Rating- PG15/ OT
Disclaimer- I own nothing you recognise and everything you don't.
Summary- 9 has taken over 10's body. But his mind is slowly losing ground.
A/n- Sequel to the Darkness Within. With thanks to all who reviewed and my beta reader Gargantua.
Somewhere inside the man currently masquerading as the Doctor lay a small white cell with a bed and table and a man who was as still as the grave.
The Doctor, who was a prisoner of his previous self, had been there when Rose had been captured. He had watched and screamed as those men assaulted her and he had been struck with horror as his body started to viciously attack those men.
In all of his years, all 900 odd of them, he couldn’t remember fighting like that.
It was the one thing he prided himself on, his pacifism.
He’d seen mighty men order the deaths of hundreds of civilians, he’d seen megalomaniacs torture and kill, he’d watched genocides and assassinations and all manner of degradations and he’d prided himself that he was different.
Oh yes, he’d struck people in anger, he’d even been in a fight or two, but he’d never…had he?
The Doctor swallowed. He’d felt like it sometimes. There had been times when some alien had forced him beyond what he could bear and he’d wanted to lash out; times when someone’s callous disregard for their planet or people had made him want to beat some sense into them but he hadn’t… not without giving them a chance.
He pushed aside the thoughts of the Racnoss and her children screaming as they died, or the Sycorax falling to his death. He’d given them a chance. He had no alternative. The Earth had been at stake and there had been no other way.
Although his conscience pricked him, the Doctor was able to keep those thoughts at bay.
After all it wasn’t like he could actually see their blood on his hands. Not like now.
In anger he turned and kicked the wall of the prison he had been unable to figure a way out of.
He looked down at his own hands, expecting them to be covered in blood. How could any version of himself be that brutal? Or chose violence over other methods? There was always a way if you just cared to look for it. Where was his mercy? That man had been beaten unconscious and he’d…he’d…
Killed him. Stabbed him with a sword and let him die. There had been no need, the man was hardly a threat and yet he was dead. One less man makes the world a different place, even if that man was a low grade scumbag.
It was against all of his principles and the Doctor, for once, didn’t know himself.
This version was swiftly becoming a new man; a man he didn’t really want to know.
He raked a hand through his unruly hair and scratched the back of his neck in frustration.
How could he figure out the mind of his younger self if that person was slowly dissipating?
There was a sound, a very slight almost inaudible rumble, like a train coming from far away.
It got louder and the Doctor stared dead ahead. He could feel vibrations coming from all sounds and it was getting louder, coming closer.
The whole room began to shake and dust filtered down in a fine film from the ceiling.
As the noise erupted into a roar the Doctor held his hands over his head and braced himself.
Then, as quickly as it had started, the sound stopped and silence was only broken by a few dust particles still raining down.
The Doctor looked up and his eyes lit on a spot on the very white wall that was no longer so white.
A tiny, tiny fracture appeared on the surface of the wall; a hairline crack no bigger than his finger. But, as he watched, spider-like threads began to show. The crack grew bigger, now the size of his fist, now his arm, now his body. The crack was now a spider-web of little cracks, reaching out small tentacles in all directions filling the wall with dark creepy fingers.
He stepped back as the whole wall resembled a map of the
The Doctor stared bewildered at this new development.
His cage had all but started to crumble away. Why, it was like… His eyes widened.
It was like his outer self was losing control, not just of his own emotion but of the inner world where he had held so much power.
He was losing power over himself.
A slow smile started to spread over the Doctor’s face and he felt strengthened.
It was time.
Rose stared at the Doctor from the corner of her eye. She was feeling more than a little uneasy as she watched him lean against the wall, studiously ignoring her.
She hadn’t been able to say more than a word to him since he’d let old Sir Digby go and bowed graciously to Guy Fawkes as they left him in the cell to be tortured… next to the cell full of dead and unconscious men that the Doctor had—
Don’t think about it.
She rubbed her hands together wondering why they were cold.
Rose had known that the Doctor wasn’t quite right ever since he’d arrived in Pete’s world. Oh, he still looked like the same man with his cute ears, ruffled hair and bony wrists but that was where the similarities ended.
The leather jacket and deepening northern accent had been her first clues that all was not well and it had just escalated.
It had been quite a shock for her to see the Doctor almost the same withdrawn, subdued man he’d been before his regeneration and though he’d refused to discuss it, Rose knew that they had to talk about it now.
It was evident that whatever the reason for his relapse it was getting worse—much worse. At first he was merely laconic and taciturn, but he’d started staring off into space at random moments, like he was listening to some inner dialogue; then he stared glaring at any male who so much looked at Rose, and now he was losing his temper in a violent explosion to such an extent that he…
She swallowed. It was scaring her, and the one thing the Doctor had never done was frighten her.
“Take a picture,” he said suddenly, starling her, “it’ll last longer.”
Rose bit her lip. “Will it? Or will you change before I can get the camera out?”
The Doctor stiffened. He’d known that he couldn’t hide his true nature for long, not from Rose. But he had hoped that he’d have longer with her before having to admit the truth.
Rose was tenacious and wouldn’t let go of this until she knew what he was hiding, he knew, but he couldn’t do it just yet. He couldn’t let her go.
He tried to go on the offensive to maybe deflect her.
He turned to her, arms folded and face set. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
They stared at each other in silence, emotion taut.
Rose broke first. “What happened to you, Doctor? And don’t give me any crap about it being because you missed me. This is deeper than that. You’ve changed—really changed and I want to know why.”
“Why?” he shot back. “What difference does it make? I’m still the same Doctor.”
“Are you?” Rose cried. “Because that,” she pointed to the door, “that wasn’t you. You don’t beat someone to d—” She swallowed feeling sick to the stomach at the thought of his actions back at the Tower. “You’re acting like, God, I don’t even know.”
“What? I’m not the prissy pretty boy you’re used to?” he interrupted bitterly. “What am I acting like, hmm? Old big ears maybe? Doesn’t the face go with the personality, Rose? Didn’t think you were that shallow.”
She looked away, hurt. “That’s not it.”
“Isn’t it?” he pushed. “You say it doesn’t matter who I am, Rose, what I look like. But you never wanted me… the other me. You never tried to start anything with him, did you?”
“Would you have let me?” she snapped. “Walls a mile high, he had, and you know it. He was a prickly sod wouldn’t accept that anyone could love him.”
The Doctor huffed. “You didn’t try.”
“You weren’t looking!” she yelled, startling him. “All that stuff about dancing and better with two. I trusted him with my life verses the end of the world and he wasn’t listening.” She pointed emphatically at him, her hands trembling as she fought back the urge to slap his arrogant face. “Don’t start with me about this. I loved him.”
He was gob smacked as much for her revelation as her forceful manner. He was reminded suddenly that Rose had been a kind of leader of Torchwood. His little Rose had definitely grown up.
He recovered quickly, his mind fixed on a long scarf and a view screen image which still had the power to hurt. “Oh and what about Mickey the idiot, hey? You and him going off to find a hotel room was your way of saying you love me then, was it? And Jack and Adam?”
Rose folded her arms and raised an eyebrow. “Are we going to start this? Because I have Lynda and Reinette as my back up, mate, and that’s just the start.”
He opened and closed his mouth. Okay, fair point. “Forget that, you were trying to flirt with them in front of me.”
Rose rolled her eyes. “I was 19, you idiot, I was trying to make you jealous so you’d make a move. Teenager!”
He looked away.
Rose sighed and rubbed her face. This was getting them nowhere and had nothing to do with what she was really worried about.
“I just,” she paused and then started again. “I just need to know that you’re ok. I’m worried about you, Doctor. Cuz this—” she gestured to him “—isn’t like you, either version, okay. You don’t go psycho and attack people. You stare off into space for ages. And you don’t frighten me.”
His head shot up. “What?”
Rose gnawed on her bottom lip but her eyes were intense on his. “You killed someone, Doctor. Stabbed him through the heart with a sword. You scared me.”
He strode over to her and grabbed her chin, raising her eyes to his. Concern and contrition were written all over his familiar face. “Rose it’s me,” he said softly. “I’m the Doctor. Whatever body I’m wearing, it’s me. I’m still the Doctor and I love you, my little ape. I promise you I’m okay.”
Rose swallowed. “Promise?”
He pulled her into his arms and wrapped her tightly against him. “I promise, I’m a little off, but it’s still me.”
Rose leaned into him and waited for him to exhale with hard eyes.
It was still him. Still the man who held her when her father died. The same man who loved her with enough intensity to make her stutter. The same man who saved her again and again. The same man who had run for his life with her hand in his.
The same man who held his breath when he lied.