resources and then running away. But…

The second hand on Grabnok’s watch ticked incessantly in the background. Time was running out. I balled my hands into fists.

“Okay. Okay. Uh-” I turned and broke away from the Doctor, looking around the living room for a writing utensil and piece of paper. Upon not being able to find one, I dashed into my room and grabbed the sketchbook I’d done some drawings in. I looked longingly at my NDS, did a small salute to the wonderful little console, and grabbed a pencil.

Running out to the living room, I hastily scrawled onto a blank piece of paper:

‘Hey guys. Haselhurst and I are leaving. Probably forever. Thank you so much for all your kindness; we’re not leaving because you did something wrong, we just have somewhere we need to go that we can’t come back from. I’m gonna miss you guys. Like a lot. Onyx, you can use my NDS. Try to beat my Tetris HS, okay?’ I felt my eyes start to water. ‘Please don’t look through my sketchbook. It’s a 50/50 chance between vent art and very muscular men.’

I sniffled looking at the paper; I was really leaving. We were really going. My handwriting was messier than usual, with a strong backwards slant and T bars so low you could barely tell what letter it was. Was it okay to leave them with something as simple as this?

The Doctor and I had talked about it a lot. It wasn’t like this was a rushed decision, it was all just happening so fast. What if they were angry with us? What if they didn’t understand? What if it made them sad? What if-

He put his hand over mine and I realised it was shaking. His palms were warm and his fingers rested on top of mine. “I am sure your note is lovely. We must hurry.” I nodded, and doodled a little circle with a smiley face and some short hair next to a larger circle with a beak and a hood. I held the paper up to show him, and his yellow eyes flitted to it thoughtfully, then back to me. “Is that us?”

“I-I mean, it’s supposed to be…” I mumbled, then wrote ‘- SCP-6118’ at the bottom. The Doctor took the pencil and added ‘+ SCP-049’ in elegant handwriting.

After staring at it for a few long moments, I set it down on the couch cushion that I spent the most time on, then turned back to the Doctor and Grabnok. “How much longer do we have left?”

“About that.” The dimension hopper stepped forwards and grabbed my hand, then looked at the Doctor warily and put his hand on his shoulder.

“I am not able to kill you through touch alone.”

“Yeaahhh, sure. I don’t want to become one of your zombies.”

I looked between them, then used my free hand to take the taller man’s. Grabnok looked at me sceptically, then turned his wrist to look at his watch. “Brace yourselves. This might feel weird.”

He was there, and then he wasn’t, and then I wasn’t, nor the Doctor. The living room gave way to white walls; I was standing at first, but my vision cut out and I felt weak, then a blunt force all over one side of my body– I couldn’t tell which. There were voices and the whine of an intercom, but it was all so muffled and far away.

My eyes were half open, and when I was able to see basic shapes again I realised I was on the floor. My body ached and I felt tingles all down my arms and legs like they’d fallen asleep. There were loud footsteps and I heard maglocks disengage, then someone was rolling me onto my back. The lights were way too bright, and I would have closed my eyes if someone wasn’t trying to hold them open to shine a smaller, brighter light in them. Someone else was pressing their fingers against my neck, and someone else leaned over me with what looked like a radio in their hand.

“61- re you- ling oka-”

If I had a stomach, I would have vomited. I tried to sit up and multiple hands pushed me back down.

“We ne- medica- passed ou- get down he-”

I breathed in and felt sharp pain in my chest. I breathed out and my eyelids fell down. Someone was trying to talk to me- “C’mon, stay aw- y awa-”

Stop talking to me. I’m tired. I want to sleep…

As soon as I was cursed with consciousness, the pain hit me like a truck. I tried to raise my hand to rub my eyes but I felt something cold and sharp dig into my wrist. Looking down at it, I realised I was cuffed to a hospital bed. Soft beeping came from behind me and I noticed the pulse oximeter on my finger. I could see I was back in my white jumpsuit due to the lack of blankets– The temperature of the room hit me next; I shivered and wanted to wrap my arms around myself, but was stopped by the restraints.

I lay still for a while before I noticed two people talking in hushed voices.

“Isn’t it weird that 049 also collapsed at the same exact time?” What? I listened closer. “Did something… happen?”

“Look, I… I shouldn’t tell you this, I really shouldn’t… But 507 looked quite ill after jumping back. I wonder…” Their voice dropped even lower. “But they never left our sight, did they? Like… was there something connecting them that we don’t know about that randomly activated or something?”

“Well, I don’t have access to 507’s file, only 049 and 6118. I wouldn’t know.”

“They all have… met… at some point, right?”

“What? Not at the same time.”

“No, I mean, 507 ended up in 049’s cell that one jump. What about 6118?”

“This is classified, I- I can’t tell you.”

“Come on. I told you about 507.”

“You’re going to get us fired… ugh. Okay. I was assigned to 049 and 6118 at the same time because you’re right, they did meet, and that ‘doctor’-” I could almost hear the air quotes- “Is absolutely insufferable about the alien.”


“I dunno. Maybe he wants to keep it as a pet or… something.”

A sigh. “You’re starting to sound like Shaw.”

“What?!” There was a pause, where they probably were cursing under their breath at how loudly they exclaimed. “No, no, not like that!”


“Ugh. Go pour hot coffee on yourself. And don’t tell anyone about this.” Footsteps approached me, and I realised they were coming from above– or, where my head was, as I was laying down. The person came into view, and I saw her nametag read “Caroline - She/her”. Caroline looked surprised to see me, punctuated with a, “You’re awake!”

“Yeah.” My mouth felt dry and I really wanted to crack my knuckles.

“How are you doing?” She asked, washing her hands in the sink.


Caroline donned exam gloves and a disposable mask. “You had a nasty fall.”

“I can tell.”

“You can tell how?” She put a hand on my forehead; the former was really warm, at least compared to my cold skin. “Are you in pain?”


“What hurts?”

“My chest. And my head.”

“Can you sit up?”

“Uh-” I winced as I pulled myself forwards by the handcuffs. She unzipped my jumpsuit and pulled it down my shoulders and I shivered again; it was fucking cold.

Caroline pressed on my back and I felt a sharp pain. “Yeah, I think you have some bruised ribs here.” I turned my head so that I could view my side and– oh yeah, I could see part of a large purplish mark. “You kind of fell to the side rather than directly on your back, which is a good thing, because your vertebrae kind of stick out and… have you gotten thinner?”

She stepped back to look at me, face scrunched in consideration. “Yeah, I think you have. Can you stand up? I want to get a weight on you.”

I pulled my wrists so that the cuffs clinked against the metal bars on the sides of the hospital bed. “Not with these.”

“Ah. Yeah.” I couldn’t read her expression because of the facemask– not that I was able to read expressions very well in the first place. “Um… I mean, it’s probably fine.” She took the radio from off of her belt and pressed down on the input button. “Is it alright if I uncuff SCP-6118 to weigh it? It’s responsive and… pretty weak looking, I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”

After a moment, there was a response. “Considering, uh, past events, we’re going to send an on-call guard down. ETA 30 seconds.”

Well they had certainly invested in better security. Good for them, I guessed, but very very bad for me. I suddenly felt really helpless; it hadn’t quite hit me that I was back at the Foundation. But as the door opened and I heard those heavy booted footsteps, I sighed with a sinking feeling I couldn’t quite describe. I was back at square one, huh?

The guard undid one of my handcuffs completely, then unattached the other from the hospital bed and used it to cuff my hands together. I sort of scooted down the bed and turned, trying to plant my feet on the ground so that I could stand up. Alas, I was too short, and just had to push off and hope I didn’t– fall. The guard grabbed the back of my jumpsuit and pulled me upright, but I felt wobbly.

“Are you feeling alright?”

My mind was reeling and despite the voice not even remotely matching, my brain was grasping at straws and the words were so familiar, so familiar… “Doctor?”


I got my bearings and looked straight at the person standing in front of me. It was just Caroline.


“Uh.. sorry, I thought you were someone else…” I muttered.

“I just wanted to know if you’re feeling alright.” She frowned. “Who else would I be?”

A nervous laugh escaped me. “Just weigh me.”

She nodded and motioned to the scale on the wall, walking over to it and pressing a button. I waited for the beep, then stepped on and waited.

Huh. Forty… two. I blinked at the number as Caroline wrote it down, then when guided, stepped off and got back onto the bed.

“Yeah… we’re going to have to do something about that…” Her muttering faded into the background as I stared at my feet. They were covered by those stupid fucking hospital socks that were always too big for me. They were grippy on both sides, lacking a heel, just kind of a tube with a rubbery texture. I flexed my toes and I could see the outline of the four digits.


I looked up. “What?”

“I asked if you’ve been having any symptoms besides pain.”

“Uh…” I pressed my fingertips to my forehead and eyes. “I- I don’t know.”

“You seem really confused.”

“I guess so.” My hand closed into a fist and I imagined just a little bit ago, when it’d been holding the Doctor’s.

"Maybe I should just let you rest, how does that sound?”

“Yeah… yeah, I really want to rest right now.” I scooted myself back into the mostly laying, but slightly upright position on the hospital bed. I stared at the ceiling, the fluorescent overhead lights making me squint as the guard reattached both hands to the hospital bed’s railing.

Caroline and the guard were talking, but it was all in one ear, out the other; I couldn’t make myself pay attention to the words. Instead, there was something at the forefront of my mind, that I was trying to keep myself from blurting, but then the guard left and closed the door behind themself and I was alone with the nurse once more.

“You said…” Her head turned towards me, but I was staring hard at the wall. “You said 049…” Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her eyebrows shoot up. “Had, uh, something similar happen.”

“Hey!” she whispered urgently. “You were not supposed to hear that.”

“I just-” Should I keep pressing it? Let it go? “I need to know.”

“Need to know what?”

“Is- Is he okay?” My voice trembled, even as I tried to hide it.

There was a long, long pause, or at least it felt abhorrently long. My whole body was stiff, and I didn’t even blink. God, I’d fucked up. They couldn’t know… they couldn’t find out that I…

“What’s it to you?”

I swallowed hard, eyes finding the corner farthest from Caroline and glueing onto it like seeing her face was a death sentence. My hearts were pounding so hard I could actually see my pulse as my vision got darker and lighter with the flow of new blood.


“Then why’d you ask?”

They couldn’t find out…

“J-Just curious. Just wanting people to be okay a-and all.” I forced a smile onto my face. “I’m just a bit of an… an empath.” I lied.

“Wanting people to be okay?” Caroline snorted and shook her head. “Maybe you should have thought of that before you decided to become a murderer…” she mumbled.

I forced the smile wider. “I-I’m sorry.”

She huffed and with a final check of my vitals she forcefully scribbled some notes down, then left rather loudly. I made some weird breathing sounds and squeezed my eyes shut to stop them from overproducing that watery fluid.

And I lay there, breath coming in stutters and eyes threatening to spill over until I finally let the aching tiredness consume me.

They couldn’t find out that I cared.

Everything just felt grey.

It was like when you’re in a stuffy room, and it’s not that bad, but you step outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air. Then when you go back in, it feels immensely more stuffy, unbearably so. And then you wonder if it would have been better if you never left at all.

That’s how every single day went. The cuffs didn’t stay on for long, but they kept me in the hospital nonetheless. One human brought me a book I actually hadn’t read before– that was nice. I opened it and noticed some of the pages were already dog-eared.

Huh. Maybe me in this reality has already read this book. It was a strange sensation, like reverse déjà vu. I knew I should have remembered it, but I just didn't. The memories weren't there.

A lot of things weren't there.

I would wake up in the middle of the night to the bright white lights of my containment cell– the ones that always gave me headaches– holding in a scream, tears running down my cheeks, panting and shaking. And nobody came. Of course they didn't; they never had in the past, but it just made me cry harder.

There were times I just curled into a ball around my pillow, sobbing his name over and over. Quiet enough that nobody could hear, but loud enough that it hurt so badly to remind myself who I was missing.

Eventually it came time to be returned back to regular containment. I guessed they trusted me or something; after all, I just laid there like an inanimate object while they changed my IV and poked me with needles. I didn't even ask what they needed my blood for; I didn’t want to know. Maybe they wanted to monitor my cell levels. Maybe they wanted to use it for some evil death machine. I didn’t care anymore.

Sitting on my regular mattress, covered in sterile white sheets, I looked down at my body. My forearms were a bruised mess, pockmarked with little blue dots up and down the veins. There was a small cotton ball with surgical tape covering the newest one, and I pulled at the edge of the tape to peek under it. The cotton ball wasn't horribly soaked with blood, but there was a fair amount; I'd always been an easy bleeder. It made me wonder how I'd survived a lot of things.

Like that time the entire bottom of my bathtub was completely covered in my blood, blood coming out of me, and I just sat there. I wasn't even panicking, I just felt numb. I thought it looked cool, the way the blood spurted out of my vein like that.

I sighed and wrapped my arms around myself, leaning against a wall. It hurt, the way my spine was pressed against the hard surface, but I couldn't get myself to care about that, either.

We had a plan. There was a reason we’d done this. But it was getting harder and harder to remind myself of that when I had that horrible gnawing feeling in my chest.

I wasn’t worth it. My life wasn’t worth it. I should have just spent the time I had left happy, with the Doctor. Whether I was slowly wasting away or not, it didn’t matter, as long as we were together, and right now we weren’t fucking together.

But at the same time, I didn’t want to burden him with that. I didn’t want him to have to watch my body mass slowly evaporate, not built for this gravity, this planet. Maybe it was better this way… at least now, if I died, it would be in the solitude of my containment cell. The only people that would find my body would be the same people that didn’t give a shit in the first place.

My body was so heavy and tired that I didn’t even flinch and glance up like normal when the maglocks of my door disengaged. Instead, I held in a groan as I pushed myself into an upright position, possibly-pressure-sored pelvis complaining as I distributed what little weight I had in my upper body onto the bones.

What was on the other side of the door surprised me. It wasn’t someone dressed in the crisp shirt and white lab coat of the scientists, nor the grey and black military gear of the guards, but a nervous looking person in scrubs. They nodded at someone I couldn’t see and stepped into the room.

“Hey there, I would have worn something nicer, but, uh, you know, no outside clothes around you.” A pause. “You know, ‘cause you get sick really easily… because Earth… you’re an alien…” they waved their hands gingerly in the air, then dropped them to their sides and cleared their throat. “Do you just sit there, looking all cute and sad, or..?”

“Why are you here?” My voice cracked halfway through, my throat not used to making any substantial noise.

“Sorry, could you speak up? I didn’t catch that.”

“Why are you here?” I repeated louder, flatter.

“Ah, well, I wanted to talk to you!” I couldn’t see their mouth due to the surgical mask they wore, but their eyes crinkled up in a friendly manner. They gestured at the floor next to my mattress. “Can I sit next to you?”

I nodded, because why not? They walked over and used the wall to ease themself down next to me. Their nametag read “Dennis - he/him”; I mentally logged that, like I’d actually remember or have a reason to at any time in the future.

After an awkward pause, he briefly turned the palms of his hands up before dropping them back to his lap. “So, how have you been feeling?”

I gave a really, really half-assed laugh, because I didn’t have it in me with my puffy blue eyes and bruised ribs to give something better. “Why?”

“Well, I read your file; I’m an awfully green researcher that got the privilege of having access to your case. And I want to know more about you, because I want to help. You seem like you’re not doing so good lately.”

“Was I ever doing good?” I muttered, straightening the bedsheet.

“Um, well, I just mean there seems to have been an uncharacteristic decline recently.”

“Yeah. Yeah, there has.”

“It started when you passed out a bit ago, right? What happened to trigger it?”

“Are you guys fucking dumb?” I snapped weakly. “Connect the fucking dots. I wasn’t the only one affected, and I know that.” Dennis didn’t move, and I glanced over at him and sighed again. “I’m sorry.”

“Ah, well, it’s alright. But what do you mean, you weren’t the only one affected?”

“Well, obviously…” I brought my knees to my chest and put my arms around them.

“You’re going to have to help me out a little here.”

“If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me.”

“Try me.”

My right hand moved up to rub the bridge of my nose. “I wasn’t in containment for the past few weeks, or months… I don’t know, I didn’t keep track. My consciousness is from another reality, actually. All humans died and the Doctor saved my life at least twice, from another SCP specifically. Then we made a decision, dimension hopped, and ended up here. Happy?”

There was a long, long pause, during which I wanted to crawl into the wall and hide. It was finally broken when Dennis made a sad noise. “You really miss him, don’t you?”


“That other SCP. You must miss him a lot, to daydream all of that up.”

Daydr-! I clenched my jaw so that it wouldn’t drop open, staring hard at the wall.

After a few breaths, I realised I could actually use this to my advantage. I hugged my legs closer and turned my head towards him, looking at the adjacent floor. My hair was really messy; I couldn’t tell where on the spectrum of homeless drug addict to childish bedhead it was, but it was too late to fix it now. The Doctor seemed to really like it anyways, with that look he gave me when I was still sleepy in the morning, sometimes punctuated by a soft mignon… ugh, I needed to think about other things. “Yeah, I really do.”

“How does that feel to you, missing someone?”

“Uh…” What did that feel like? “I guess… I want to be around him… like all the time. I always think about him. Literally everything I think about usually relates back to him in some way. I dream about him. I… I want to sit with him… I want to talk to him… and… and-” I cut myself off with a hopeless exhale and hand wave.

“No, no, go on. This is interesting. You know, everyone experiences missing someone differently.”

“I just… I want to see him. I would give anything… anything to see him.”

“…Well, I can certainly put in a request.”

My whole body shot up, eyes open. “You can?!” Shit. Shit, too excited. Jesus christ, I needed to learn how to shut the fu-

Dennis laughed. “Yeah, I can try. I don’t know if they’re going to actually, like, consider it or anything, but I can try. I mean, you are kinda… really depressed right now…”

“Yeah.” I looked at one of the bruises, the one I’d pressed on the most, because the whitish hypertrophic scars running up and down the skin were long ago healed, and thus couldn’t give any kind of emotional relief via pain. “Yeah, I am.”

“You do not understand. I must see my patient.”

The spiteful egghead behind the glass sighed and pushed the glasses higher on the bridge of his nose. They glinted in the illumination from the fluorescent lights. “We’ve been over this, 049. I’m afraid that just isn’t possible.”

I made a noise of frustration and turned half-away from the observation window. “It is a matter of life or death, good sir!”

A pregnant pause ensued. “…Life or death?”

“Yes!” I whipped back around. “Are you an idiot? Are you deaf? I have been reiterating this for days, weeks!”

“We… we weren’t aware of the severity of the situation-”

“Then get him over here immediately or I will personally ensure that none of you will remain alive and healthy.”

“There’s no need for threats.”

My hands itched to tear something apart. I had not felt this infuriated since that deplorable slab of badly shaped porcelain a enlevé mon…


The anger drained out of me. I simply wanted to hold him, I wished to hug him, longed to stroke his soft hair and hold those little hands, watch the skin when I pressed it to note the capillary refill, hold his thin, scarred wrists and check the dual pulses. I lowered my head, imagining the cool of his head on my chest and feeling a pang of agony upon doing so.

“I did not mean to upset you. Fellow men of medicine should be treated with respect, of course.” I spat bitterly. Looking back upon him, the soft mental image of the alien’s delicate features was replaced with the loathsome sight. He was a robber and a murderer, killing a baboon and stealing its face.

“Yes, respect is important when getting what you want,” he responded in a dull monotone, but I could plainly view the curiosity I had piqued.

“We both know your organisation would benefit greatly via gained knowledge from our interactions.”

“And how is that?”

“Simple. I have a greater understanding of his physiology than you do, and he has a greater understanding of my goals and methods than you do. Those are two things I am well aware you cretins would like to know about most.”

His mouth hardened into a long line. “We will consider it.”

The door to my containment chamber opened and this time I did flinch and glance up. Dennis had been semi-regularly coming to see me, talking to me about various things and writing down more notes than I thought were necessary due to the security cameras and all. He walked in, looking to be in an elevated mood as he was more animated and smiling under his mask.

“I have some good news!”


“Remember that request I put in a bit ago? They were considering it for a while, and finally approved it.”

“What?” I sat forwards and felt my eyebrows shoot up, having to remind myself to close my mouth so my jaw didn’t fall onto the ground.

“You’re going to go see your friend!”

“What?” I asked again, stupefied. My brain finally stopped lagging, and I followed it up with, “When?”

Dennis made a show of checking his watch, with a pause to build tension, then looked back at me and smiled wider. “Right now!”

“I- I-” I stood up, then regretted it as I gripped the wall to keep from immediately eating shit. “R-Right now?!” Once my head stopped spinning, I stepped forwards and ran my hands through my hair. “But- I- Wh-”

Thank god they’d let me shower that morning– a rare occasion, because I didn’t sweat or produce a lot of oil or dead skin cells– I needed everything I could get to not look like absolute shit.

“C’mon, you look fine.” He reached out a hand towards me and I walked forwards then, when guided, out the door with him. There was just one guard, who nodded at Dennis and followed us as we walked down the hallway.

“But why? Why now? What’s going on?” My hearts were pounding; I could literally hear the rushes of blood in my ears.

“I don’t have the clearance to know. They only let me on your case because I was interested in it from a psychological point of view.”

I was too nervous and excited and terrified to even care that I wasn’t more than an object to be studied to him. “They- They just decided?”

“I guess so.”

That wasn’t enough of an answer. I was worried, because there were a lot of possibilities and I didn’t have the cognitive energy, focus, or time to run through all of them from beginning to end. But, in bullet points, they were:

(A) We’re not meeting. I’m a lamb being led to slaughter because they’re fed up with me. (It would make sense. I was too much of a burden, anyways.)
(B) We’re not meeting. They want to run more tests on me and this is the only way they could think of voluntarily getting me out of my cell. (A stupid one, because I didn’t have the strength to resist anything at that point. But, hey, the Foundation proved to be really fucking stupid sometimes.)
(C) We are meeting, but only so they can do something horribly fucked up to one or both of us. (Definitely possible. I just hoped I would be the one getting hurt instead of the other way around.)
(D) We are meeting, just… to talk? (Why?)

I was in the middle of thinking about how much blood I could lose without falling unconscious, for option C, when we arrived in front of a door labelled with info, and…



I felt frozen, but somehow forced my feet to move, taking shallow breaths as the door opened and I was led in.

There was a large plexiglass-looking pane set up from floor to ceiling, with airlocks on either side. I saw a dark smear in my vision, and I realised my eyes were shaking as I was nudged into the airlock and it was resealed. There was good airflow inside, and it was the perfect temperature. I could still smell whatever harsh cleaning supplies they’d used to sterilise it; because, obviously, the weak little alien couldn’t handle any germs.

…Okay, so they weren’t wrong. But I found it silly how they’d sometimes be so careful not to get me sick, then sometimes strap me to a table and make me so sick I started having hallucinations.

I stood there for a moment, then swayed on my feet, rapidly and half-purposefully ending up seated on the floor. The dark smear stood up, and someone harshly told him to stay where he was. My brain hurt, and I held my head in my hands as doors opened and closed.

Eventually, an intercom crackled to life; “You may approach it now.” I looked up, and all of the Foundation personnel were gone, into the attached observational room, leaving just me and…


He quickly but carefully walked over to the glass, sitting down in front of me. I kept staring at him, too dumbfounded to even say anything. Because this was really happening and he was really here and what the hell?

“Your eyes…” He said softly, slightly muffled because of the pane. A large hand rested on the glass by my face. “You look so tired…”

The ducts around my eyes burned and my vision got a bit blurry. I simply nodded, unable to speak.

The Doctor spared a glance through the window at the observing personnel. “How have they been treating you?”

“Fine,” I mustered. “What about you?” I asked, sitting up straighter and pressing my hand to the opposite side of the glass.

“Well enough.”

“What does that mean?” I sniffled, hoping I looked nicely tragic rather than gross and ugly.

"It does not matter. I am most concerned with how you are doing."

"Same…" I stared at our hands, and maybe I was hallucinating but I could almost feel the warmth. The warmth that I so badly craved. But then I glanced at the window, and saw someone in a lab coat looking right at us, and I immediately dropped my hand.

The Doctor looked confused. "Is something the matter?"

"They… They can't know."

"Know what?" He asked, then looked at his hand and dropped it as well. "Ah. Well, why not?"

"They could use it against us."


"Um, we're kind of in separate places right now, right? I'd assume this is hermetically sealed," I tapped on the pane, "so they could, I don't know, flood your chamber with… poison gas… or something." I turned away and wiped my eyes. "They, they could make me watch while- while they do something just- just awful…"

"Do you not think I worry about the exact same things?" I turned back to him, and he was looking at me with concern.

"It doesn't matter if they do it to me."

"Why not?"

"At least then…" I switched to a mumble. "At least then I'll die right next to you."

His brow furrowed. "Do you want to die?"

It was such a blunt question that all my thoughts were smacked out of my head. I stared blankly at his chest, then felt my mouth tremble and something wet slid down my cheek.

"6118!" I wrapped my arms around myself, focusing on my legs. A small drop of liquid fell onto my jumpsuit, darkening it slightly. The Doctor leaned in closer, placing both of his hands on the pane of glass separating us. I managed to look back up at him and he looked so… upset. He looked sad. He looked… scared.

"I'm sorry!" I hid my face in my hands, holding in a sob. His fingertips pressed into the barrier as he futilely tried to grab for me.

"Mon petit chou. Do not apologise," he said very softly, voice just dripping with comfort and oh my god I hated the stupid fucking plexiglass because I just wanted to collapse forwards into his arms. "It… It hurts me, to see you in so much pain, because I cannot do anything about it." He pressed his forehead to the glass. "I wish to hold you… I…" His normally steady and confident voice that could silence a whole room sounded uncertain and sorrowful.

I took a deep breath and rubbed my eyes with the back of my hand, then wiped it on my jumpsuit. I forced my face to look neutral, despite already feeling the skin around my eyes getting all puffy and blue. "It's okay, I'm okay," I said weakly, voice small and shaky.

"But you're not," he insisted.

"I can't imagine you are, either." He sighed, and I slouched so my entire side was against the glass. I definitely could have been hallucinating, but I felt the smallest amount of warmth coming from where his hand was pressed against it. "This isn't going like I thought it would."

"I think… I think, after this meeting, things shall change."

"What do you mean?"

The intercom crackled back on. "Hey, you two. This isn't why we brought you here."

"Then why DID you bring us here?" I shot back, looking right at the researcher leaning over the mic. Luckily, having to stuff down or otherwise ignore all my feelings through synthesization gave me some practice in being able to rapidly reassemble myself, and by that point my voice sounded more or less normal.

“Observation. Don’t start scheming in plain sight.”

“Then observe us scheming,” I said with a half-assed hand gesture. I was so frustrated I was tired, but simultaneously too tired to be angry.

The lab-coat-clad human leaned back in like they were going to say something, but were stopped by someone else approaching them. The intercom was still on, and the second person clamped their hand over the microphone to muffle what they were saying. There was feedback, and it whined extremely loud; the lights were already hurting my eyes, and it only hurt my brain more as my hands jerked up to cover my ears.

It felt like a flashbang, and when the ringing finally stopped the Doctor was looking at me worriedly. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah- just a headache. The sound made it worse.”

“Those can be caused by stress.”


He suddenly sat back from the glass, looking up at the door. I turned, view partially obscured from the airlock, but heard the door open and I could see darkly clad personnel coming into the room.

“049, return to the other side of the room.”

“What is the meaning-”

“Now, or we will use force.”

“I guess that’s all the time we get…” I smiled at him weakly, and he gave me a long, apologetic look as he stood and walked to the opposite wall. After a few moments, the airlock disengaged and a guard stepped in.

I tried my very best to stand, getting about halfway up before the guard grabbed my arm and pulled me the rest of the way up. My low blood pressure was really being a pain, as the floor seemed to wobble like a tilt-a-whirl and I almost tripped over air as they pulled me forwards. Still, I was able to keep myself vaguely upright as we passed through the airlock; I felt the soft air barrier brush against me, making my skin prickle with goosebumps.

A look over my shoulder as I was being pulled through the doorway confirmed that the Doctor was still looking at me, and I could tell.

He was angry.

Once we had gotten back to my cell, Dennis had checked behind us, before quietly telling me to “be quick when the lights go off”.

At the time I’d been confused, but now that I was sitting up in the darkness of my room, I understood.

The normal buzzing of the lights had silenced, and I realised that that’s what had woken me up. The absence of the grating noise would have been calming, if my hearts weren’t pounding so hard in my chest that it hurt. I slowly and silently pushed off of the mattress, giving myself time to adjust to standing. Dim emergency lights shone through the cracks around the outside of my door; cracks that weren’t there when the maglocks were engaged.

I took a step towards the door, feeling like I had that day when I’d realised all the humans were dead. If I could sweat, I would have had the clammiest hands right then.

But, fuck it. Unlike the last time, I was so ready to leave. Whatever Stolkholm syndrome I had for the Foundation was being overridden by the need to be back with the Doctor. I pushed on the heavy door with all my body weight until it opened just enough for me to slip out and into the hallway.

There were dim emergency lights, so dim I didn’t know how a human could have seen in such darkness. Luckily I was not a human, and my species had adapted to low levels of light due to the constant fog of our planet. My pupils must have been completely dilated, but I had a more or less clear image of the path I was going to take.

I’d done it twice before; when I’d breached right after being transferred to Site-19, and just a few hours prior in our unfortunately short meeting. My memory wasn’t the best, I was navigationally challenged, and my brain was swimming in adrenaline, but I was determined. In the name of… whatever we had.

Eventually, I recognised the hallways. I put my hands into the front pockets of my jumpsuit to stop from obviously shaking; what if this was a trap? After all, I hadn’t seen any other SCPs out of their cells. At least, that’s what I thought until the scent of iron hit me. It was pungent and smelled… spoiled.

Then I noticed uneven, stumbling footsteps– realising they were approaching. I was right by an open door, the inside of the room it led to being faintly illuminated, but curiosity got the better of me and I turned around… and almost screamed.

Close enough to touch, there was something that looked like it used to be a humanoid body, but elongated, with extra limbs where I didn’t think there should have been. It didn’t have a head, and I almost breathed a sigh of relief– thinking it couldn’t see me– until it reached out to grab my shoulder and I made a startled noise, backing up until I ran into something else.

It was big and solid, but warm, and then there were arms around me that pulled me back inside the room. Panic seized me; I thought my soul left my body for a split second.

“Calm down. It is only me.” The arms relaxed and I used the opportunity to whip around and grab the front of his cowl, pulling his obnoxiously tall and looming form down towards me.

“Oh my god! Dude!” I exclaimed, then just paused and stared at him. Eye contact was a rare thing for me, but at that moment the yellow irises searching my face were all I could focus on. “Oh my god,” I lowered my voice, then let go of him and just stood with my head on his chest for a moment.

I sucked in a breath and stepped away; he was reluctant to let me go, and I didn’t want to be let go, but we didn’t presently have the time to cry all over each other. I looked around the room, rapidly realizing that this was where the smell was coming from.

There were broken bodies, or the remnants of them, strewn all about the containment cell. There were several lit candles placed around the room– where the hell the Doctor had gotten those, I didn’t know, but his medical bag seemed to not conform to the bounds of what I knew as reality, so– that bounced flickering light off of the many corpses. They glistened with blood, and some were also oozing some kind of thick, blackened fluid.


“Do not be afraid. They are cured.”

“Yes, but-”

“It was necessary,” the Doctor said firmly, “they were in opposition to us.”

I tried to walk over to one, but he approached me from behind and held my shoulders. “They are an ugly sight,” he murmured, turning me around, “not suited for fragile creatures such as yourself.”

Normally, I would have retorted– something about having caused countless deaths myself, and maybe I was a little bit fragile, but at least not mentally, and aren’t we all a little bit?– but I was most interested in getting out of there.

I reached up and wiped a little bit of blood off of the Doctor’s mask. “Is any of this yours?”

“No, I have no injuries.”

“Well, good, because we’re getting out of here.”

“How do you propose we do that?”

“Did 049 in this reality have a keycard stashed away?”

The Doctor’s hands left my shoulders, rummaging in the pocket attached to his belt. Then he brought up a small, rectangular piece of plastic that glinted in the candlelight. “Of course. It would be negligent not to.”

“Then let’s fucking go,” I grinned.

We stepped out of the room, and I noticed multiple more… “cured” organisms as we walked, as well as the occasional human slumped at impossible angles.

“What… what did you do to them?”

“I can no longer put vital signs to rest with a touch of my hand. I had to take a more drastic and forceful approach.”

“You can kill someone with your bare hands?”

His fingers slid down the back of my arm before trailing up to take my hand. Compared to him, I looked almost… dainty. Fuck. “I would not expect you to understand.” He tilted his head playfully. “You do not even have calluses.”

Leaving was substantially harder this time. It wasn’t like we could just walk on out; however, there had apparently been breaches of multiple other anomalies, and we heard frequently over the sitewide intercoms that there were shelter-in-place orders, and nobody was supposed to be in the halls or otherwise near any of the containment cells. In theory, that would make things easier for us, but in practice, it meant that the Mobile Task Forces assigned to get every anomaly back into containment could shoot anything that moved.

We both had our upsides and downsides; I didn’t give off any heat signature, but I was dressed in all white with “SCP-6118” printed across the back of my jumpsuit. The Doctor gave off a significant heat signature, but was dressed in all black and easily blended into the shadows. The heat signatures were important, because I assumed in this darkness that the MTF squads were using some kind of infrared optics so that they weren’t stumbling around into the walls; humans, as I had figured out, did not have such an easy time seeing in low light.

At one point, I’d looted a corpse for a handgun and clip that I didn’t know how to load, but told myself I could probably figure out if I really needed to. It was gross and bad, but I told myself they weren’t dead, just sleeping. I also sort of hated the way that Earth guns worked, like much older guns from my planet. They were loud and got combustible powder everywhere, and had no kind of damage moderation besides for where you picked to shoot.

I just hoped I wouldn’t have to find out whether or not I’d figure out if I was rusty at aiming.

The Doctor and I stuck close together; I was better at seeing, but he was better at navigating, and had a better idea of Site-19’s layout. He had been there a lot longer than I had, and breached many more times than I had. He gave me instructions, and I somehow followed them perfectly despite how anxious I was.

In a way, it actually felt normal. I had done this before; been somewhere I wasn’t supposed to, hearts beating out my chest and hands shakily clamped around a gun. The soul-crushing anxiety was actually preferable to the soul-crushing depression, because at least being worried about the future meant I was worried about living.

After my 3rd time narrowly avoiding being seen and therefore filled with projectiles, I turned a corner and saw an emergency fire exit.

Only one problem: it read ‘Alarm will sound if opened’.

The Doctor caught up to me, and I turned to him. “How loud do you think the alarm is?”

“Likely around 70 or 80 decibels.”

“I have genuinely no clue what that means.”

“Well, fire alarms typically must be at least 15 decibels above-”

Shouting and heavy footsteps approached, getting louder and louder. I edged closer to the door. “I’m an alien. This means nothing to me. Will they notice?”

“They will definitely know that someone pulled a fire alarm or exited through one of these doors.”

The footsteps were right around the corner. “Then let’s hope they think we’re frightened employees trying to get out.” The Doctor nodded, and I was pretty sure we were both simultaneously sizing up the heaviness of the door. I couldn’t tell if it was funny or pathetic, but I was relieved when he stepped to the door first and placed a hand on the push bar.

“Ladies first.”

I scoffed, scrunching my eyebrows together in mock offence as he opened it. Immediately, a noise loud enough to be obnoxious started blaring, and I slipped past him onto the fire escape.

I was surprised to find that we were only on the second floor. I didn’t remember how many staircases and elevators we took, but from how tired my legs were it was probably a lot. I glanced behind me to make sure the Doctor was there, then started running down the steps. It fucking hurt my feet– I didn’t have shoes or anything– and the entire time I was playing out 100 ways we could die, or worse, be recontained for the rest of our existences. Luckily, the inertia kept me going and I didn’t stop until we were on the ground. The grass was a welcome sensation, and I turned around to ask the Doctor where the hell we were going to go next.

As if reading my mind, he said, “I know places.”

I nodded. “Let’s go, before everything goes wrong.”

The Doctor started walking, and I followed by his side. He put his hand on my back, looking off into the woods surrounding Site-19. “We are together. That means everything is going right.”

Bad thing about humans existing: humans exist. Good thing about humans existing: public transportation.

It was night, and we were walking through a suburban area when I nearly tripped over found something on the sidewalk. It was small and rectangular with round edges, and read “Student LTD Transit Pass”.

I held it up for the Doctor to see. “What’s this?”

“I assume you would use it for getting onto vehicles, likely buses. So students can get from their home to school and back.”

“Those are those really long car things, right?”

“There are many ‘long car things’ in the world.”

“Okay, but-” just then, something turned onto the road we were walking along, headlights startling me as I turned to look at it. And… it was a long car thing. Coming towards us?

“Intriguing timing. I think that is a bus stop, over there.” He motioned to some covered benches not too far away. “Want to ride the bus?”

“Well… yeah, fuck it.” We made it to the stop just in time… only for the bus to keep going.

Oh, okay. I shrugged and was going to turn and go back the way we were headed, but then the bus stopped and backed up to the stop. The doors opened, and I registered that I was supposed to get on.

I turned to the Doctor and he nodded at the doors, so clutching the Transit Pass, I climbed the steps to the person behind the wheel. They pointed at the box beside them, and I looked at it confused.

“You got money or a bus pass?”

“Uh. I have this.” I held out the blue rectangle, showing them the words on it.

“Isn’t it a little late for you to be out?” I glanced at the clock on the dash; 12:32. Oh, so we were in America, with their weird 12-hour clocks. I mean, I’d already presumed that because of the majority of people’s accents, but still. The majority of Earth shows I watched were set in America, actually, so I knew… a thing or two, not much more than that.

“Yeah, um, I’m going home.” I turned halfway to the Doctor, who was waiting on the first step. “With him.”

“And he’s your..?”


“Your parents know about him, sweetheart?” In a lower voice, they continued, “You have to be a special kind of weird to wear a costume like that.”

“I- I mean, I’m pretty weird, too,” I improvised. “Hah- what even are my clothes… um…” Okay, so I sucked at improvising.

The driver just shook their head and jerked a thumb to the main body of the vehicle, where there were rows of empty seats. “I don’t want a doll like you wandering the streets at night with strange men. Get in here, I’ll take you home.”

“Thank you, thank you so much,” I smiled at them with closed lips, careful not to show my teeth. I passed as human well enough… probably. I didn’t want that to change because of my ugly smile.

We got in and sat down in the very front seats, chosen by me despite the Doctor’s silent glances at the ones farther back. I just didn’t want the driver to think we were ungrateful.

“Where am I taking you?”

“Um-” I turned to the Doctor, trying not to appear like a dumbass while giving the ‘you say it’ look.

He recited some words and numbers that I didn’t understand, and the person behind the wheel bristled noticeably at his voice. Weird- I found it rather calming, though he did seem… more harsh and flat than usual.

“That’s your house?” They asked, turning around to look at me.

“Yes,” I responded quickly.

They glanced between us. “…Okay. Well, at least that’s on my route.”

Once the driver turned back around, closed the doors, and started driving, the Doctor exhaled quietly but sharply.

“What’s wrong?” I whispered, looking up at him. He was watching the bus driver.

He just shook his head slightly and put an arm around me, pulling me closer.

We finally arrived at our destination, and the person behind the wheel opened the doors. The Doctor got off first, waiting for me on the sidewalk near the bus. I was on the last step when they spoke up.


My whole body froze. “Yes?”

“What’s that mean?”

“Um, it’s… it’s…” Fuck. Shit. Of course, the back of my jumpsuit. “It’s a character.”

“Are you two cosplayers or something?”

“Yes,” I responded quickly, just wanting to get off of the bus.

“Alright, well… Just, be safe. I know this isn’t your house, and I get the feeling your parents don’t know what you’re doing.”

I gripped the handrail. “My parent thinks I’m dead.” And I stepped out, not looking back. I heard the doors close, and after a few moments, the engine rumbled and the bus rolled away.

We walked towards the house together, and the Doctor didn’t say anything, but I knew he’d heard. That was how some things went with us; we mutually acknowledged that the information was shared, but didn’t press the other one about it– because we both had a lot of shit, and a lot of things we weren’t ready to talk about; but still, we knew that the other person would be there if we ever decided that we did want to talk about it.

The Doctor opened his medical bag and rummaged around inside it; I heard the different metal implements clinking together, before he finally fished out a key.

He put the key into the lock and, after a little jiggling (the door seemed a little old) he opened it, slight whining of the hinges giving way to a dark entryway. He flicked the light switch and the lights turned on, illuminating his pleasantly surprised expression. “She kept her word.”

“Who kept her word?”

“An old colleague of mine. Someone who owed me a favour. She said she would keep this place available for me, paying the bills et al. I hadn’t any reason to use it until now; I’d have thought she would have forgotten about her promise. She, evidently, did not.”

He locked the door behind us and sat down on a bench in the corner of the entryway. “But that’s enough of that. Come over here.”

I obeyed, walking over to him before he pulled me down onto him. “What-”

The Doctor placed his arms around my hips, as I was sort of kneeling on the bench over his legs. I put my hands on his hood, patting the sort of leathery hide-fabric-muscle-fibre-material.

“Hey, it’s okay. It’s okay. I’m not going anywhere,” I assured softly, a small smile starting to form on my face.

“I never want to be apart again,” he responded into my shoulder.

I rested my cheek against his head. “We’re together now.”

“You do not understand,” The Doctor pulled me down so I was in his lap, his head on my shoulder, cradling me in his arms. “Every day was agony. Not because they did anything to me, but because I was so worried about what they would do to you. I despise them. I despise how they treat you. The only reason there was negligible bloodshed is because I know how saddened it makes you to see death.” His voice was wobbling like it had been in his containment cell, and I was worried and didn’t know what to do. I just let him squeeze me, gently smoothing my hands over his cowl. “Goddamnit, I cannot lose you!” His breath sounded shaky, and I realised he was… crying.

“Doc, I- I don’t know what to say…” I fiddled with the hem of his cowl, face oddly relaxed despite everything. “I… I feel the same way. About everything.” There was a pause, so I kept going. “I felt like everything was over. Like I’d lost everything. I- I just, just missed you, like a lot. I guess… I guess I did want to die. Because you’re the only reason I’m alive.”

His breathing evened out, but he stayed silent; I didn’t know if he wanted me to continue, but I wanted to. “You saved my life, really, I would have been long- and I mean long long dead without you. I mean, I didn’t even think I was going to have a life after going under on my home planet. I thought that was the end. And- and then I woke up to people in hazmat suits poking and prodding me, and I was like, well shit. I guess I’m not dead, fuck. And then everything was just being in limbo until I either got myself killed or killed myself, myself. Ah, that doesn’t make sense, but you know what I mean. But- But then there was that one day, and I went into your cell, and-”

The Doctor loosened his grip on me slightly, sitting back so that we could see each other. His eyes were shiny, and a little bit of fluid was running down his mask, but he looked… happy. “You do not have to explain. I know exactly what you mean.”

I smiled again, the kind that crinkles your eyes a little. My lips parted slightly and I knew he could see my weird alien fangs, but I realised it didn’t matter. Because he liked me how I was, and I liked him right back.

Not in a weird way, of course.

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