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.
The morning was well advanced when Rose finally made it into the control room, her head much clearer than it was when she’d finally gone to sleep the night before after hours of tossing and turning. She still wasn’t happy about what the Doctor had done back in the Tower of London, nor his general evasiveness of the topic and she was through waiting for him to be ready to talk about it. If he wasn’t going to give her answers then she was going to find someone who was.
“Right,” the Doctor said with a wide grin. “So where to now? Refreshed and rested ready for a riot. Where do you want to go?”
Rose pulled on the sleeves of her shirt. “You know I did promise I’d talk to Jack.”
His face fell and Rose tried to quell the sudden pang it gave her. It was no use falling into bad habits again. Before getting stuck on a different version of Earth she had started to become far too lenient of the Doctor’s mercurial moods and odd behaviour. She knew that annoying Queens and taunting fate was foolish and yet she had let him get away with it. No longer.
Rose had seen some awful things and had survived on her own without the Doctor in Earth 2.0 and she was no longer such a push-over.
“Besides,” she said leaning against the TARDIS console. “We really do need to let him we know haven’t run off without him.”
Again; was the unspoken word but it hung heavily in the air.
The Doctor licked his lower lip and stared moodily at the various instruments that littered the top of the control panel.
“You know Jack’s a big boy, Rose. We can go places without him. Besides he has his team to keep him busy. He’s probably shacked up with one of them now. My money’s on Ianto…or Gwen.”
Rose grinned. “Knowing Jack, it’s probably both. Still want to see him though. If that’s all right?”
Her questioning tone put him on guard and he plastered a smile to his face.
“Right, sure. No problems. It’s not a problem. We’ll go and see Jack. Just really wanted you to myself for a while but, hey your wish and all that.” He stilled and gave her a solemn eye. “Just be careful what you wish for.”
The seriousness in his voice gave her the shivers and she wrapped her arms around herself. “I just feel bad, ya know, for leaving him after he helped you save me. He wanted to chat and we crept off like naughty kids.”
“Or lovers,” he replied quietly.
Rose licked her lips. “And we’re neither, right? Not kids and we haven’t…you know.”
He turned to face her, crossing his arms over his skinny chest. “You can’t have it until you’re old enough to say it, Rose.”
She grinned. “Sex.”
His eyebrows shot up into his hairline.
“Screwing,” she stuck her tongue out and waggled her own eyebrows in mischief. “Bonking, doing ‘it’, making love, hide the sausage.”
The Doctor gave a spurt of laughter. “You what?”
“Sliding into third or is it home run?” Rose edged towards him and he backed away, his face a mixture of disbelief and amusement. “Beast with two backs, kicking it, boinking, whores and vicars? F—”
The Doctor put a hand over her mouth. “Rose Tyler, what have you been getting up to in Pete’s World?”
Rose giggled and licked his hand. He removed it quickly and wiped it on his jumper.
She merely looked at him with an enchanting smile and he reached up to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear before cupping her cheek in his hand.
“I want you, Rose Tyler,” he said with such aching honesty that Rose felt weak at the knees. He searched her face for something and his fingers tickled her skin. “Don’t think I don’t. But it’s not time yet.”
Rose didn’t understand but she nodded.
The Doctor took a deep breath. “I’ve got you back but you—” don’t trust me “—need some time to make sure that this is what you want and you aren’t just wanting a memory.” He swallowed. “The last thing I want between us, Rose, is regrets.”
Rose softened and kissed his fingertips. “I am sure. But I’ll wait if you want me to. I waited in Pete’s World for years. A few more months won’t kill me.”
She turned and walked away, a sway in her walk.
No, thought the Doctor as he watched her figure, but it might just kill me.
To distract himself he grabbed hold of the temporal dial and twisted it. “Right, so here we go!”
He fumbled with the dimensional transducer, flicked over the matter-transmitter, twisted the molecular converter and entered the space-time coordinates.
He shot Rose a manic grin full of energy and life and reached for the materialisation circuit.
The TARDIS exploded.
The Doctor was catapulted backwards as the materialisation circuit erupted into sparks and flames shot into the air, singing the time rotor.
Rose fell to the floor as shock waves of heat blasted towards her and she instinctively covered her head.
“ROSE?” the Doctor yelled over the roaring sounds of the fire but she could hardly hear him.
The entire room began to shudder and shake like an earthquake and the roaring sounds started to mingle with a low resonance whine coming from the TARDIS mainframe. The pulsating column creaked ominously and started to glow a deep red, taking over the usually soothing green as the rest of the ship continued to buck and shake.
“What’s happening?” Rose screamed but there was no answer.
She chanced a look over the burning console to see the Doctor passed out on the floor. The rampant quaking had knocked his head against the plastic seat and rendered him unconscious.
Rose clambered to her knees as the TARDIS trembled, like the machine was being shaken from outside. Rose made it as far as the console and grabbed for the emergency coolant that was hidden on the underside. She wrenched the top off and squirted the cooling gel liquid onto the controls to douse the fire.
The central column started to pulsate faster and louder, the light burning bright and the noise building like a siren and then, suddenly, it fell silent.
The TARDIS stopped dead with such a jolt that Rose was knocked off her feet again, banging her head against the railing.
The silence was so unexpected after the maelstrom of the past few minutes that it was almost deafening. Rose clutched her head and felt blood drip between her fingers.
She looked over the smoking console to where the Doctor lay still.
With effort she crawled on hands and knees across the floor to where he lay and she passed her hand over his mouth to check for breathing. She could feel puffs of air against her fingertips and she let out a huge sigh of relief at the fact that he was still alive.
Rose tapped his cheek lightly. “Doctor?” She shivered as she looked at the charred top of the console and the scent of smoke and ashes in the air.
What the hell just happened?
It was almost like the time when the TARDIS slid from one dimension into another only far, far more violent. Were they back in Pete’s World?
She bit at her fingernails and smoothed her fingers against the Doctor’s head.
“What have you done now?” she asked quietly.
The Doctor’s neck arched back. “Ro-se,” he breathed.
“Yes, I’m here. It’s me.” She soothed.
“Trapped. Help me,” he hissed, eyes still closed.
“Okay, Shh,” Rose ran her fingers through his hair. “I’m here, yeah?”
He opened his eyes and Rose startled to see them flash from brown to blue and back again.
“Rose?” he said in his northern accent.
“Hello.” She smiled widely at him more in relief that he was okay.
He blinked once, twice and then sat up quickly. “What was that?”
Rose sat back on her haunches. “No idea. Felt like some sort of crash. Did we crash?”
He looked at her vaguely insulted. “I never crash.”
“Oh right,” a smile played around her lips, “I forgot.”
He glanced over his shoulder as he got to his feet to see if she was joking and she didn’t school her expression fast enough.
“Right comedian you ar—,” he froze as he saw the blood trickled down her face. He was at her side in an instant, caressing her face and examining the bump.
“Does it hurt?” he asked, his voice low.
“Little bit,” she admitted with a hitch as his deep gaze caught hers.
He wiped the blood away with his thumb and held her to him, planting a kiss against the cut. “Let me see what’s wrong with the TARDIS and then we’ll check you out.”
“I’m fine,” Rose pulled away, her eyes immediately going to the console. “What went wrong?”
He shook his head and tentatively prodded the console. When nothing sparked at him he sniffed and ran his hands over the controls trying to gauge what had happened.
Nothing was immediately apparent and his frown deepened.
“It felt like it did when we first went into Pete’s World,” Rose hazarded. “We haven’t gone back, have we?”
He shook his head. “No. I would have sensed the slip into another reality. This is something else.”
He opened up his link to the TARDIS and was shocked to feel more than a slight hint of annoyance from the TARDIS. She wasn’t hurt by the fire but she was incensed by his touch.
He withdrew and folded his arms staring at the ruined console in shock and hurt.
She’d done this deliberately?
He opened and closed his mouth, not sure how to explain this one to her. How could he tell her that the TARDIS had blown her own circuits to let him know of her displeasure? How could he tell Rose that the reason they were stuck wherever they were was because he wouldn’t allow the TARDIS to have total reign of his mind anymore?
He breathed a sigh and flicked a switch on the monitor, checking their location. “According to this we’re on Maurra Delta which, right now, should be peaceful. They’ve just celebrated their Pax Anniversary, no crime for a hundred years so it should be safe out there.” He turned to face her. “Rose, I need to talk to the TARDIS.”
Rose was taken aback. “Oh, I didn’t know you could do that.”
“I can,” he said hesitantly. “But it means going into my own thoughts and I can’t be disturbed or it could mean catastrophe. I need total quiet for at least an hour.”
Rose smiled gently. “I can take a hint.”
She headed for the door. “Totally peaceful out there, yeah?”
He nodded. “Yeah.”
Rose hesitated and then made her way back to him, wrapping her arms around him and giving him a deep kiss. “Take care, okay?”
He pulled her back for another long kiss before watching her walk out of the TARDIS, closing the door firmly behind her.
He let the fond smile drift from his features and turned back to the console, his arms folded and face set in malevolence.
“Well, well, just you and me, then.”