Title- Encroaching Madness 10/20
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 ninth incarnation of the Doctor, comfortable in his trademark black jeans and jumper, found himself quickly back in Rose’s dreamscape. He rushed through her head searching for the fight he knew would still be raging in Rose’s mind.
He arrived in the same place the dream-Rose had shown him where the battle still raged in the dream-clearing. It was obvious that Rose was losing as the trees grew more insubstantial and transparent; their edges blurring in with the sky and their leaves lost in the cloud masses that hung with grey menace over the horizon. The bubble showed the scene with more clarity that he could bear and the sight of the Mara with Rose held in its slippery grasp made him growl with animalistic abandon.
His hands touched the bubble and he could feel the slick surface become elastic as he concentrated his will onto the object.
It was a trick of Time Lords taught from infancy and it was a matter of seconds to subtly shift the molecules so that he could walk through the bubble with no more difficulty than entering the next room.
Once through he raced over the harsh ground, dashing to where Rose struggled pitifully, as the Mara choked her prey with one hand.
With more anger than strength the Doctor wrenched the Mara away from his girl, taking the supernatural force by surprise.
Rose was dropped and slid down the wall, clutching frantically at her throat and making a gurgling sound; but the Mara—who spun to cast a vicious stare at the Doctor—registered no after effects of the battle, she wasn’t even winded.
“Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” he suggested with a glare before taking in its appearance for the first time.
All the gloves were off and the Mara had taken on the form that was most pleasing to it; a snake-like creature with silvery green scales and slotted red eyes, a huge maw-like mouth which housed two sharp fangs and forked tongue. It had humanoid arms but with talons where fingers should be and it had two more of those than the average human. But the most deadly weapon in its arsenal was that strong whip-like tail which rattled ominously and was as thick as a small car.
The Doctor was forced to look up into those piercing eyes and he fought the very primal instinct to run away.
“Rose,” he said without taking his eyes away from the creature, “are you all right?”
“Define all right,” she gasped.
“Not dead,” he shot back.
He shifted his attention back to the Mara. “You won’t win,” he vowed. “If anything happens to Rose, I’ll destroy you. I’ll kill you and then I’ll go after all your kind and I’ll eradicate them all from the stinking dark places.”
“Words!” hissed the Mara with less than appropriate fear. “Pitiful species where expelling of air is all the threat you can muster.”
And with those words the Mara kicked out at the Doctor. With minute precision he grabbed the advancing foot and felt a smidgeon of pride at his abilities…which rapidly fell as the tail he’d forgotten about whipped up and knocked him off his feet.
He lay winded on the ground and frowned heavily. “I’m pretty sure that’s cheating,” he rasped and swung his own legs around, knocking the Mara to the ground by his side. He kicked his legs back and used the momentum to spring to his feet. He ignored the fallen enemy and raced over to Rose who was still lying on the floor.
“Rose?” he asked gently, checking her bruised and battered face. She gave him a weary smile.
His hand cradled her cheek and his hearts skipped a beat as he gazed down at the woman he loved.
“Hello,” she wheezed, “you’re a sight for sore…everything.”
He realised that this was the first time she had seen him in his old body and felt a rush of warmth at the smile she gave in greeting.
“Oh, Rose.” He pushed her hair away from her face and looked down into her eyes with intensity. “You have to fight, Rose.”
“I’m so tired,” she bit down on her lip. “I’ll try. I will try, Doctor.”
“That’s all I can ask,” he offered philosophically and gave her a very real, very heart-stopping smile.
He was suddenly aware that there was an odd kind of silence behind him and he half-turned to see where the Mara had got to.
Despite his position he wasn’t expecting an assault from the rear and he let out a startled yelp as a clawed hand clutched his shoulder and spun him around.
The Mara hauled him off Rose like he weighed no more than a feather and held him up in the air, his feet dangling like bait on a hook.
“The mighty Time Lord!” the Mara mocked.
“Hey, you were the one with your tongue down my throat, so don’t knock it,” he warned, trying to peel those talons off his leather jacket.
He had hoped that he could get through this without having to resort to fighting, more for Rose’s sake than his own. He knew that she was a little frightened by the savagery released by his temper and he had wanted to spare her that. But it seemed like fate had other ideas.
He slung out with the flat of his hand and slapped the Mara with all his strength.
Stung more than hurt, the Mara reared back with a cry of surprise and shock and he was, once again, dropped to the ground. Scrambling to his feet he punched the belly of the beast and ducked under the retaliatory fist.
The Doctor felt the impact of his next punch all the way clear to his shoulder blades and was silently congratulating himself when the Mara grabbed hold of his hair…what little he had… and tugged.
It was a girly move that he hadn’t anticipated and he yelped in a very unmanly way and responded in kind by stamping on the nearest foot.
The Mara bellowed and let go of his sore roots.
He backed away, breathing heavily. “This,” he said, “is ridiculous. We’re fighting like cheerleaders.”
The Mara cocked her head at him and slashed out with her tail. A whip-like crack echoed in the clearing and the Doctor found himself hurled into a tree twenty feet away. Hitting the trunk hard, feeling a rib crack, the Doctor cried out in pain, bounced to the equally hard ground where he felt another rib crack.
The Mara gave a sibilant cry of joy and advanced on her prey.
She was stopped by a sudden thwack to the back of her head, causing the Mara to lose track of her prey as he scuttled backwards.
Spinning on her prehensile tail she was greeted by a weary Rose who held a fallen branch in her hands.
“Hands. Off!” Rose snarled and swung the branch again, catching the Mara a crack against its maw.
The Doctor looked on with pride as Rose stood her ground. She was shaky but still defiant. He was distracted by a sudden flurry of motion by the bubble and glanced up as his alter ego— Doctor ten— pushed his way through the barrier with several dream crystals in his hands.
He raced over, his great coat flapping in the breeze and ducked by the side of the fallen Doctor.
“Is this really the time to lie down on the job?” he asked with a mocking inflection.
The Doctor just glared at him. “Did you come here to make jokes, or to actually be of some help for once?”
The other Doctor looked up in time to see the Mara back-hand Rose clean across the clearing and advance on her.
“Right!” he said through gritted teeth.
Even as he made his way forward he could see Rose scrambling awkwardly on her hands and heels frantically backing away from the approaching Mara. The Doctor could see plainly the panic etched on her face as the monster closed in on her.
The younger Doctor hurried over to the battle whilst his older self planted the dream crystals in their places.
But their need for the crystals to be placed in formation allowed the Mara time to bridge the gap between her and Rose and she reached down with a scaly hand, grabbing Rose by the neck. The serpentine fingers closed in with incredible force around Rose’s delicate throat. As the Mara yanked the barely conscious Rose to her feet and beyond, holding her in the air with a grip of iron, Rose gasped for air, her hands scrabbling at the choke hold.
But the Mara, certain of victory tightened her steel talons into a stranglehold. Coughing and choking, Rose’s body and mind swayed in and out of consciousness. She was barely holding on, all but ready to let go and give in, and then the Doctor was there, swinging a dream crystal like a scythe, chopping off the Mara’s right arm like a tree branch, the limb thudding to the ground.
With an inhuman screech the Mara stared in disbelief at her fallen limb and Rose mustered the last of her strength to throw a right cross into the face of the Mara, taking a pointed fang and bloody scales with her. Rose was unceremoniously dropped and the Mara turned on the Doctor.
But before she could retaliate, the other Doctor thumped the last of the dream crystals in place and yelled to his counterpart. “It’s done!”
The ninth Doctor grabbed Rose and hauled her into his arms. With a flourish he jumped over the circle made by the dream crystals and lay Rose gently on the ground outside the wall.
Seeing that she was trapped the Mara screamed and rushed forward, only to be stopped by the barrier Rose had forged through her dreamscape.
The tenth Doctor came over to where the ninth held Rose in his arms. He looked down at her and stroked her hand.
Rose raised bleary eyes and tried to focus on him. “Doctor?” she said confused as her gaze darted from one to the other.
“Sleep, Rose,” her old Doctor said soothingly. “We’ll explain later, this is nothing for you to worry ‘bout.”
Rose reached out and grabbed his hand. “G-ood to see y-you again,” she whispered before her eyes fell on the new, new Doctor. “See you soon.” And with that she fell asleep, her body catching up with the beating she had been given.
Studiously avoiding each other’s gaze they stood together and stared at the Mara.
“So,” the Doctor tucked his hands into his pin-striped pockets.
“Yeah,” the Doctor rammed his hands into his leather jacket.
The ninth Doctor faced his older self and took a deep breath. “Right, let’s do this then.”
With a nod the Doctor paused, his hands halfway to the other’s forehead. “You realise that this will give me greater control over you. You do know that, don’t you?”
The ninth Doctor gave a brief glance down to a sleeping Rose knowing that this was the beginning of the end but also was aware that there was nothing else he could do, not if it meant saving Rose. He nodded harshly. “Yeah, I know. I’ll fight you harder.”
“You’ll have to.”
And with a final push they were in the same mind.
Consciousness streamed as they searched for the still point.
Home and family.
I know the Time Lords -- pallid, tedious worms!
You know, the worse the situation the worse your jokes get.
Death is the price we pay for progress, you know.
Endless species. The beauty of creation.
Time War. Daleks.
You are endlessly agitating, unceasingly mischievous. Will you never stop?
Anybody remotely interesting is mad, in some way or another.
I tolerate this century but I don't enjoy it.
I loathe bus stations. Terrible places. Full of lost luggage and souls.
Can we please try and be positive?
We have nothing in common. How can we find inner peace if we are fighting amongst ourselves?
There must be something?!
Better with two.
How come you sounds like you’re from the north?
Is that meant to be impressive?
Is it always this dangerous?
I made my choice a long time ago and I’m never gonna leave you.
Never gonna leave you.
The inner stillness.
The world around the two Doctors blurred and pulsated with light and gradually the two heads melded into one, the pinstripes faded and hair grew, hands slimmed and trainers vanished until one man stood in the clearing.
He held his hands up, his eyes glowing white and the crystals activated, humming with power and resonating with energy.
The crystals blew shafts of rainbow light from the top of each and they converged to trap the Mara in a cocoon of colour, an archway formed of purest golden light.
Through that archway came a sudden, strong gust of wind, a veritable tornado of particles which converged to form a shape. One lone shape; tall and willowy, but filled with power. Or maybe it was a vision, at once musty and transparent and yet distinctive and real. It held out long appendages that might have been arms and gestured to the Mara.
The creature that had been so much trouble let loose a scream so bone chilling that even in his newly awakened state the Doctor was taken aback.
The Mara’s flesh began to shed from it’s body, long thin strips of scaly skin sliding to the floor with ribbons of red tinged flesh slopping like butchers cast-offs. The Mara threw its head back in pain as the muscles and sinew, cartilage and organs began to peel away. As the monstrous creature unravelled piece by piece the Doctor had to look away until, at last its suffering was ended and the Mara simply fell to pieces, ashes flying into the air, a grey cloud of death hovering over the still green grass of the clearing.
As quickly as it had come the vortex vanished, the figure disappeared, and all that was left was the amalgamated Doctor and the comatose Rose lying on the ground as the ashes settled.