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?
The Darkness Within Prologue (PG13)
The Darkness Within 1 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 2 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 3 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 4 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 5 (PG13)
The Darkness Within 6 (PG13)
As predicted by both Jack and the Doctor, Gwen and Owen were sulking in the Hub when the TARDIS materialised back in front of the tower.
As the travellers trundled out Owen gave them a nasty smirk.
“So the marvellous blue box didn’t manage to get you very far then, did it?”
“What are you talking about?” Jack shot as he ducked the irate Pterodactyl as it swooped overhead, incensed by the sound of the TARDIS.
“You were only gone five minutes,” Owen said with a healthy dose of sarcasm. “That gave you enough time to, I dunno, get down to the chippie in Splott?”
The Doctor rolled his eyes. “Time machine, Ewan. I could go to Mars and back and still only be five minutes.”
Gwen’s eyes widened. “So you actually went to
Toshiko nodded excitedly. “We met Henry Van Statten and got the information, apparently the dealer we want actually has a place here in
“So all that way for nothing,” Owen smiled and jammed his hands in his pocket. “Do you get air miles on that thing?”
“First up,” Jack said, starting to get annoyed at Owens’s constant sarcasm, “that thing’ is called the TARDIS and she is sentient. A little respect for the lady, please. Secondly, don’t you have some work you’re supposed to be doing?”
There was a moment of electricity in the air as Owen fumed at Jack’s authority, their eyes locked in a battle of wills. Jack, however, had stared down better and scarier men than Owen Harper and so it was Owen who looked away first.
“I’ll get the car ready,” Ianto said with a smooth smugness directed at the seething Owen.
The Doctor ran a hand through his hair and immediately wondered, with a sort of absent shame, whether he had messed it up. He shifted slightly to look into the reflective surface of the water tower.
Damn this incarnation was vain.
“Oi!” said the prisoner within. “You’d be vain too, if you were as gorgeous.” In a slightly more smug tone he added. “Rose thought I was sexy, foxy even.”
The Doctor bared his teeth at his reflection and concentrated hard on entering his own mind; it was like meditation only rather than concentrating on nothing, you focussed inwards. In a heartbeat he was inside his head and stalking towards the locked door, staring in at the man chained to the bed.
He flicked the lock with a thought and stalked in, anger and annoyance written all over the once familiar chiselled features.
The tenth Doctor warily watched as his predecessor strode into the prison to glare at him. The ninth Doctor stood proudly over his bound victim.
“Problem?” the captive said in a jaunty tone.
The leather jacketed man folded his arms across his chest and pursed his lips. “We’re not going to talk about the fact that you’ve redecorated my bedroom, I’m not really into blue so much.”
“My room,” corrected the prisoner.
“My room,” the Doctor insisted. “We’ll leave the subject of Jack alone and try to ignore your fashion sense.” He leaned over and plucked at the pinstriped suit of his captive. He sneered in distaste as he knelt on the bed, blue eyes locking with brown.
“But we’ll get this clear, now, pretty boy. In walking away from her you gave up any rights to Rose. Reminding me that, for a time, you tried to take my place isn’t in your best interests. It makes me want to take out…various frustrations on you, all right?”
The bound Doctor swallowed. “Frustrations? Well, it hasn’t been that long, has it? You’re not exactly my type, I mean—uh, I’m sure you have many wonderful qualities which pass me by at the minute. And I’m sure that sanity is vastly overrated, I’m just saying it would be somewhat masturbatory to…”
“Shut up!” the Doctor rolled his eyes. “I’m not hitting on you and I don’t want to shag you. Dirty mind you got this time around.”
The Doctor tied to the bed raised an eyebrow. “Oh, and your thoughts on Rose were perfectly innocent?”
“I didn’t hear you complaining,” he shot back. “Especially that fantasy in the snooker room; blonde hair against green baize.”
The Doctors tried to outstare each other, a slight flush on each face as memories of the detailed fantasy flashed in their minds in vivid Technicolor.
The youngest Doctor cleared his throat. “Look, I promise to find a way to Rose. You’ve started the ball rolling, which, well done by the way.”
The older Doctor fought down the irrational surge of pride that he was impressed with himself.
“No, really it was inspired,” the tenth incarnation gushed. “I mean I never even thought of the rift as a potential doorway. It’s genius, of course. But now it is thought of and is possible, well. You could let me go back and sort out this Bilis bloke. What kind of a name is Bilis anyway? Sounds a bit much like bile to me, gross word ‘bile’. Anyway,” he took a deep breath. “I’ll get the dooda—whatsit thingy and, bam, open door to reality, get Rose back. Wha’d’ya say?”
The ninth Doctor looked down at the oddly endearing yet annoyingly verbose man chained to the bed.
When he finally spoke it was very slowly and deliberately. “And what will you do if this Bilis bloke refuses to give you the temporal cog?”
The prisoner sniffed and looked like he wanted to scratch the back of his head, before realising that his hands were bound. “I’d ask nicely. Offer to pay and maybe look for another way if he’s really recalcitrant.”
The Doctor knelt on the bed and lowered his mouth to his captive’s ear.
“No,” he said softly. “We ask, we take.”
He stepped back and the man on the bed swallowed. “What if it doesn’t work? Hmm?” all trace of bonhomie was gone from his voice. “What if this temporal cog is faulty or missing or broken? What if this master plan of yours doesn’t work, then what?”
The smile that settled on the Doctor’s lips was far from nice and even further from sane. “Then we open the rift with the TARDIS anyway.”
The danger in his voice echoed through the tenth Doctor and his hearts began to thunder in his chest at the implications of his statement. “You can’t, that will rip a hole in the fabric of the universe, and two worlds will collapse and die.”
Silence reigned as the two bodies sized each other up.
“No!” the tenth Doctor, seeing the truth in his eyes, the promise in his tone and the catastrophe waiting to happen, tugged at his bonds. Let me go, now. We will find a way, but not this. I’ll get Rose back. But you have to stop this madness.”
“No!” the Doctor yelled. “Rose is mine. She said, she promised. Keep your mind and mouth away, pretty boy.” He reached down and tightened the already suffocating bonds and yanked at the chains tying the Doctor down. He got down close on the bed and pushed his face into his previous incarnation’s. “I have no idea what killing you will do to me…to us…but push me far enough and we’ll find out. Okay?”
The Doctor swallowed dryly, afraid of himself and nodded, mind racing with possibilities, none of them appealing.
The elder, seeing the acquiescence in his prisoner pushed away.
“What’s fantastic?” Jack’s voice pulled him back and the Doctor spun on his heel, reacting to the transition to the real world with a brief shake of his head.
“Sorry, Jack, didn’t hear what you were saying.”
Jack gave Toshiko a sideways glance and then nodded back at the Doctor. “We were saying we’re heading over to ‘Stitch In Time’, you, me, Ianto and Gwen. Toshiko is going to gather all the coordinates and equations for the rift manipulator to transcend dimensions.”
“I’m sorry, am I not part of this team?” Owen spoke up with a grunt of exasperation.
Still reeling from the passage of interior to exterior motion, the Doctor snarled at him, taking everyone aback.
“I’m still at a loss as to what you actually do, Doctor Owen Harper. Aside from making stupid mammalian remarks and irritating everyone within a five mile radius, your entire being seems to be a waste of oxygen.” The Doctor stalked towards the gaping man. “Arrogance without intelligence is unforgivable and I’m starting to wonder if you’ll be more use as an organ donor. Ewan!”
“Doctor?” Jack’s voice was more than slightly concerned as the Doctor all but hunted his medical expert.
The Doctor was inches away from a petrified Owen, his hands clutched by his sides in fists. “I’m a genius, me, but I have very little patience, so here’s an idea. Keep your comments to yourself and I won’t give in to the urge to take you to Raxifit Five and dump you on the third moon, during hunting season, all right?”
Owen nodded hastily and the Doctor burst into a manic grin. “Fantastic.”
He stepped back; temper reigned in and rubbed his hands, ignoring the astonished and somewhat wary glances of the Torchwood group. “So, shall we be off, then?”
Jack motioned to the door and let the Doctor precede him, staring at the swaying leather jacket thoughtfully.
There was uneasy silence in the car as it traversed the streets of
The Doctor was thinking of little but the means to an end; one tiny component was all that stood between him and getting what he wanted and needed. He was so close to getting Rose back that he could almost taste her sweet scent and smell that strawberry conditioner that she used. He was so close. So very very close.
Jack was worried; the Doctor he had known before had always been on edge and just a little scary—especially when it came to Rose. He had expected that this regeneration would be calmer, if not slightly less manic, but it seemed that the transition had only exacerbated the underlying emotions, bringing them closer to the surface than ever before. The Doctor, in essence, was a ticking time bomb with a very short fuse and these mini explosions weren’t doing anything other than delaying the inevitable detonation and holocaust that it would cause. Jack only hoped that the damage would be limited.
Gwen was busy reviewing her police training as she kept one eye on the Doctor who had burst into their lives with gusto. She was trying to recall any psychological modules that could help her with the hair-trigger that the Doctor appeared to have—anything tiny thing seemed to set it off and she was wondering if they were truly safe with this man who had a special hold on Jack. She’d never seen Jack like this, he was always the one who was in charge and to see him willingly hand over command to the Doctor without so much a blink was unnerving to say the least.
Just who was this Doctor? A young man with a time machine, an alien who looked human? A loony without a bin.
Ianto kept his eyes on the road but his mind on the Doctor sitting behind him, wondering if he had imagined that brief second where his eyes had seemed to turn from deep brown to the brightest blue.
They drew up outside a rather antique looking shop, the supports done out in dark oak and the glass musty with dust and time. To the Doctor, as well as Jack, it reminded them of something from the Edwardian era, a very austere and reserved time.
They stepped inside, four bodies crowding the interior of the tiny shop and a bell sounded above the door with an elegant chime.
Jack gave a low whistle as he looked around the shop. “Nice.”
Gwen shook her head. “Some of these pieces must go back centuries.”
“They do,” the Doctor said tersely and pointed at a large clock on one wall. It was elegant and decorated in the deepest bronze. Two female angels stood at either side of a bronze pedestal which was topped by a small clock with roman numerals. One angel held a palm frond whilst the other stepped on a ball. One hand was missing from the clock and Gwen stepped forward to get a better look at the beautiful piece.
She gasped aloud as she read the small inscription on the clock face.
“White Star line?” She faced the Doctor in shock. “Wasn’t that—?”
“The clock missing from the sunken wreckage of the Titanic. Yes.” He sneered in distaste as he glanced around, expert eyes taking in more detail and more of the elaborate and unique time-pieces. He stepped forward and let his fingers drift over another exquisite clock. “This one was from the Mary Celeste. This from the meeting room at
Jack licked his lips as realisation dawned. “So, he scavenges antique pieces from the past, brings them here, and sells them for a profit. Not a bad business plan.”
“We’ve all got to make a living.”
They all turned at the voice that came from the doorway.
The Doctor stared hard at the man who swam in and out of his vision like a holographic picture angled towards the light. He was like a ghost to the Doctor’s time-sensitive sight. He was there but he wasn’t. He didn’t belong.
“You’re Bilis Manger?” Jack asked incredulously, staring at the man who looked so out of his time. He had thinning white hair and an air of grace and eerie charm that made all the hairs on his arm stand on end. Dressed in Edwardian garb with a straight blazer and tidy cravat he looked more like a poster child for a Sherlock Holmes mystery than a store owner.
Bilis smiled, a cat-like curve of his lips that set the teeth on edge. “That I am,” he intoned slowly, “how can I help you gentlemen?”
“You’re wrong,” the Doctor bit out, his eyes trying to fix on the blurring image he saw in front of him.
Jack stared askance at the Doctor’s terse words but Gwen frowned.
“I don’t understand. How did you get these pieces? You weren’t on the Titanic, or the Marie Celeste. How can you scavenge bits of history? How can you be in two times at once?”
“How can he?” Bilis asked, watching the Doctor who grimaced. “I can step across eras, like you'd walk into another room.”
“You can travel in time… time walk?” Gwen tried to reason it out in her head and Jack grinned.
“Let’s do the time walk again.”
“Jack,” the Doctor admonished with a roll of his eyes.
Bilis sighed. “At first, it was the most incredible gift. Now I know the reality ... it's a curse.”
“Why?” Gwen smiled sweetly. “Seems like a great gift. There’s so much history I’d love to see.”
The Doctor allowed her a brief glance but his attention was drawn back to haunting eyes of Bilis.
“I can see the whole of history, but I don't belong anywhere within it. You know that feeling don’t you, Doctor?”
The Doctor said nothing his eyes seemingly locked on the strange man who edged closer towards the group with a sinister air.
Jack bit his lip, not sure where to look between the two men. “Now, how did you know who he is?”
“Oh, myths, legends. I can feel resonances in time, can’t I, Doctor?” Bilis sneered. “I can be in so many places; dance along…rifts.”
The Doctor stiffened as the implication arose.
“Watch history in the making—or unravelling.
The Doctor had Bilis by the throat, up against the wall before anyone registered that he had moved.
He glared with undisguised hatred up at the man whose eyes had widened and bulged at the assault and who clawed frantically at the Doctor’s vice-like grip.
The Doctor’s hands tightened their choke hold as the wrinkly man turned slightly blue.
“Know what can’t beat time? Death.” The Doctor bared his teeth. “Or shall we test that?”
Kill him, kill him, kill him. It would be so easy, just a little twitch and he’d snap like a twig. You wouldn’t have to ask for the time piece you could just take it and Rose would be yours so much quicker. He’s in the way, he doesn’t belong. He’s wrong.
“And you’re so right?” his inner passenger spoke up. “Haven’t we killed enough? One more death would so easily turn into two, two to ten. The oncoming storm changing to the oncoming bloodbath. Is that what Rose would want?”
Those words made him pause though his fingers flexed.
“Doctor,” Jack interrupted warily. “We need him to get the component, okay, so maybe killing him won’t be the best way to find it.”
The Doctor leaned into Bilis and whispered something for his ears only.
Bilis paled and nodded abruptly as the Doctor dropped him, he faltered and crumpled into a ball at the Doctor’s feet.
“We need the time component for the rift manipulator,” the Doctor ordered. “Give it to us.”
Bilis looked up at him and gave a slight smile. “You’ll never find it.”
“We don’t need to. You do.” Jack pointed out, his hands starting to feel twitchy about his trigger. Damn, he wanted to shoot this guy.
“I told you,” Bilis smirked as he got to his feet, dusting off his cravat, “I can step in and out of eras like that.” He snapped his fingers and blinked.
The Doctor folded his arms across his chest and sighed as Bilis blinked again, suddenly looking worried.
Bilis looked down at his wiry body and then back up at the Doctor. “But. I don’t understand.”
The Doctor leaned forwards conspiratorially. “Time Lord,” he said in a loud whisper. “I froze your little jumping tracks trick. Stuck in the twenty-first century. Twenty-first century
Bilis sniffed, obviously beaten but reluctant to acknowledge it. “But, of course. It isn’t here. You’ll have to come with me.”
The Doctor gave him a feral grin. “Lead the way.”
Jack loved the dance hall; it was something that reminded him of his own past, of the time he had spent in the 1940’s.
It reminded him of the first time he had seen Rose, hanging from the barrage balloon with her beautiful wide eyes staring in terror and her nice… rear bumper.
He smirked to himself as he glanced around the huge dance space, feeling the ghosts of the pre-war years staring back at him.
He glanced up at the ceiling and whistled. “Wow, look at the chandelier. No neon lights back then.”
Gwen nodded. “It’s gorgeous, Jack.”
Jack closed his eyes and imagined the dance floor full of women in dark red lipstick and flowered dresses just showing the most tantalizing glimpse of knee or thigh as they swirled in the arms of men in uniforms.
He opened his arms out and spun in a circle before grabbing Gwen’s hand and pulling her into a light waltz.
“Just dashing young soldiers and pretty young ladies. And as they danced, the girls would look into their partners' eyes, smile softly and say ...”
“Get your hands off me or I’ll call the police?” the Doctor interjected from his place leaning against the frame of the door.
Jack dropped the laughing Gwen’s hand and grimaced. “I was thinking more along the lines of, "How long before you head off to war?"”
The Doctor gave a small smirk and stared at Bilis who was sulking in one corner, apparently not too thrilled that his “curse” was gone.
In his hand the Doctor held the small circular device that would fit into the rift manipulator and allow him to select a specific time and place to open. It was such an innocuous little thing that could cause so much untold chaos.
People screaming as laser fire erupted from the heavens. Hoards of soldiers in ancient battle regalia storming down Rodeo drive. Plague-infected corpses filling the streets with the pungent smell of unwashed bodies and festering wounds. Armies of Romans storming through
The Doctor glowered. Not on his watch. This would be done properly.
It would be done right.
He glanced over his shoulder to Bilis who was watching him warily, almost as if he expected to be attacked at any moment. He gave him a sneer and turned his back on him as unworthy of attention, an insult and challenge.
He could feel Bilis seethe but had other things on his mind.
“Right, come on you lot. Places to go, blondes to save, can’t be hanging about all day.”
“Yeah,” Jack sighed longingly. “Nothing here but memories and dust.”
Jack motioned for Gwen to lead the way out, ready to get back to Ianto who was waiting in the car.
The Doctor paused by Bilis and the man felt that icy finger of fear creep along his spine as he was caught in the Doctor’s gaze.
“I don’t know who you worked for or who gave you the power to cross timelines and I don’t care. If I even start to feel your presence anywhere near me or mine again, interfering in time, I will kill you.”
Bilis sniffed disparagingly. “I know you of old legend, Doctor. My master devastates cities with his shadow while you are a pitiful old fool who wallows in humanity like a pig in mud. You do not kill.”
The Doctor smiled softly, dangerously. “I’m the Oncoming Storm, I destroy civilisations with words.”
He lowered his head to look right into the heart of Bilis. Storm clouds gathered in his eyes and reflected the fires of a thousand civilisations lost and annihilated. Cities destroyed and planets left burning, people screaming and systems lay in ruins echoed in those orbs that shifted from caramel to azure and back again. “And I’ve run out of pity. Run away, Bilis, run away.”
And, as the Doctor strode out of the dance hall, Bilis did just that.