Title- Encroaching Madness 9/20
Rating- PG15/ OT
Disclaimer- I own nothing you recognise and everything you don't.
Summary- 9 has taken over 10's body and sent them to Deva Loka. The Mara are waiting their vengeance on the Doctor. (This story takes facets from Snakedance- a 5th Doctor adventure)
A/n- Sequel to the Darkness Within. With thanks to all who reviewed and my beta reader Gargantua.
The Doctor had watched Rose for hours, unable to do anything as she thrashed back and forth, alternating between screaming and shivering. He held her, stroked her head and soothed her as much as he could but as the day wore on and the shadows from the trees covered the glade floor he was fast running out of ideas.
He had tried to enter into her thoughts only to be pushed out with such force and such a howl from Rose that he didn’t want to try brute force again lest he should do some permanent damage to her.
It was enough that she was trying to fight off the Mara; she didn’t need him trying to break his way into her head as well. That much invasion was tantamount to rape and he wouldn’t do it unless there was no other recourse.
But it was looking more and more inevitable as the hours dragged on and there was no sign of change from Rose.
He had done everything he could to try to make her feel better, laid her in his leather jacket and built a fire to keep away anything else that might be as scary as he was feeling.
But no matter what he did to distract himself there was no ignoring the form that twisted and turned with pained cries.
He was just reconsidering his decision not to take the Mara into the TARDIS when Rose gave a choked splutter and went silent.
The Doctor reached her side and peered down into her pale face, both hearts pounding away at the way she didn’t move, so silent and so still.
“Rose?” he called softly. “Rose, say something.”
“Doctor?” She said weakly and he sagged in relief.
“Rose!” he stroked her forehead. “Open your eyes, c’mon, let me see.”
In a flash Rose reared up, knocked him back and straddled his body.
He looked up at her in shock and dawning horror as red eyes stared back in mocking laughter.
“Oops,” teased the Mara. “Did you think it was that easy to get rid of me?”
“Where’s Rose?” the Doctor demanded and tried to knock her off him. The Mara had gained extra strength from somewhere and it was like trying to move a stone.
“She’s fighting,” the Mara licked her lips in a very seductive and Rose-like move, “but she’s losing and she knows it.”
The Doctor swallowed hard in anger at the potential consequence of those words. Rose was losing. Rose was going to be taken over by this bitch. Rose was going to be lost unless he could do something about it.
“Why don’t you let her go?” He suggested. “I’ll let you go, let you live; just let Rose go.”
The Mara threw back her head and laughed and Rose’s blonde hair cascaded down its back in a yellow waterfall. “You’ll let me live? Oh dear, dear, Doctor. I don’t think so.”
The taunting was evident in every syllable that slipped from her lips and the Doctor bucked, trying to move her away, trying to get this parody of Rose away from him.
The Mara stilled and stared down at him with curiosity.
“How…primeval. This skin sack reacts to yours. Heightened respiration, perspiration and nervous system.” The Mara seemed genuinely interested. “I think this child wants to procreate with you.” The Mara wriggled Rose’s hips and they dug into the jeans of the Doctor.
He froze as certain parts of his anatomy refused to believe it wasn’t Rose above him.
“Don’t,” he commanded in a voice as hard as steel.
The Mara ignored him and writhed, luxuriating in the sensations that ran through its borrowed body, tilting its head back to have Rose’s face bathed in the last of the setting sun.
The Doctor tried to push her away, to knock her off his rapidly responding self but she was immovable and seemed to find his attempts hilarious.
Pinning his hands beneath her knees the Mara scraped Rose’s nails down his chest and ticked the edge of his green jumper. “This is all so fascinating,” she said. “Tactility is as base as can be and yet...”
She regarded him steadily and before he knew what she was about to do, he had a mouth full of Rose.
Since his rejuvenation he had kissed Rose many times, he loved to kiss Rose. It was always so soft and tempting with just an edge of hardness that made him want to devour her completely.
But this was something different. This wasn’t Rose no matter how soft she felt against him or how her body melted into his.
It wasn’t Rose; so why was he responding to her kiss?
He wrenched his mouth away and turned his head. “Stop it!”
“Why?” the Mara asked. “You are enjoying yourself and the sensation is not…unpleasant.”
“You’re not Rose!” he growled.
“Like it matters!” the Mara laughed and grabbed his head, fusing their lips together again.
The Mara tasted of dust and death and ages past. She held the flavours of a thousand conquered worlds and the devastation of empires. She was a fine wine, aged and fermented until the poison seeped through into his veins.
He choked, he gagged, he drowned and suddenly it came to him.
He pulled his mouth away, gasping, breathless.
“Hands!” he gasped, his eyes on fire. “Let me touch you.”
The Mara had been lost in the new sensations and her mind was so addled by this new feeling that she capitulated immediately. His hands were freed and he grabbed Rose’s hair, yanking her body down to his and rolling her underneath him.
He nestled between her legs and felt them scissor around his lower body. He pressed himself down onto her and felt Rose’s breath hitch in her chest as they made contact. He grinned wolfishly and bit on her bottom lip delighting in the groan that rushed from her parted lips.
Then slowly, so very slowly he touched her forehead and pushed himself into her head.
He fell into blackness and stumbled to his knees. There was a moment of dizziness and disorientation as the world settled around him.
When he looked up he could see the estate where Rose used to live. The Powell estate with its badly spelt graffiti and smell of frying onions. He looked up to where Rose’s flat used to be and wasn’t surprised to see her standing on the balcony staring out over the street. He followed her gaze to where the TARDIS sat on the street corner, looking out of place and alone in this grey world.
As the Doctor started up the stairs he was trying to come up with some plan of getting them both out of this. He knew that it wouldn’t be too long before the Mara realised what had happened and she wouldn’t be happy at all. In fact she might attack his own mind while he was in Rose’s.
It was kind of ironic actually. His other self was trapped in his mind while he took over his body even though he was trapped in Rose’s mind who was trapped inside the Mara’s mind in Rose’s body.
This was getting ridiculous.
He wrinkled his nose as he rapped on Rose’s door.
“Rose?” he called out as he pushed open the door to her flat and walked through. He knew he’d find her out on the balcony but didn’t really want to run into Rose’s mental representation of her mother.
There was only so much he could handle at any time and this was pushing it.
He walked through her room and stood behind her. “Rose?”
“You’re not really here.” Rose sounded like she’d given up and he folded his arms across his chest, glad that he had his own body back complete with leather jacket. He felt much more comfortable in his own skin rather than wear that monkey suit of a pretty boy.
“Course I am, daft ape. Where am I then?”
“Away. I dunno. You just didn’t come back.”
“On the street. I said no and you left, didn’t come back. No second chances.”
The Doctor sniffed and stuck his hands into his pockets. “An’ I told you that I gave you four chances, Rose. You’re different.”
“So’are you,” she said quietly, “so different. All darker and scarier than ever. I want to come back to you, I really do. But I’m losing.”
He swallowed. “Losing what?”
“See?” Rose pointed down and suddenly they were both standing in a woodland clearing watching Rose struggle with the snake-like form of the Mara.
As they watched, the Mara grabbed Rose in its tail and threw her against a tree. Her head struck the tree with a sickening cracked and she slid bonelessly to the floor, coughing up blood onto her already stained shirt.
The Doctor started forward only to run bodily into an obstruction and he glanced up to see that the Mara had cut off all help by encasing them both in a large clear bubble.
The Doctor slammed his hands against the clear glass bubble but it didn’t even resonate. It was a solid barrier and he could see Rose being beaten but couldn’t do anything.
He turned back to the one who had been on the balcony. “What is this?”
“When it gets too much,” Rose said, “I go back to Mum’s. She’s not there and it feels like I’m waiting for you, but you never come out of the TARDIS.”
She turned to him with sad eyes. “You never come for me.”
Her defeated tone made up his mind and he grabbed her arms tightly. “Rose Tyler, I’ll always come for you.”
He closed his eyes and found himself in front of the prison in his own mind.
He slammed open the portal to his captured self and snarled like an animal
“Right,” he said without preamble. “This is all your fault. You told the TARDIS to bring us here and now the Mara has Rose.”
The Doctor in pin-stripes looked horrified. “This wasn’t supposed to happen.”
“And that makes it all right does it?” he shook his head. “See, I knew that you were trouble, mate, saw it the first time we looked into a mirror. You with your vanity and impulsiveness. You didn’t think, did’ja? And now Rose is suffering for your mistakes…again!”
The pin-striped Doctor stood taller. “One regeneration makes up for the lack in another, you know that. If I’m impulsive it’s only because you did nothing. Ever. Rose was in front of you for a year, more than a year and you just stood by. My nature is a direct consequence of yours!”
In his very eloquent way the Doctor retorted. “Bollocks!”
The captive raked his hands through his hair. “Well, we have to find some way of getting the Mara out of Rose before she is taken over completely.” He gave a small smirk. “Any ideas?”
The Doctor surged forwards and grabbed him in a choke hold, his eyes alight with fury. “The second you said where we were; I knew. You think this is some kind of game? I know your plan, you idiot. I was you! For months I was the same skinny streak of piss you were and I hated it. But I know what you’re capable of, you pathetic little man. You want me to go inside Rose’s head with you and both of us vanquish the Mara then you’ll take over or let her know that I’m not you. It won’t work.”
He dropped the man to the floor and kicked out, catching the slimmer man in the stomach with his heavy boots. The air whooshed out of the prone Doctor and a groan escaped his mouth.
The ninth incarnation strode around the figure on the floor, his mind frantically working to come up with some other plan, some other way of getting Rose out and intact without allowing this pretty boy to have his way.
There had to be some way out of this without giving his nemesis more freedom. The more freedom he had the harder it would be to subjugate him afterwards, and this would only make it easier for him to escape and for his to reassert himself over his body.
Which had been his plan all along.
Sneaky little bastard.
But therein lay the trouble. He wasn’t lying. He had been this skinny pretty boy when he was with Rose, he had watched and learned all there was and, despite his impulsiveness, the pretty boy was actually quite clever and this plan was a damned good one.
The Doctor had been wracking his brains and could think of no other way out. He knew that the only way to help Rose was to venture into her mindscape with his other self. The two of them—or one whole mind as opposed to two separate fragments—would be the equal of any Mara.
If he rejoined with his inner idiot he could find the centre of calm and defeat this monster.
But at what cost?
Rose would then know that he wasn’t who he said he was and then it was only a matter of time before she assisted his idiotic older self to regain control.
He’d have lost Rose months too soon.
The tenth Doctor got to his feet and stood his ground. “Like it or not,” he said, “we have to work together on this; you know that there is no other way for it to work.”
The sudden agreeability wrong-footed the older Doctor and his jaw dropped, just in time for the Doctor to slam a right hook into it. He sent him reeling into the wall, his head impacting the broken plaster with a resounding thud, sending flakes of white plasterboard to the pristine floor.
The Doctor lost his temper and surged forwards. “This isn’t helping!” he all but screamed, his thin face contorted with rage. “Beat me up as much as you like but it’s Rose who is danger right now. Rose who we need to be concentrating on—so STOP IT!”
The two men faced each other across the silent room, teeth gritted, jaw muscles clenched. The two were matched in as much as they were one and the same but, as the Doctor had said, each brought a very different dimension to the name and it would be a close thing to determine whether brawn would win over flexibility.
Just when the older Doctor thought that he was going to have to brush up on his Venusian martial arts skills, his younger self broke into a manic grin, the whole of his face stretching to fit.
The Doctor blinked. “What?”
“All right then, mate,” the man in the leather jacket strode over and leaped on the bed, sliding up against the headboard with his hands behind his head, the very picture of nonchalance.
The Doctor on the bed shrugged. “No point us arguing, is there. So tell me all.”
The Doctor rolled his eyes. “I know how this goes.” He waggled his fingers as if pointing from one person to another in quick succession. “‘What,’ ‘what,’ ‘what,’ ‘what,’ ‘I’m sorry, I’m so very sorry.’ Gets old quick, let me tell ya, and for another thing, why do you have to stand there with that gormless look on our face, it’s not attractive.”
The pin-stripes were smoothed down and the trademark mercurial mood was back in place as the Doctor sniffed. “Right.”
He joined his alter ego on the bed and they sat in silence for a moment.
The uneasy truce was broken when the older Doctor sighed, unable to keep quiet. “So, the Mara are back.”
“All hail the Queen of the obvious,” the man in the leather jacket rolled his eyes. “So recap for those of us that weren’t paying attention. The Mara were created on the Manussian Empire’s finest home world by molecular engineering gone wrong. The great Crystal was supposed to harness and focus galactic energies for fuel purposes but instead it focussed negative ones from the whole planet which created this species.”
“Sort of like concentrated evil.”
“Sort of, yeah. That raw energy converted itself into creating the Mara who dwell in the dark places of the mind.”
“Inherent evil in all of us, we see it all the time.”
They shared a look of mutual exasperation with life in general and sentient life in particular.
“Right,” the tenth Doctor said quickly. “If I remember right we trapped it on Deva Loka before with the cunning use of mirrors. Quite brilliant.”
“Wouldn’t work again,” the younger man said with a shake of his head. “They learn fast, especially if it’ll mean death to them. We need something new.”
The tenth Doctor sniffed. “Well, it’d be worth a shot.”
The other Doctor shook his head again, his face as serious as his voice. “We’ll call that plan B.”
“Yeah, we could, of course we could. We could, really. We actually have a plan this time?”
“It’s Rose,” he was gently reminded. “On Manussa we had the crystal as a nucleus, and that Dojan bloke helped us—”
“—with the aid of snake venom—”
“—with the aid of snake venom to reach inside—”
“I’m still not so pleased with that, you know,” the tenth Doctor interjected, “hallucinatropic drugs to aid in transcendental meditation. I mean it’s a bit like an acid trip and not particularly, you know, sensible. It wasn’t really needed for us anyway, being a Time Lord.”
The ninth incarnation pinched the bridge of his nose. “I swear you have some kind of attention disorder.”
“Ooh, pardon me, carry on. Won’t happen again.”
“I wish,” he said through gritted teeth. “But, daft clothes and odd rambles aside, you do have a point.”
“Thank you,” said the tenth Doctor smugly.
“No fashion sense, but a point.”
“We need to find the still point. To obliterate negative energies we need to be polar opposite.”
The Tenth Doctor shot him a look. “So we need to focus only on the positive.”
“The two of us.”
There was a beat of silence.
“We’re all going to die, aren’t we?”
The tenth Doctor shrugged prosaically. “Oh well, had to happen sometime. Next time I might be ginger… and less psychotic. Anyway. This Snake dance, never been one for rituals much. Except Christmas—love Christmas.”
“I know,” the Doctor glared. “But we don’t have to dress up and dance. I don’t… anyway. With the two of us and the memories of what the Dojan did to help us we can find the still point within ourselves, focus on the Mara and trap it in some kind of shell.”
“Like the dream crystals!”
“Like the dream crystals!” they echoed with huge grins.
“Once trapped we can get the TARDIS to send it back where it came from.”
“Or destroy it.”
They stared at each other again, the tenth Doctor trying to come to terms with the casual command to destroy their enemy. It was a far cry from his own way of doing things, not even giving the Mara a chance to get away. But this was Rose and they were running out of time.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” the ninth incarnation said swiftly, cutting the tension cleanly. “Right now we have to go into Rose’s dreamscape. You head back to her memories of the clearing and grab one of the dreaming crystals and I’ll head there and try to distract it.”
The two men reached across the bed to touch the foreheads of each other in an intimate movement- it had a perfect symmetry and would have been harmoniously beautiful if any one had seen it.
Calm and serene.
Save for the blue eyes that flashed opened momentarily and narrowed on his pinstriped counterpart.
“When this is over, there will be a reckoning.”