Show/Ship- Doctor Who. Doctor/Rose post Runaway Bride
Genre- Drama, dark
Rating- PG13 for scenes of a violent nature
Disclaimer- If I owned them this would be canon-- think on that.
Summary- Regeneration takes the pieces of you and turns them into something else. But what if a part of you didn't want to leave. What if your old self didn't agree with what you were doing? What if the animal within got out?
A/n- This is quite long and something I've been working on for some time-- one of the reason's I've not posted much fic. With thanks to my amazing beta-- Gargantua!
The Doctor stared at his reflection in disgust. “I’m a pretty boy.”
His northern accent sounded odd coming from these fuller lips and he licked at his teeth as they tried to form the words. “
His eyes traced his slim figure and he sneered. “Suit with trainers? Pillock.”
He turned, regarding his figure side-ways on and then from behind. “Could have been worse, I s’pose.”
He reached up and pushed the hair back from his forehead again where it was determined to fall. His fingers touched his ears and he allowed himself a little grin. “Better.”
Better than what, he wasn’t sure. He hadn’t really thought this whole mind swap thing through. He’d half expected to wake up and be him; big ears, big nose, face full of lines and pain and age. He’d half expected to still be the man he once was, and to have to face being someone else was more than a little odd.
Speaking of odd.
He closed his eyes and searched inwardly, checking on the sealed door inside his mind where he could feel the presence of the new Doctor, still locked away and being very creative with his curses. Satisfied, he shrugged himself back to the here and now and sniffed. He had things to do, places to go and a very important Rose to rescue. He took a step forward and grimaced. First things first, though. He bit his lip and shoved his hands into his pockets. He really needed a new outfit.
The TARDIS was somewhat confused as her Time Lord bounded up the stairs to the wardrobe, oddly delighted at finding himself lighter and bouncier. She watched in perplexity as he rolled his eyes at her choice in new suits—blue and more pin-stripes—and turned his nose up at burgundy trainers and tie.
Undaunted, she offered a new selection of shirts, but he simply shook his head, rifling through the racks for something else. She showed him trench coats and rain macs and plimsolls and he just laughed.
Tentatively she allowed herself to sneak into his mind to find what he wanted and pulled back immediately. As she handed him an old familiar leather jacket she knew that there was something very wrong indeed.
The Doctor walked around the console, tapping his sonic screwdriver in his hand as he made the three hundredth and twenty third circuit of the TARDIS. Five and a half hours later and he was still pacing, trying desperately to come up with a plan of getting what he wanted. He’d even taken to talking to himself, which was never a good sign.
“Right, assets. I’ve got the TARDIS, sonic screwdriver, Rose’s genetic signature, the co-ordinates of Time and Space and her universe and a brain the size of a planet. What I don’t have is a clue.”
Destroy it, hissed a voice. Find a black hole and rip and tear, fight the way through. Destroy it all.
He closed his eyes against the sudden desire to do just that; to tear through the fabric of reality and find Rose, hold her as the universe splintered around them, cascading into oblivion in beautiful hues of blood red. Stars would die and they watch as time itself unravelled; two universes bleeding into one.
Stop it! The Doctor shook himself even as he longed to act on his most destructive desires. Rose, no matter how much she’d wished for him back, would never want the universe to collapse. Besides he wanted more time with Rose than a few minutes whilst everything died around them—it wouldn’t be conducive to some of his more romantic reunion fantasies.
He sagged into the console chair, almost missing it as he forgot how thin he was now. Righting himself quickly, he scratched at his much smaller nose. “Now, how do I get from this universe to another without sucking all of us into hell? Anyone?” He looked around the empty TARDIS in interest and grinned at his own insanity.
He’d gotten used to talking to himself. A year alone in the mind of a man he hated was enough to make anyone crazy. But to have to watch as Rose, his Rose started to fall in love with someone that was and wasn’t him was more than his fragile grip on reality could take.
The older Doctor had always wanted Rose, though his desire had started out innocently enough. She was young and beautiful and inquisitive and a child compared to his nine centuries. But although he chose not to voice the sentiment, he acknowledged that there was something intoxicating about her. He loved the delight she’d shown as she stepped into the snow in Cardiff, appreciated her strength as she refused to back down about the serving girl, and the moment she’d stared up at him and asked him to spare the stretched piece of skin that had almost killed her, he knew she’d be more to him than just a companion.
She’d become his confidence, his compassion and his life-line.
In the gentle beat of one of his hearts, he’d recognised a kindred spirit and he’d fallen head over heels. Rose probably didn’t even know what she’d done.
He’d expected her to be angry at him for dropping her off after twelve months instead of twelve hours. He’d expected her to be angry about his making Rickey the idiot a murder suspect. He’d thought she’d be chasing after her mother to explain about where she’d been and what he was, what the TARDIS was.
Instead she’d told Mickey to shut up and asked him about the invasion, keen to know what was going on. Then, when they were surrounded by the police and the army, she didn’t bolt like Mickey; she’d stood by him, held her hands up in the air and got in the car.
She turned to him as he’d jokingly asked who the foremost expert in aliens was.
Rose Tyler had been missing for a year. Her mum was going mad, her boyfriend was wanted for her murder, aliens had landed to invade and she was being taken away in a police car and she’d joked with him.
Rose Tyler was inquisitive, adventurous, brave, nosy, loyal and funny. He’d fallen hard and let it slip by admitting that he’d rather have blown up the world than lose her. But, in typical Rose fashion, she’d made the decision for him and he loved her even more for it.
Love turned to desire rapidly, fuelled by jealousy, first of Adam, then of Mickey, and brought to a raging torrent by Jack. The way the pretty boy’s eyes raked over her lush form, dragging her innocence down to base level had made him seethe.
More than once he’d wanted to flush Jack out of the nearest air-lock; to have it just him and Rose, the way it was supposed to be. He painted his sign over her, held her close, held her tight and warned Jack away; yet, he denied himself because he didn’t think she would ever want someone as old and jaded and … odd looking as him.
He realised how wrong he had been the moment Rose asked the newer prettier version if he could change back. For that blissful moment it was like the Time War had never happened. His hearts had leapt and he was ready and willing to be with Rose.
By then, though, it was too late. He was dead and Rose moved on, slowly and reluctantly, but she had moved on. In the end, she hadn’t had a choice.
Now he had a second chance, and by Rassilon he was going to take it! And once he had her, he was never going to let her go.
The Doctor lurched to his feet, determination in his eyes. “I want Rose back. I saved her from the middle of a Dalek fleet; I can save her from a bloody parallel world.”
He braced his arms on the console and stared up at the central column, thinking deeply, his mind going a mile a minute as he tried to come up with some sort of plan. “Think. How do you break through into another universe? Torchwood. Yeah, not going there.” He glowered at the thought of his future self’s dealings with the creepy organization. “I broke through once when I hooked the console up to a nuclear reactor.”
And he had.
In his third incarnation he’d been exiled to Earth for ‘interference in lesser species planetary affairs’ with the TARDIS console locked to stop time and space travel. He’d taken the central console out and hooked it up to a nuclear reactor in order to break the programming, the enormous surge of energy made him jump sideways into a parallel universe which—through no fault of his (for once)—was destroyed by an inferno of lava. He found himself distracted by thoughts of the Brigadier with an eye patch until his own words caught up with him.
He clapped his hands in glee as he remembered the Slitheen woman and her plan to make a Nuclear power plant in
“That’s more like it, now we’re getting somewhere.” He dashed over to the other side of the console and pushed and pulled levers, flicked switches and tapped the keyboard with strong serious strokes, a manic grin on his face.
The TARDIS spun her way through the Vortex and homed in on Earth,
“Fantastic! Now to find some way of opening the rift,” he paused, “without killing the universe.”
The Doctor strode confidently to the door and pulled it open, grinning around at the outside before almost jumping out onto the street. This body was so much lighter than the previous one. It would take some getting used to.
“Don’t get too attached.” Came a thought from his prisoner.
The Doctor grinned at the voice in his head. “Worked out how to talk, have we?” he smirked inwardly. “Took you long enough.”
“I was a little preoccupied with getting untied.”
The Doctor leaned against the TARDIS and focussed into his own mind, peering through a certain locked door to a single four-poster bed with a man still tied to the posts.
“Gave up on that, did you?”
He could feel the embarrassment and annoyance stemming from his future self and felt a smug sense of pride in his own abilities. It had taken him a long time to learn to manipulate things in his own mind and he knew it would take this pretty boy even less, because he was the rightful owner. Just meant that he’d have to work that little bit faster to get his Rose back.
He glanced up at the Millennium Centre and grinned remembering a time when he, Jack, Rose and Mickey had walked down these streets laughing and joking, telling tall tales and holding hands—well, him and Rose. Not him and Mickey.
He remembered the feel of her hand in his, her soft palm against his calloused one. He remembered the way she leaned her head against his shoulder, her soft hair tickling his cheek as he glanced down at her mischievous eyes. He recalled the way she stuck her tongue between her teeth as she teased him and the unashamed way she’d thrown her head back in delight at Jack’s tales. He remembered that short skirt and his first glimpse of Rose Tyler’s legs encased in leather boots which had him tucking his hands into his trouser pockets far more often than he was comfortable with. He remembered her scent and the myriad of fantasies about that scarf he’d had every time she pulled it up to her lips.
He stared up at the sky as the memories delighted him and each one fortified his desire to get her back. He straightened and moved away from the TARDIS, stepping onto the streets of
“Oof!” he gasped. “Sorry, mate.”
“Nah!” said the man he’d run into. “My fault. Wasn’t expecting someone to be standing just … there.” The man looked confused for a moment. “Wassat big blue box doin’ there?”
The Doctor glanced over his shoulder in surprise. “That? You noticed that?”
The man frowned, thick eyebrows heavy set and arrogant. “Well, yeah. Ruddy great box standing on the … uh, in front of the centre.”
The Doctor gave the man an interested glance, noting his similar taste in dark colours and beaten leather jacket. “Most people don’t really notice it.”
The man gave him an odd look and then shrugged, stuffing his hands into his pockets. “You look familiar, have I seen you somewhere before?”
“Oh, shouldn’t think so.” The Doctor grinned. “I’ve got one of those faces, you know, pretty, obnoxious. Easy to mistake me for anyone.”
This pretty boy incarnation was pretty generic. Not like his old face; his old face had character.
This time the look he was given was really peculiar. “Right. Well, look. You can’t leave that box there.”
“Why not?” The Doctor asked amused. “It’s not in anyone’s way. I bet people barely notice it’s there.”
“It’s on an emergency exit, mate,” the man said sarcastically. “An’ it’s a bleedin’ eyesore.”
“Emergency exit to what? The sewer?” the Doctor glanced around. There was nothing anywhere nearby that it could even be blocking and he was done humouring this ape.
“Who are you anyway,
“No, I’m Doctor Owen Harper and I can have the police here in two shakes to get this thing removed.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a mobile phone.
The Doctor rolled his eyes and reached into his own pocket even as the man lifted the phone to his mouth.
“Yeah, Ianto, get me Gwen,” he said as the sonic screwdriver started to buzz. In seconds Doctor Owen Harper dropped his smoking phone and stared, open mouthed at the brown haired man as his pricey Nokia became a puddle of brown goo.
“Oi, that was a bloody expensive phone!”
“Well, here’s a tip for your next one.” The Doctor grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and hoisted him up against the TARDIS, darkness filling his eyes as anger took over. “Don’t get in my face and don’t get between me and what I want, all right?”
“Yeah,” choked Owen.
“Good.” The Doctor dropped him, his mask back in place. “Now run along, Ewan the useless.”
“Owen,” he corrected arrogantly as he stroked his throat.
“Ewan,” the Doctor mocked.
“Owen, I think I know my own name.”
“You think you know? How stupid are you?” And with that last sally the Doctor stalked off, leaving Owen staring after him.
He seemed to remember that the rift that Gwyneth had closed had been in an underground crematorium some streets away. It was now a trendy wine bar and the cellar had been converted to a storage centre. The owner looked askance at the man who had wandered in brandishing a certificate from the Health and Safety board and asked to see the cellar.
“Is there a problem, love?” she said in a very strong Welsh accent. “Only we’ve not had any trouble here before.”
“No,” the Doctor said absently as he waved the sonic screwdriver over one wall. “I’m sure this place used to be bigger.”
He stepped back and regarded the wall. It was a good few metres closer than he remembered. In fact this whole room was so much smaller. There used to be an archway just over there about ten metres through the wall. It was where Gwyneth had helped the Gelth to come through and, he turned, over there was where he and Rose had hidden from the Zombies.
The room was a good half size smaller.
“My granda’ used to say that before it was bombed, this pub and next door were joined, see. Then they separated it into two, a pub and a bakery. Well, after the next war the bakery was done in and they decided to use to the site to lay pipes for the Millennium Centre. Sometimes you can still ‘ear strange knocking from there. Granda’ said it were haunted.” She laughed out loud. “But the nice gentleman from the tourist shop tells me when they’ve been doing maintenance down there. Lovely fella. Sometimes he comes in here for a drink, brings ‘is mates, too.”
“Great.” The Doctor bit his lip. There was definitely something he was missing here. Why build the Millennium Centre just there, right where the rift was?
“His friends are a bit weird too, coming all hours of the day and night.” Volunteered the lady, happy to have someone to listen to her chatter.
“Hmm.” And what pipes would you need under a centre that big? Drainage, sure. But enough to take up that much room?
“—in one second they’re off again, really weird lot. But then he is American, so what can you expect? But that girl is a sweetheart. I’ve had her in here before she joined up, you know. She stopped a nasty brawl. Not that we brawl often, mind. But she was a cracker.”
“Yes,” added the Doctor, only half listening at this point.
Maybe they were foundations for the fountain, that huge structure everyone adored. Rose had told him off when he suggested paddling in it that time. He tapped the wall.
“—course, the paper boy won’t deliver there, says Ianto gives him the creeps and the pizza boy is just as bad—”
No, there was defiantly residual energy here. Pipes wouldn’t give off that much energy.
“—blathering about some arrogant doctor ordering under Torchwood and then that nice girl looking for them and his mam said—”
Maybe the answer was underground. Maybe he was looking at this from a different angle. He’d need to get inside the Millennium centre and try to see if they had a basement. Shouldn’t be too difficult.
“—so she stopped ‘im boozing. Not a might before time, I told ‘er I did that if he didn’t stop he’d end up on the dole and just hangin’ out in Splott and disappearing like them other boys did.”
“Right!” the Doctor turned with a bright smile. “Everything seems to be in order. I can let myself out.”
He nodded politely to the woman who was somewhat taken aback as he marched past her and vanished out the door.
Five seconds later he ducked back in. “Sorry, did you say Torchwood?”