The night of the convention, Daniel dreamt he was someone else.
He stood at the edge of the universe, a view few would ever see, with a traveling companion at his side.
He turned, walking back inside the blue police box that was next to him. But as he entered through the doors, he became confused. It wasn’t the TARDIS – it was an ordinary police box, same size on the inside as it is on the outside. He became distraught – what sort of world was he in where he couldn’t travel through time and space?
That’s when Daniel’s logical mind began to bubble up. Reality, it answered. At that moment, he was able to break through the illusion of the dream and realize that he was in fact dreaming, thus pulling himself out of it.
Back in the real world, Daniel’s eyes blinked open, looking up at the hotel room ceiling above him. Waking up, he was confused for a moment as he still found himself wearing the Doctor’s outfit, like in the dream – until he remembered that he just fell asleep in it after the con instead of changing into something else. Come to think of it, he didn’t bring a change of clothes at all – since he didn’t initially plan on crashing in a hotel room, instead thinking he’d be heading straight home. Brookkon wasn’t terribly far away from where he lived, after all. An hour or so drive, but not too bad. Oh, that’s right… he contemplated. I didn’t want to drive while I was that tired… plus I made a friend. Daniel began to remember the previous night a lot more clearly, rising out of his sleepy grogginess. Not only did he not want to drive all the way home, but he’d met a friend at the convention – a Sheogorath cosplayer – who was staying in this hotel. So Daniel decided to spend the night there, and they planned to get breakfast together in the morning before heading home. I’m not a very good planner when I’m tired, am I? he thought to himself, still lying in bed. At least I remembered to take the wig off – wouldn’t want it to get all matted up while I slept. he thought, noticing he couldn’t feel it on his head anymore. But then, glancing at his nightstand, he began to wonder… Then again, where did I put it?
Climbing out of bed, he began to search around what little belongings he had with him, but it didn’t take him long to realize he had no idea where the thing had gone. After all, he hadn’t packed for anything overnight (the con was only one day, besides), and he’d hardly even bought anything there, save for a couple collectable dragon figurines from the Awakening series, so there weren’t many places to search. Oh well, I’ll search for it later… he told himself, growing somewhat aggravated as he took off his long jacket and tossed it onto the bed. For now I should at least take a shower, put on some extra deodorant… I’ll be fine. He regretted not buying one of those ‘Team Ex’ or ‘Team Arachnid’ t-shirts he’d looked at yesterday, so at least he’d have a clean shirt to wear – but even after attending the Data Spell panel, he couldn’t figure out what team he was…
Daniel’s wandering mind, however, was quickly snapped back to reality when he walked into the bathroom and caught sight of his reflection in the mirror – which was enough to make him flinch, even jump back somewhat as he let out a small scream of shock. He stared at himself for a moment, catching his breath. Replacing his previous ginger head of hair was what looked exactly like the wig he’d lost. But he then ran his fingers through his hair – it didn’t feel like a wig. Stepping closer to the mirror to get a better look, he tugged on his hair slightly. I can feel that… he reflected in awe. And I can’t take it off… Leaning in over the sink, he pulled his hair back and inspected his hairline closely. He could see where each strand of hair met his scalp. It’s real… he told himself, not sure if he could even believe it. This is so, so weird… am I still dreaming? But no, it felt too real to be a dream. His eyes widened and his heart raced as his mind brought up some amazing yet horrifying possibilities, thinking back to the dream he had just last night. Am I…? Hesitantly, he brought his hand up to his chest. He could feel his heart pounding. Heart, not hearts. He could only feel one. Daniel sighed, slightly relieved. I’m not the Doctor. I’m not even a Time Lord. I’m just a human. I’m me. I’m Daniel Reed… the cosplayer told himself, trying to hold onto his sanity as this crazy morning continued. Wigs are just fusing to my head for some reason. That’s all.
Rubbing his face, he tried once more to bring himself back to reality. All this is making my head hurt. I should just take a shower and meet up with Sheogorath, or whatever his real name was. Having his room number written down somewhere, he planned to head over there as soon as he was awake and ready to start the day, but now, thinking ahead to the rest of the morning… My god, what am I even going to say to him about all this? He knows I was wearing a wig yesterday. Do I tell him everything? It’s too weird… Shaking his head, Daniel tried to make himself stop thinking about it. Just relax. he told himself. Take a shower. Cross that bridge when you get to it.
Once Daniel was as refreshed as he could’ve been after being forced to put on the old clothes, he checked the room number written down on a sheet of paper on the nightstand – also, on the back, he found the cosplayer’s actual name, Zeke Oglesby. He grinned slightly. Good. Now I don’t need to worry about having forgotten his name. he reassured himself, distracting himself somewhat from some of the other things he had to worry about. He grabbed his jacket, wallet, room key, small bag of things he’d brought to and/or bought at Brookkon and head out the door, planning to meet Zeke on his way down to the lobby.
Once there, he knocked on the door, waiting outside. “Zeke! You awake?” he called. “It’s me, Doc- Daniel!!” he caught himself, shocked that he nearly referred to himself by the wrong name. Then, rubbing his temples, Don’t think about this too hard… he told himself. You answered to ‘Doctor’ all day yesterday. That would explain the dream, too. You just need to get your head out of Brookkon. he convinced himself, waiting for Zeke to answer the door, a mild headache forming. You’re just psyching yourself out, Dan…