1. I'm still writing on "Reality." Real life has just been keeping me busy.
2. Though this story is still rated T, it's not for young teens. I'd say sixteen or older.
3. I don't know if I'll finish this story. As of now, it's just a one shot. And it's definitely not as fleshed out as my other one. It's completely corny, but I just HAD to get this idea out there. It's been burning a hole on my iPad for more than a year. So, here it goes.
"Hold on. This is the parallel universe, right?" verified Rose. She stood on that blasted beach. The wind was the same. The clouds were the same. Even the smell brought back memories. It's alright, she told herself. We're just dropping off Mum.
"You're back home," explained the Doctor. She'll have everything she wants, he thought to himself. He tried to force down the grief he could already feel at her loss. She'll choose him, he knew. How could she not. He was part human.
"And the walls of the world are closing again," added Donna. "now that the Reality Bomb never happened. It's dimensional retroclosure. See, I really get that stuff now!"
The New Doctor smiled at her.
"But I just spent all that time trying to find you. I'm not going back now," said Rose, worry in her voice. How could he not want her? Had she done something wrong?
"But you've got to," said the Doctor. He was giving her a way out, a choice, a way to choose a human life, but still have all she wanted. "'Cause we saved the universe, but at a cost. And the cost is him. He destroyed the Daleks. He committed genocide. He's too dangerous to be left on his own." Besides, if anyone could help this new him, it was Rose.
"You made me," accused the New Doctor. There was fire in his eyes, anger at the Doctor's words.
"Exactly," the Doctor went on. "You were born in battle. Full of blood and anger and revenge." He looked at Rose. "Remind you of someone? That's me when we first met. And you made me better. Now, you can do the same for him."
"But he's not you," Rose's voice cracked.
The Doctor's hearts soared. Maybe she wouldn't choose a human life, he thought. He hoped. Maybe she would still insist on coming with him. The Doctor paused his thoughts, feelings of hope filling his hearts. He had to be sure, though. Insisting she wanted to stay with him at the Battle of Canary Warf was one thing, words and actions made in haste. This was something different. There would be no coming back, if she went with him now. Rose had to be sure. He had to be sure she was sure.
"He needs you," the Doctor tested Rose once more. "That's very me."
"But it's better than that, though," Donna chimed in. She smiled to herself. Rose won't stay here, she thought, remembering how Rose was from the Doctor's memories. Donna figured out what the Doctor was doing. Rose won't fall for it. "Don't you see what he's trying to give you. Go on tell her."
"I look like him, and I think like him. Same memories, same thoughts, same everything, except I've only got one heart," said the New Doctor, grateful for the chance to say something. He chose his words carefully, knowing he might not get another chance to plead his case.
"I'm part human, specifically the aging part. I'll grow old and never regenerate. I've only got one life, Rose Tyler." He said her name in that way he knew she couldn't resist. "I could spend it with you, if you want," he sounded hopeful.
"You'll grow old at the same time as me?" she asked, feeling sorry for him. She realized for this new Doctor, it would be the equivalent of her waking up to find she was part alien with only a year to live. Rose reached out and put her hand on the New Doctor's chest. As much as she felt sorry for him, she couldn't leave her Doctor.
"Together," added the New Doctor upon seeing the doubt in her eyes. She's not going to choose me. He could see it in her face.
The Tardis groaned a warning.
"We got to go" said the Doctor. After seeing Rose touch the other man, he was sure he'd lost her. He didn't want to drag out his own execution. That's what this felt like. Losing Rose was like being executed. "This reality is sealing itself off... forever."
He didn't realize the Tardis was warning about something else entirely. She'd noticed it when no one else did.
Rose ran back towards the Doctor. Did he really not want her anymore? Doesn't matter, she thought. I'm not leaving him alone. Want me or or not, he needs me. I just have to convince him.
"But, it's still not right," Rose tried, "'cause the Doctor's still you."
"And I'm him." Was she choosing him? Or did she just not understand her options? Why would she want to be with him when she could be with the human Doctor?
"All right. Both of you, answer me this." I know what he was going to say, Rose told herself. If I can just get him to remember... Could he really have forgotten how he felt so quickly? Wait. Time travel. How long had it been for him? Had he moved on? Had he found someone else? Rose swallowed. I've got to try.
"When I last stood on this beach on the worst day of my life, what was the last thing you said to me? Go on. Say it." Rose frowned, hoping this would bring the Doctor to his senses. If he truly didn't love her anymore, that was fine. She'd still love him. They'd just be friends. She'd accept any life with the Doctor, so long as she was with him. And if the New Doctor was really so dangerous, what better place to keep him than on the TARDIS?
"I said Rose Tyler."
"Yeah, an how was that sentence going to end?" She held her breath.
"Does it need saying?" he asked.
No, thought Rose. She knew how he felt.
"And you Doctor?" If he really was the Doctor, Rose knew, he'd answer the same way. "What was the end of that sentence?"
Rose almost gasped when the New Doctor took her hand. She could feel something, something incredible, something powerful. She could feel the New Doctor's mind brushing up against hers. In all their travels the Doctor had never done anything like this. He'd never touched her mind. And in all the telepathic contacts she'd seen him initiate, he'd always asked aloud first.
The New Doctor's presence grew stronger quickly. As a touch-telepath, physical contact was the easiest way for him to enter someone's mind telepathically. And holding Rose's hand made this mental contact easy, simple. The New Doctor looked Rose right in the eyes. She felt like he could see right through her when she was hit by his powerfully crushing presence, pressing down onto her mind like the weight of the world. It was nothing like when Cassandra had forced her way in to Rose's head. It was nothing like feeling the gentle nudges of the TARDIS. It was nothing like the feeling of being crushed when she jumped through the void. It was worse. It was much much worse. Rose was shaking on the inside, but showed no outward sign.
The New Doctor looked at her with compassionate eyes, leaned towards her ear, and whispered so quietly Rose almost couldn't hear him.
"Kiss me," he ordered.
Rose's body obeyed him without hesitation. She kissed him with all the passion she'd ever felt for her Doctor. She couldn't think. She couldn't break away. She couldn't stop.
The TARDIS called out to Rose, breaking the telepathic hypnosis the New Doctor had used on her. She gasped, and turned to run from the monster in front of her only to see the TARDIS disappearing. She opened her mouth to scream for the Doctor, but her voice stuck in her throat. The New Doctor was holding her hand, somehow preventing her from speaking.
Don't. His voice was in her mind. And she couldn't call for help.
Rose looked at the New Doctor who was looking back at her. Why? she thought Why would you do this?
Doing what's necessary is how we saved the universe from the Daleks, she heard him in her mind. Had he heard her questions? This was necessary to win.
Rose's heart skipped a beat, feeling more than uneasy with this new Doctor's answer. But her heart sank, when she thought of the other Doctor. How could he do this? And how could her Doctor leave her like that? How could he leave her with someone like this? Had she never meant anything to him? What was she supposed to do now? She was currently holding hands with the most dangerous alien she'd ever met. He had control over her. She couldn't stop him. She couldn't run away from him. And she was on her own. Her Doctor had abandoned her. He'd left her like he'd left Sara Jane. Her heart broke a little more. And she felt the New Doctor squeeze her hand.
"It's alright, Rose," he told her in a comforting voice. "We're going to be fine."
She couldn't let go of his hand. He stepped closer, gently stroking her cheek, and smiling like he'd won the lottery. The New Doctor leaned down, and gently kissed Rose's lips. She didn't kiss back, but she couldn't pull away either. She closed her eyes and trembled.
Mine. She heard his voice echo in her mind.
Doctor! Rose cried out inside her head, physically unable to voice her distress. Help!
"I'm right here, Rose," said the New Doctor, pulling Rose in for a hug. "It's alright."
He slipped his hand to the small of her back, and pressed himself tightly against her, the fingers of his other hand moved onto her temples.
"I missed you so much," he said.
She could feel his mind pressing in on hers just like his body was pressing against her. It was heavy, ominous, and powerful. She swallowed, feeling like his mind was crushing her.
Please, she thought. It's too much. I... I can't.
Instantly, his presence backed off, concern all over the New Doctor's face.
"Are you alright?" he asked. "Rose?"
"Let me go," she managed to choke out.
The New Doctor released her and stepped back, a look of hurt on his face.
"Get a room, you two," commented Jackie, smiling at her daughter and possibly future son-in-law. She'd been on the phone with Pete as soon as she'd seen the Doctor and Donna enter the TARDIS. But she'd watched Rose and the New Doctor snogging out of the corner of her eye. Jackie's smile grew.
"Talked with your dad just now," she told Rose. "Says he'll have a car come round for us. We can stay up at that hotel we used last time, or we can start drivin' toward the airport. Your choice."
Rose and the New Doctor never took their eyes off each other.
"Sounds good, Jackie," the New Doctor finally answered. He looked at his future mother-in-law, and smiled lovingly.
"Mum," said Rose, still eyeing the New Doctor warily. "What's Dad's new number?" Rose pulled out her super phone, and began scrolling through her contacts. Jackie started listing off the digits to Pete's new cell phone. But Rose wasn't listening. Instead, she dialed the TARDIS. Maybe the cracks weren't closed yet. Maybe the Doctor could still come through. Maybe he could help. Maybe it wasn't too late.
Rose brought her phone to her ear, and listen to it begin to ring. Yes! She had a signal.
Jackie began visiting with the New Doctor, telling him all about Tony and Pete. Rose turned and walked a little ways away from them. She looked out over the water. The phone rang and rang and rang. Finally, the machine picked up.
"You've reached the good ship TARDIS. Leave us a message."
Where is he! Rose hung up and dialed again. Again, she got the machine. She knew the Doctor didn't check his messages that often. Why would he? He had a time machine. But this was important. This was time sensitive. Once the cracks in the universe were closed, she'd be stuck. The TARDIS would never be able to get to her. She hung up and dialed a third time. Please, thought Rose. Please. Please. Please! Tears clouded her eyes when she thought about being stuck... again. Only this time she would be stuck with the New Doctor. And that scared her.
The answering machine picked up again, but the signal was starting to get fuzzy. It was obvious the cracks were sealing up. Rose knew she probably only had minutes to leave a message. She knew he wouldn't get the message until it was too late. He wouldn't be able to come get her. The TARDIS would have been here by now, if he was able to jump back in time to pick her up. He wasn't coming. It was too late.
"I..." What should she say? Help? If he still cared about her, that would break his hearts, knowing he'd abandoned her with a monster, knowing he'd never be able to rescue her. No. She couldn't do that to him. Not to him. She loved him too much. "Thank you." Her voice cracked. She tried to keep the hurt out of it. "I love you. I... I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I will always love you... forev..." The phone went dead. Rose took the phone away from her ear, and looked at it. Signal lost, it said.
She chanced a glance at the New Doctor out of the corner of her eye. He was glaring at her. Her mother was still busy chattering away, oblivious to what was going on around her. Rose looked at the sonic screwdriver in his hand. His arms were folded, hiding it. But it was on. And it was pointed in her direction. The New Doctor had cut off the signal. He hadn't even let her say goodbye. That was mean. Rose's hurt turned to anger. She stormed towards him.
"What did you do that for!" she accused. "It's not like it would have made a difference."
"How's Pete?" he asked, ignoring what she'd said. He stepped closer to take her hand. She stepped back.
"Don't touch me."
"Rose," he said, lovingly, "It's alright. It's still me."
"'Course you are," chimed in Jackie. She looked over at Rose who was clearly in distress. "Sweetheart, what's the matter?"
Tears rushed Rose's eyes. "It's not him, Mum. He's not the Doctor."
"Sure it is, sweetheart. Just look at him." Jackie looked at the New Doctor. "Still has the same face an' everything." She faced the New Doctor. "You're himself. Aren't ya? You're the Doctor?"
"Yes." He nodded.
"There. You see. Even the other Doctor said this one's the Doctor."
"It's not him, Mum," Rose tried to explain. "He... He left me. He just... He left." The hurt in her voice came through loud and clear.
"That's not what I'm going to do," answered the New Doctor. "Rose. I love you. And I'm not going anywhere. I promise."
"Stay away from me."
The New Doctor stepped back, closer to Jackie.
"Stay away from my mum, too," she ordered.
Jackie looked bewildered at her daughter. Her bewilderment quickly turned to anger, and anger to legendary Jackie Tyler fury.
"Now, you listen here," Jackie started. "I've been through hell and back again because of your infatuation with this alien. I've been attacked in the street by plastic dummies. I've been attacked in my own home by a giant green farting alien. I had my only child stolen and missing for a year. A YEAR! I thought you were dead. Then you disappear. Go galavanting around the universe without a care for those you left behind. You leave Mickey hanging on like he's garbage. I've been attacked by a christmas tree, had my apartment torn apart. I've been stalked by killer robot santas, stalked by idiots lookin' for 'imself. I was almost turned into one of those cyber-what's -its. And then. THEN. I lose my whole world." Jackie started counting on her fingers. "I lost my mum, my sister, and all my friends when I ended up stuck here. And after four years of putting up with your pining after him, you finally get him back." She dropped her hands to her hips. "But not just him. He doesn't take you away from me. No. He has the decency to give you a human him, so the rest of us don't have to lose you." She clenched her hands into fists. "But that's not good enough for you, innit. No. You have to have the other one. The one that means the rest of us lose you." Jackie took a breath. She brought one hand up to rub at her temples. "I've had it, Rose." She dropped her hand, and stared her daughter in the eyes. "You're being selfish. Selfish." Her voice calmed. "Can't you see, sweetheart. The rest of us love you too." Jackie paused, trying to keep control. "Himself is the Doctor. An' the other isn't coming back. Just like Pete is your dad. An' your other dad isn't coming back either." Rose's mother let out a long sigh, clenched her jaw, and spoke. "S Time to grow up, Rose."
Rose was stunned. Is that how her mother felt? All this time she thought she was just being childish? Rose's face turned hard. She pursed her lips, and nodded.
"Fine," she answered, hurt now mixed with anger in her voice. She swallowed back her emotions. It felt like she was losing her mother just like she'd lost the Doctor. Pete was good to her mum, but he wasn't her dad. Mickey had stayed in the other universe. And everyone else she knew worked for Torchwood. They weren't really friends. She felt alone. Truly alone. And she realized she needed to let her mother go. If she let her go, at least she wouldn't be hurting her anymore. Jackie was right. Rose's bottom lip quivered into a deep frown. It was time to grow up.
"I get it," she told her mother. "I'm sorry you went through all that, Mum. I really am. Never wanted you to get hurt."
"Jackie, could you give us a minute?" asked the New Doctor.
"Yeah," she answered curtly. "See if you can talk some sense into her." She turned and headed towards the road. The New Doctor watched Jackie go. Rose turned around to face the water again.
"I don't have anything to say to you."
"Then just listen." The New Doctor came to stand next to Rose, looking out over the water. They stood silently next to each other for several minutes. "She didn't mean it, Rose. She's just worried."
Rose didn't answer.
"She doesn't want you to get hurt. That's all."
Rose still ignored him. Her hands were in her pockets. She wanted to make sure he couldn't touch her.
"I was a father once." He paused. "I would have done anything to protect my..."
"You're not him."
He was quiet. "I'm sorry," he said finally. "I didn't want to hurt you."
"Then you shouldn't have taken him away from me. You didn't even let me say good-bye." Rose's bottom lip quivered. She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. She wouldn't let him see her cry.
"And what would have happened to him, if you'd gone with him? What kind of hell would he have gone through?"
"How do you mean?" Rose looked over at him. She was concerned.
"When you died on some planet," he continued. "And he blamed himself for not keeping you safe."
"I knew the risks," countered Rose. "So does he."
"True." They could hear the water splashing on the shore. "And if nothing went wrong..." He looked at her. "Then he gets to watch the woman he loves more than all else in the universe wither and age and suffer and deteriorate until she's nothing but a shell of the person he fell in love with, until you die. Do you know what that would do to him? Do you have any idea what kind of hell that would put him through?" He looked pointedly at Rose. "He'd go insane, Rose. He'd go completely insane. He'd have to go on without you. Forever."
Rose looked over at the New Doctor for the first time questioning if he really was the monster she'd thought he was a few moments ago.
"How long would the universe survive with an insane timelord on the loose?"
Is that why he'd done what he did? Rose wondered. Had she misjudged him?
"There were safety measures in place for problems like that back when my people were still around. We were linked telepathically to each other. If someone started to slip, the stability of the other timelord's minds would give enough support too..."
"Then how come he didn't keep you with him?" asked Rose. "You're both timelords. You could have supported each other."
"And he'd have to watch me age and die too."
Rose was quiet. She stood very still. Was this New Doctor right? Would her staying have destroyed the man she loved so dearly?
"You could have just told me," she said. "Explained it."
"There wasn't time."
Rose was starting to believe him. Maybe he was the Doctor. Maybe he was only doing what he had to. Maybe he... Wait. Then why had he forced his mind into hers after the Doctor had gone? Why had he snogged her without giving her a choice? And what about Donna? Wouldn't she die of old age too? No. This wasn't right.
This New Doctor was just as smart as the real Doctor. He'd been trying to manipulate her. It had almost worked too. She'd almost fallen for his lies. He was faster, stronger, and smarter than she was. Within only minutes of conversation, he'd managed to get into her head, make everything he'd done seem acceptable. And if she had almost fallen for his manipulating, how could anyone else on this planet have a chance?
Rose swallowed down the fear threatening to overtake her. It wasn't just her that was in danger. It was the whole planet, possibly the whole universe. What was she supposed to do?
They stood silently next to each other for several more minutes, before the tears Rose was trying to keep from falling began streaming down her cheeks. He looked over at her. She couldn't let him know she understood he was trying to manipulate her, but she couldn't stop her tears.
"I loved him," she said. "I loved him so much."
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
He sounded so much like her own Doctor. The sound of his words broke the damn holding back the flood of her emotions. She turned and walked away from him. He let her go. He didn't follow. And she was grateful.
She needed time. She needed time to think. She needed time to grieve. But most of all, she needed time to come up with what she was going to do next. Did she dare tell her mother? Did she dare not? Jackie needed to know how dangerous this New Doctor was. But Jackie was also terrible at keeping secrets. If Rose said anything to her, chances were, the New Doctor would find out within minutes.
What about Pete? He was still the head of Torchwood. Could he do something? Maybe lock him up? But for what crime? Almost everything this Doctor had done could be explained as necessary. Even when he'd forced himself on her, Rose realized, it would have appeared consensual to Jackie. More than consensual. From outside appearances it looked like Rose had come onto him. Even the real Doctor had been fooled. Besides, with Jackie being adamant the imposter was the Doctor, and Rose was just being childish, would Pete even believe her? She had to try though. She couldn't just leave her mother in the dark. And if she could convince her mother, her mother wouldn't try to stop Pete from helping.
"Rose!" called Jackie. "The car is here."
Rose looked up to see her mother half way between the road and the water. The New Doctor was where she'd left him. He was still watching her.
"Coming," she called back, but she didn't move.
The New Doctor turned, and began walking towards Jackie. Rose pulled out her phone, and dialed Pete. She brought the phone to her ear. Nothing. She looked at her phone. No signal. Rose frowned. How could she not have a signal?! She glared at the New Doctor. He'd effectively cut her off. Where the real Doctor had given her access to whomever she wanted to call, the New Doctor had taken it away.
The ride to the hotel was quiet except for Jackie's continuous monologue. The New Doctor hmmed and nodded in all the right places, but Rose hadn't made a sound. Jackie had tried to make sure Rose and the New Doctor were sitting next to each other by getting into the back seat first, and sliding all the way over to the other door. But Rose quickly chose to sit next to the driver. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying. And even now, a stray tear was able to get past her defenses. She hated it.
When they'd arrived at the hotel, the Doctor...No. The New Doctor (she refused to call him just plain Doctor) asked for two rooms, but Rose quickly corrected him, asking for three rooms. For the rest of the evening, Rose hadn't been able to get her mother alone. He was with them every step of the way.
Finally, it was getting late. Jackie got up to go to bed. But when Rose tried to follow, the New Doctor ended up escorting both of them to their rooms.
Rose sat on her bed quietly waiting. She planned to wait a few minutes to make sure the New Doctor was occupied elsewhere. Then she would go next door to talk with Jackie.
Rose looked at the phone next to her bed. Her face lit up. Maybe she'd caught a break. She quickly whipped out her super phone and found Pete's number. She used the hotel phone to make the call, and let out a sigh of relief when Pete answered.
"Pete! Oh, thank you," started Rose. "We're in trouble," she began. By the time Rose finished explaining, Pete had agreed to have agents on the ground as soon as they could get there. They had to travel quite a ways, but should arrive early the next morning. He'd have containment specialists on sight within 30 minutes of the first Torchwood team.
"Thank you," said Rose in relief. "Oh, thank you." Rose hung up the phone, and went to her door. She peered through the peep hole to make sure the hallway was empty. It was. She quickly slipped out of her room, and into her mother's.
Why wasn't the door locked? she asked herself. Rose saw her mother already asleep in her bed.
"Blimey," said Rose softly, "She must have been knackered."
Rose spun around in a panic. There was the New Doctor leaning up against the wall in the dark.
"What the hell are you...!" Rose turned to her mother. "Mum." She shook her. "Mum."
Jackie didn't stir.
"What have you done!" accused Rose.
"Rose, calm down."
"Yes. Calm down." He stood up. "She was having trouble sleeping. I helped."
The New Doctor tapped his fingers to his temple twice. Rose shuddered. How dare he touch her!
"You had no right," she said.
Liar, thought Rose. She knew her mother hated anything alien-like. She would never have agreed to that, let alone ask for it.
"She should sleep for a solid eight hours," he explained walking toward Rose. "She'll feel as good as new come morning."
"Stop." Rose put her hands up.
The New Doctor stilled.
"Rose, I'm leaving," said the New Doctor.
"What do you mean?"
The New Doctor looked at the ground in front of her. "I made a mistake. I hurt you. I know you don't want me around anymore. You love the other me. But you don't trust this me because of what I did on the beach. I'm sorry."
"And... and you're just going to leave?"
He nodded. "Unless..."
"Unless you'd like to come with me." He sounded so much like her first Doctor when he said that.
Rose swallowed. Had she made a mistake? Had she given Pete the wrong information? Had she betrayed the Doctor? She still hadn't said anything. She hadn't answered him.
"Right," he said nervously. "Guess I'll be off then."
"You're leaving tonight?"
"You know me," he answered. "Not really one to wait around. There's a whole new planet to explore out there. And with only one life, best not waste any time."
Rose felt embarrassed. How could she have misjudged him like that? He was so much like the Doctor. She took a step toward him. She'd have to call Pete back. She'd have to tell him she made a mistake. Oh, that wasn't a conversation she was looking forward to. She felt like an idiot.
"It...It was nice to meet you," she said finally.
The disappointment on the New Doctor's face was evident. He looked crushed. But he wasn't her Doctor. He would never be her Doctor. Rose frowned, and looked at the floor. She would never see her Doctor again. She looked up when she heard the door close. He was gone.
He was gone! Wait. Wait!
Rose ran out of the room, and looked down the empty hallway. She looked the other way. There he was!
"Doctor!" she called. "Wait!"
He paused and turned around slowly. He waited for Rose to catch up.
"What is it?" he asked. "Is something wrong? Are you alright?" He took a step, looking toward her mother's room. "Is Jackie..."
"She's fine," answered Rose. "You... You don't have to go," she said quickly. She calmed her breathing, and swallowed. "I mean..." Rose took a deep breath. "If you want to stay, you... you don't have to go."
The New Doctor looked questioningly at Rose.
"You sure?" he asked.
Rose looked into his eyes. "Yeah," she answered. "I... I'm sorry. I'm sorry for before."
He grinned at her, stepped forward, and gave her a hug. He felt like the Doctor. He smelled like the Doctor. He sounded... He sounded wrong. There was only one heartbeat under her ear. It still wasn't him.
Rose stepped back.
"Maybe we could get some tea," offered the New Doctor. "We could... I don't know... talk?"
"Yeah," answered Rose. "Alright."
They turned to leave. He paused.
"Maybe you should call Pete back before we go."
"Yeah, s'pose I sh..." Wait? "How did you know about Pete?" Her eyebrows knitted together with worry.
The New Doctor shook his head. "You always were an observant one. Maybe that's why I liked you so much."
Rose's eyes opened wide. She took a step back, but the New Doctor reached out, and took hold of her forearm.
"Don't think so." He looked at her. "Stay," he said.
Rose's body relaxed. She couldn't leave. She couldn't even step away.
"Please," she begged. "Don't do this."
"It's alright, Rose." He smiled softly at her. "C'mon. Just like old times." He pulled her towards her room, and she followed.
"You could do this all this time," she commented as they walked hand in hand towards her room. "All those aliens, all those people, and you never did this to them. You never forced them to do what you wanted."
"Live and learn," said the New Doctor. "Just think about all the people who could have been saved, if I'd been willing to do what it takes. Guess it finally took dealing with a reality bomb for me to get my head on straight."
They reached Rose's room. She unlocked the door, and he led her in and over to the bed. She sat on the edge. He let go of her, reached down, and picked up the phone.
"Call Pete," he ordered. "Tell him you made a mistake."
Rose looked up at the metacrisis Doctor. She shook her head. He squatted next to her, putting his hand on her bed to steady himself.
"Please, Rose," he asked. His eyes pleaded with her. "Just do it. Don't make me force you."
When Rose made no movement to take the phone from him, he grimaced.
"Fine," he said. "Have it your way." He stood up, dropped the phone on her lap, and moved his hands towards her temples.
"No!" Rose tried to back away from his grasp, but he was too quick. And once he'd touched her, she couldn't fight him. "Just... just think," she tried to reason with him. "Just think about what you're doing."
She heard him say it aloud, and felt him echoing the words inside her mind.
"Tell him you made a mistake. Fix the mistake, Rose."
Rose's hands picked up and dialed Pete's number. The conversation was awkward. Pete was angry. But it had worked. He would call back the Torchwood team. When Rose hung up the phone, the New Doctor released her. She gasped in relief. She wasn't being crushed anymore.
"Good job," he praised her.
Rose swallowed back her fear. She was a Torchwood agent. She was a dimension jumper. She'd faced countless dangerous situations. She was the Doctor's compan... No. No, she wasn't that anymore. He'd left her. But the point still stood. She could handle this. She would handle this.
"So, what now," asked Rose.
"I think it's probably best if you stay in this room for now," he answered.
"And what about you. What are you going to do? Why are you doing this?" She hadn't intended for her voice to sound so pleading. But she was hurt. It was hard to hold back such raw emotion.
"I'm going to help." The New Doctor took a few steps towards the wall, and leaned up against it.
"I've only got one life," he explained. "I've got to make it count. So... I should probably get into politics. And money. Humans who have power always have money. Got to figure out how to get money." He had a puzzled look on his face. "Then I'll help. I'll make sure what needs to happen happens. Set up systems of checks and balances to make sure everyone does what they're supposed to do. I'll make sure this planet survives. Make sure you're safe."
"So, you just want to help."
"Yup." He popped his p.
"How... How will you make sure everyone does what you want?" Rose had traveled with the Doctor long enough to know the first thing needed to defeat an enemy was information.
"Well..." The New Doctor pursed his lips. "I've got options. I could lace the water supply with a few key ingredients, making everyone docile. But that might leave you lot a little defenseless. Suppose I could set up a new government. Establish restrictions and a digital monitoring system. Install nano-chips in everyone's cerebellum. No. That would take way too long." He folded his arms. "I'm sure I could utilize some of the left over cyberman systems. Or... or subliminal earbuds. Oh, that's a good one. Plenty of potential there."
"But," objected Rose, "You fought against those things."
"That's because they were being misused," he explained. "I'd use them properly."
"You can't take away people's freedom like that. Being able to choose is what makes us human."
The New Doctor softly smiled at Rose. "It'll be alright, Rose. Trust me. You'll still be human."
Rose looked at the man with the face she loved. He wasn't the Doctor. He looked like him, spoke like him, even his mannerisms were like him, but he wasn't him. He had to be stopped.
She looked around the room, figuring out her options. If she could just get away from him, she could call back Pete. Even if the New Doctor made her 'fix' it again, Pete would still send in a team just to be safe. They could take the New Doctor into custody, stop him before people got hurt.
"I think you could use some sleep now," said the New Doctor. He'd been watching her scope out the room. "Do you need some help?" He tapped his temple. "Or are you good on your own?"
"I... I'm good," answered Rose. She didn't want to be stuck sleeping for the next eight hours. She certainly didn't want him touching her mind. So, she toed off her shoes, took off her jacket, and slipped under the covers fully dressed. "Are... are you going to go to bed too?" she asked, stressing the word go. If he just went to his own room, she could easily call Pete from here. "You could probably use some sle..."
"Not tired," he answered. "Timelord."
"I thought you were part human."
"Only the aging part."
Rose looked surprised.
"Go to sleep, Rose. You need it."
She nodded, and closed her eyes. It was hard to stay awake with her eyes closed. She'd had a rough few weeks jumping from reality to reality. And the last twenty four hours had been especially draining. But knowing the New Doctor was in the room, gave Rose the strength to stay awake. She listened.
At first the New Doctor moved around the room. She could hear him standing in front of the window. She heard him pacing back and fourth. She felt him standing next to her bed, staring down at her. But finally, after what seemed like hours, he'd stopped moving. She hadn't heard him in quite awhile.
Daring to open her eyes, she peaked through her lashes at him. He was asleep in the large arm chair over by the window. He looked like he wasn't planning on passing out, still sitting up, facing the streetlight outside, but he was asleep. Rose smiled in relief.
Finally able to move, she stretched her aching muscles. Holding still for such a long time was more difficult than she thought it would be, and her muscles complained in response. With the greatest of care, she pulled her blankets back.
Rose knew timelords had an incredible sense of hearing. The Doctor had awoken to sounds so quiet she hadn't heard them on a few of their trips. Now, she hoped this New Doctor had somehow ended up with only human ears, either that or he could be a sound sleeper.
She didn't bother putting on her shoes, or picking them up. She knew every movement she made was a chance for the New Doctor to wake up. She wouldn't waste her chance to get away. Once she made it to her feet, she slowly, carefully made her way towards the door. It felt like the trip of only 15 feet was taking an eternity.
When she finally stood in front of her door, she turned back to look at the sleeping timelord. Was he still considered a timelord? She internally sighed in relief to see he was still there, still sleeping. He hadn't moved. He hadn't heard her.
With precision and expert care, she silently unbound the locks. Rose pressed her left palm flat against the door to take the pressure off the movable pieces of the door handle mechanism, while turning the door handle with her right hand. Once the door handle was turned as far as it could go, she removed her left hand, and slowly began pulling the door open.
Rose jumped when the New Doctor's hand moved past the side of her face firmly pressing the door closed again. He left his hand there, holding the door closed.
"Rose," he said gently. His voice was soft. "What are you doing? I said you should stay in your room." The concern and question in his tone was her Doctor's. It was how he always spoke to her when he was worried about her.
Rose leaned her forehead onto the door in front of her. She closed her eyes. She'd lost. She couldn't get away. She knew it. She grimaced.
"Don't," she answered him. "You know exactly what I was doing. Don't pretend to be nice. Don't play games. Neither one of us is an idiot."
The New Doctor was quiet for a moment before he spoke. "Would you rather I was cruel?" The darkness in his voice instantly sent a chill down Rose's spine. "Would you obey me then?"
She'd heard the Doctor use that tone before. But even when she'd caused that paradox by saving her dad, he'd never used it with her.
With one hand still on the door, he began running the fingertips of his other hand slowly up and down her arm. Rose trembled at his touch.
"I told you to stay in this room." She could hear the danger in his voice now. "What do I have to do to you to get you to mind me?"
"Stop it." She couldn't pull away from his touch, and he didn't stop. "What did you expect me to do?" She covered her apprehension with annoyance, trying to sound unaffected, trying to sound tough. "You can't just tell a person to do something, and expect them to obey. I'm not a machine. I'm a human being." Never in her life did she think she would have to go up against the Doctor... in any form. "You can't just boss us around. If you tell us we can't do something, that's the first thing we'll do. You should know. The Doctor travels with enough of us. How many times does he say not to wonder off? When has anyone obeyed that rule?" She'd deliberately chosen her words to let him know she didn't think of him as the Doctor.
Rose inhaled sharply when he breathed in the scent of her hair. What... What was he doing?
"Oh, Rose." He inhaled again. "You're absolutely right," he whispered next to her ear. "Can never tell a human what to do." Using the hand he'd been caressing her arm with, he turned her around to face him. He was too close. "Even if a human knows it's for their own good."
"Let me go," she begged.
He looked into her eyes. It felt like he was looking right through her, like he could see every secret she'd ever wished to hide. He ran his hand through her hair.
"Just look at you," he went on. "I tell you to stay here, where I can keep you safe. And what's the first thing you do? Try to wonder off. I've got to keep you safe. And after the idea you've just given me, now I know how." He returned his fingers to caressing her arm. "The Arch Angel network," he added, voice soft but still dangerous. "Oh. He was brilliant, such a genius." The New Doctor was referring to the Master. "I could do something like that." He ran his knuckles from his other hand across her jaw. "Make it better of course. Make everyone happy."
Rose had no idea what an Arch Angel network was, but she was sure it wasn't good.
"Thank you, Rose. You always give me the best inspiration." He leaned down to kiss her.
She'd startled him enough he'd stopped touching her skin. He didn't have control over her anymore. She spun herself away. He stepped towards her, and her Torchwood training took over. Rose moved and dodged and fought. But the moment she tried to strike him, he caught her by her wrist. She moved her other arm towards him to push him away. He grabbed it too, quickly pinning both arms behind her into the small of her back. He used his new leverage to press her body into his. He chuckled like he was playing a game. Rose was surprised he hadn't taken her over like he did before. He grunted when she struggled against him, trying to get away, but he was just too strong. He had her. The New Doctor looked down at his prize for a moment. Then he leaned into kiss her. She turned her head away.
"Don't," she begged, tears springing to her eyes. She knew where this was going.
He gave up on kissing her lips, and instead started nibbling behind her ear.
"Oh, Rose," he whispered. "I love you, Rose. I love you so much."
"Stop it," she ordered weakly. "You're not him. You're not." At that moment a part of Rose hated the Doctor. She hated him for leaving her behind. She hated him for creating the monster who now had her. But most of all she hated him for not being here to help her now.
"I'm him, Rose," the New Doctor answered her. "And I'm going to prove it to you." The New Doctor slipped both of her wrists into one hand, so he could move the other hand to the button on the front of her jeans. "I've been wanting this for so long."
"No," objected Rose. "Please. Please. Wait. Just wait."
He stilled his movement. "Why? I know you've wanted this too."
Rose had to think. She couldn't fight him. She couldn't call for help. The most she could hope for was to stall him.
"We're... we're not married," answered Rose. She knew it was a lame excuse, but she couldn't think of anything else.
The New Doctor laughed. "Rose Tyler. You and I have both... been around the block before." He pulled on her button, slipping it through its hole.
"Yeah." Rose swallowed. She knew he knew she'd had some experience. "But that's why we should wait," she answered him. "It should be special. Yeah?"
The New Doctor froze. He looked down at Rose with surprised awe. "Are you... are you asking me to marry you?"
"Yeah," answered Rose. She just needed time. Time to think of a plan. Time to get help. Time to escape. "Yeah. Marry me. If... if you're really the Doctor, then marry me."
The New Doctor released her, and stepped back. "Is this a trick?"
Rose tried to calm her racing heart. She tried to get control over her trembling legs. She tried to think of how to answer him. He'd let her go. But she was still trapped with him. She couldn't get out of the room. And she knew he could take her back under his control physically or telepathically anytime he wanted. What could she do?
In a moment of bravado she stepped towards him. She grabbed hold of him like she did on the beach. And she kissed him. She tried to make it feel real. She tried to make it passionate, and loving. She knew he was a touch telepath, so she thought about kissing the real Doctor while she snogged him.
The New Doctor was hesitant at first. He didn't know whether or not to believe her. But then he felt the love pouring off of her. He hoped. He brought one hand up to her side, sliding it down her waste as the kiss deepened. Rose pulled back.
"We should wait. Yeah?" She looked at him. "Make it special."
"Yeah," he answered, a dumbfounded look on his face. He nodded. That was incredible. "We could... we could get married right now," he offered. "On my world..." He began removing his tie. "On my world the ceremony is pretty simple."
Rose watched as he began wrapping one end of his tie around his hand. He kept his eyes on her, still dumbfounded.
"It's called a bonding ceremony. Only takes a minute."
"We should do something from both our worlds," offered Rose, realizing the ceremony he was referring to could be finished before she'd have a chance to get help. "We could blend the ceremonies. Mum's really good at planning big events. I could ask her to help."
"You... you'd want a party, a big event?" He grimaced.
"Well, it's a once in a life time thing. We should celebrate. Yeah?" Rose held her breath. She knew the Doctor was a genius. The real Doctor had seen through better rouses than this. Besides, the real Doctor hated domestics. And a human wedding would be just about as domestic as things could get. Rose hoped. She hoped the New Doctor wouldn't see what she was really doing. She hoped he'd agree, giving her the time she needed to stop him.
"Your wish is my command." He smiled softly at her.
Rose's stress melted a little. Big weddings could take months to plan, and even longer to execute. She could...
"This Sunday," the New Doctor interrupted her thoughts.
"We'll do it this Sunday. Sundays are always boring, safe. And I won't wait longer than that. Only one life. I'm not wasting a minute."
Well, there it was. She had three days. Three days to get help. Three days to stop him. Rose looked at the imposter and nodded.
Still, thought Rose, even if she had to go through with marrying him, she'd do whatever it took to protect this Earth from the insane timelord she was apparently engaged to.
The New Doctor reached a hand out for Rose, expecting her to take it.
"You should get some sleep."
Rose glanced between the New Doctor's hand and the bed. She looked up at her capture's face, and swallowed.
"Yeah." She nodded. "I am pretty knackered." She agreed quickly with him, hoping to keep things as they were. She hesitantly reached out to take his offered hand, a chill of fear running through her. When the New Doctor didn't take control, Rose quietly exhaled. She pretended a smile, and he led her back to her bed.
With Rose standing between the New Doctor, and where she was meant to sleep, he leaned down to kiss her goodnight, still holding her hand. The kiss was brief, tender even.
"I love you, Rose." He ran is thumb across her knuckles, and looked into her eyes, waiting for his fiancé to respond in kind.
It took Rose a moment to realize what he was waiting for. And when the understanding came, she still hesitated. Those words weren't for him. They were for her Doctor, the real Doctor. But she had to say them. She couldn't risk him thinking she'd lied about wanting to marry him.
"My Doctor," said Rose, thinking of the real Doctor, but looking directly into the New Doctor's eyes. "I will always love my Doctor...forever." She smiled the way she'd learned to when faced with a dire situation while dimension jumping. She raised her palm to his cheek, and prayed for all she was worth he couldn't see through her lie.
The New Doctor smiled. He leaned down and covered his lips with hers.
"My Rose," he whispered softly before caressing her with a tender kiss.
Rose wanted to cry out. She wanted to hit him, run from him. But she knew she couldn't. She had to pretend, at least for the moment. So, that's what she did. She pretended. She pretended as his hand caressed her shoulder. She pretended when his other hand snaked up into her hair holding her head. And she pretended when his kiss intensified, leaving her out of breath. Finally, to Rose's relief, he released her and stepped back slightly.
"You need to sleep now."
Without waiting for permission, or explaining further, the New Doctor place two fingers on Rose's temple.
NO! she thought, gasping. But it was too late. She could already feel her body relaxing to his mental command. Sleep.
Rose's body collapsed into the New Doctor's arms. He held her tightly, snuggling against her for a moment. He leaned into her hair, taking in her scent, before laying her gently on her bed.
"My Rose," he said aloud, letting his eyes drift across his property. All his lives, he'd never dreamed of owning something so perfect. For a moment he considered not waiting for their marriage, but the thought was quickly squashed. He needed her to say yes. He needed Rose to verbally agree to what he was going to do to her. If she didn't verbally agree, he would never be able to bond with her. And Oh, how he wanted to bond with her. He had the power both physically and mentally to take her anytime he wanted. But the New Doctor wanted more than a simple conquest. This was Rose. He wanted her. He'd always wanted her, all of her, body, mind, and soul. And that's what he would have.
She'd done exactly as he'd planned. He'd manipulated her into asking him to marry him. Albeit, he would have preferred she agreed to the bonding ceremony without having to wait. But that was unrealistic. Manipulating someone, especially someone as brilliant as his Rose, would take time.
He'd been lying to her from the beginning, manipulating her. He'd lied to her on the beach, when he'd told her the original Doctor would go insane if she'd gone with him. He knew she didn't believe him. But the seeds of doubt he planted would grow over the coming years. He'd won. He'd lied to her about helping Jackie to sleep. And then he'd lied to her about leaving, about being sorry for scaring her. His lie about leaving, caused Rose to doubt his lie about putting Jackie to sleep. Rose started to doubt her own instincts. Again, getting Rose to doubt herself over the coming years would give him the control he wanted, needed. He'd won. The New Doctor lied about being asleep. Every hurt look, every look of apology, was a lie to get her to ask him to marry her. He'd won. Even the look of surprise and awe when she hesitantly asked him to marry her was a manipulation to get her to agree to bond with him. He would always win. He knew. He would always do whatever it would take to win.
"Stupid ape," he said aloud. Manipulating Rose was too easy. Manipulating this planet would be a bore. The New Doctor reached into his pocket, caressing the Tardis coral he'd taken before the original Doctor stole his Tardis and abandoned him on this boring planet. At least he had Rose. And if he played his cards right, eventually he'd have his Tardis back as well. He'd rule this planet. He'd rule Rose. He'd even rule the other timelord... and Donna, if she survived the metacrisis.
The New Doctor smiled to himself. He leaned down and kissed Rose on the forehead, covering her gently with her blankets. He had a few hours to kill. And that's all it would take for him to take control of every little thing connected to this planet's internet. By morning this planet would be his. By morning it would be too late to stop him. By morning, he would have control over everything.
And he would make everything better.