Characters: The Doctor
Word Count: 520
A/N: Written for the who_contest prompt - Noise
Summary: He had once found the white noise of gamma rays soothing, a constant din in the back of his mind, like a lullaby to ease him into sleep...
The older he got, the louder the universe seemed to get. He had once found the white noise of gamma rays soothing, a constant din in the back of his mind, like a lullaby to ease him into sleep. He could close his eyes and almost feel the gentle blips and troughs in the symphony of the universe as the stars moved, galaxies turned, and dark matter filled the places in between. A veritable masterpiece played up and down the electromagnetic spectrum.
Amongst the chaos there was a sense of order, tenuous at best, but there. An ordered logic to the push pull of atoms, a complex puzzle of neutrons, protons & electrons. The very essence of all things broken down to their smallest pieces and put back together in every way imaginable, over and over again.
That noise had always been with him. Beneath the familiar glow of constellations gracing Gallifreyan skies he had let it wash over him as a boy. Still young and unaware of where life would take him. With no understanding of the agony and joys ahead he had stood loose limbed, brow unencumbered by cares, and simply lived in the moment as his skin tingled with the ephemeral touch of star dust. Even then it had called to him, wandering the hills of the family estate, running his fingers through the waves of red grass as his thoughts danced ever further outwards between the stars. Imagination and the thrumming heartbeat of the universe carrying him to places he could not yet go.
Eventually he had. Travelled the stars, watched them burn and die and live again, through all of time and space.
Till now the universe had filled with noise. It was full of lost voices from civilisations vanished and forgotten. The echoing refrains of stars that blew themselves out. The aching throb of black holes ever hungry, and deafening silence from pockets of space that should never have been empty.
He closed his eyes now, and was pummelled by a cacophony of sound. The stars no longer sung him to sleep. Instead they held stories of loss, joy, pain, adventure, victory, defeat. They held his story, and that of every soul he had ever met. The simple hum of the universe from his youth had gone. In its place was a song so complex and vast it was overwhelming, deafening.
It was there every time he closed his eyes, every time he took a breath. He couldn't escape it. He had no choice but to run with a rush of sound on his heels, and hope the wave didn't shatter him when it washed over him.
The clash of noise drove him, he feared it, loved it, nurtured it, battled it. Others, his companions, those he loved, looked into his eyes and saw the turn of stars, the unimaginable drift of galaxies, time stretching forward and past. They caught a glimpse of the song, nothing else.
Sometimes, he envied them.
Mostly he closed his eyes, drew in a breath full of dead and dying stars, and breathed out stories yet to be.