Title- Encroaching Madness 11/20
Rating- PG15/ OT
Disclaimer- I own nothing you recognise and everything you don't.
Summary- Rose wakes up and rea;ises what ha[ppened to her. How will 9 react?
A/n- Sequel to the Darkness Within. With thanks to all who reviewed and my beta reader Gargantua.
Awareness flickered around the edges of Rose’s mind, fingers of reality intruding on what would otherwise have been a wonderful dream. A dream of her two Doctors standing watch over her, making her feel so very, very safe.
As consciousness took over and Rose opened one eye she realised that it hadn’t all been a dream.
He was there, her Doctor, in rolled up sleeves and tattered boots, sitting in the chair next to her bed holding her hand. His scruffy hair was tousled, like he had been running his fingers through it and, though his eyes were closed, it was obvious that he had been watching over her.
Rose felt a burst of affection for him and reached out millimetres with her fingers to touch his. The effect of skin on skin was electric and his eyes shot open, fixing on hers with unerring intensity.
“You’re awake,” he said somewhat unnecessarily.
Rose simply smiled and after a few beats he returned it.
He gave her hand one squeeze and let go, rising from his seat to walk over to the cupboard on the wall.
As Rose watched him go she realised that the pristine white walls and smell of pine antiseptic meant that she was in the
Oh, she liked those.
She had many memories of this place and images of broken bones and sprains, alien sicknesses and injections filled her mind. Sadly their penchant for danger meant that they both ended up with more than their fair share of aches and pains, although sometimes the bed rest was a nice change.
Resting in bed, Rose laughed internally at the thought.
The Doctor came back to her with a scanner and held it over her body.
“Very Star Trek,” Rose commented with a sly smile and the Doctor gave her a small smile, still not saying much.
Rose would have frowned at that but there was something starting to buzz at the back of her head. Some type of memory threatening to break through the nice drug fuelled haze that made her feel so good. She blinked as her toes turned cold. The effect of disappearing warmth ebbed up from her feet and by the time it got to her head Rose could feel pounding in her brain and ice in her veins.
“What’s wrong with me?” Rose said somewhat scared at the sensation, and then it hit her.
The Mara, the fight. The two Doctors and the never-ending darkness.
Rose shot up in bed and the world spun, the room hurtling around her screaming head.
She’d had something inside her head, something that had possessed and dominated her. It had raped her thoughts and twisted them until she wasn’t sure which were hers and which had invaded her brain like a parasite, leeching away her personality and spirit until all that was left was hollow. Black fingers had held her down while she watched her body do things that she tried to block. It had seeped into her skin and made her an alien in her own life. It had played on her insecurities and taken the one thing she knew she could count on and turned it against her.
It took over her body and violated every part of it.
The horror of what had happened to her flooded every cell and Rose wrapped her arms around herself, feeling anew every inch of the betrayal; ice-cold and numb.
It was sick, it was unthinkable. It had happened.
Her hands began to shake with the memories and Rose felt waves of nausea swell up inside.
What if it was still there, waiting inside her for a moment to strike? What if the Mara was lying hidden in her subconscious like a snake? Ready to devour, to destroy, to take her apart and drag the Doctor down with her?
From far away Rose felt the Doctor press his hands onto her chest and bid her to lie back down but she was too afraid.
Of all the things that she had done and seen nothing had ever scared her more than when she was not in control of her own body. She had had a taste of it with the Time Vortex and again with Cassandra and she had thought that she was beyond possession. She was wrong and it felt like she was bleeding inside.
“Is it gone?” she cried scratching at her arms frantically, like she could see the tattoo of the snake embedded upon her delicate skin. “Did you get it out?”
Her hands flew to her extreme case of bed-head and she tugged at her blonde hair, rubbing her forehead as she turned frantically to the Doctor. “Is it gone?”
“Yeah,” he said shortly, “it’s gone.”
“The Mara?” Rose requested clarification. “You got it out?”
“Yes we…I got it out,” he grabbed her flailing hands.
“No,” Rose tried to think hard, tried to see inside her own head, making the pounding worse.
“Rose,” he soothed as she tried to grab her head again. “It’s gone. I promise.”
She looked up into those murky eyes, trying to see the truth but it was as obscured as the colour and she sagged in despair.
“It was in my head, it was inside me.”
“I know,” the Doctor sat on the edge of the bed and ran a hand over her cheek, “you gave me quite a scare, Rose Tyler. I told you, you were jeopardy friendly, didn’t I?”
His ill-timed humour was not amusing and Rose was far too unnerved to appreciate his attempts to be blasé.
“It isn’t funny,” she snapped. “That thing was inside me. It made me think things, it… God, Doctor. You don’t know what it’s like to have someone else in your head. Someone who hates you and wants you to destroy yourself.” Rose gasped for breath.
The Doctor sniffed slightly trying not to explain the delicious irony that her statement caused. He didn’t know what it was like have someone else in his head? Don’t be so sure about that, he thought as his little prisoner pushed against the barrier he had erected inside his mind.
Rose had been asleep for the last three hours under heavy sedation. He had hoped the rest would give her some time to recover mentally before she had to face what had been done to her.
All that time he had been fighting a battle with his tenth self and the strain was staring to take its toll. He hadn’t known exactly how much control his inner annoyance had gained after this little episode and he was alarmed to realise how much resistance he now had to put up.
The incarnation currently incarcerated deep within his psyche had indeed upped his game and was throwing everything he had against the barriers that were no longer as thick and impenetrable as they had been.
In fact, were he to be honest, he knew that the time he had left with Rose had been more than dramatically reduced. It had been devastated and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could hold out against the man within without giving himself away to Rose.
She had already seen the two of them together and it was only a matter of time before she put two and two together and came up with…well, two.
She was clever, his Rose… which begged the question.
“How did the Mara trap you?”
Rose blinked at him. “What?”
“I’ve met the Mara before,” he said raising an eyebrow at her, “The Mara gained control of one of my companions before by making her agree to swap places.” He gave her a hard stare. “Now, daft ape that you are, you’re not that stupid, Rose. So,” he spread his arms wide, “what made you give up control?”
Rose bit her lip, thinking back.
She could see the curled form of the Doctor in the bottom of the cage. His leather jacket all but hiding his face as he writhed in agony.
“I can break free,” the Doctor managed with gritted teeth, shaking her out of her reverie. “But I need help.”
He crawled towards her. “I need you to let me in, to accept me, Rose.”
“It was you,” Rose breathed and then slammed her mouth shut as she realised what she had just revealed.
The Doctor frowned, deep furrows in his forehead. “What d’ya mean?”
Rose shook her head, knowing that the guilt he already bore would go into overdrive if she admitted that it had been the vision of him in danger that allowed her good sense to be overruled.
But the Doctor was not a man to be gain-said and he grabbed her chin and stared her down, his eyes boring into hers.
“Rose,” he said with more than a hint of warning. “Tell me.”
Rose bit her lip and capitulated. “It was you,” she confessed. “The Mara pretended to be you, trapped in my mind. It looked like you, sounded like you and… even smelled like you.” Rose looked down, ashamed of her own idiocy. “It said that we were trapped in a mind field, that you had come looking for me and gotten trapped and the force…or whatever, was using your telepathic abilities to hurt you. You said that if we melded together, like you did with Madame De Pompadour, we’d be stronger and we’d be able to beat it. You asked if we could join together and I said yes.”
He stared at her incredulously, the rug pulled from under his feet. “Just like that?”
Rose shrugged uncomfortably.
He couldn’t believe it.
After her little debacle with Cassandra, his later self had sat down with her and tried to teach her about shielding, letting Rose know all of the dangers that were associated with mind control and the limits of telepathy. Rose had been properly scared and yet, when it came down to it, Rose, fully aware of all of the implications of telepathy and someone entering her head, would have just let him into her mind. The amount of faith and trust Rose had in him was humbling.
He had seen most of what the universe had to offer, had travelled to some of the most breathtaking places and yet this small human continued to awe him.
Rose Tyler was magnificent. No, she was better than that, better than brilliant or fantastic. Rose Tyler was… there were no words for it.
He reached over and stroked her cheek. “Rose Tyler, you amaze me.”
Rose looked down, her face pink and warm. “Thanks.”
She looked so enticing to him just then, with her flushed skin and her sweet innocence. That, coupled with his delayed reaction to almost losing her, was making him more than ready to push her back on the bed and find out how far down that subtle pink blush went.
It would be a bad idea, however, since Rose was still very much engrossed in her experiences.
He pushed down his feelings and inhaled. “How are you? Do you remember much?”
Rose gave another shrug. “I remember going to sleep, walking through my mind and talking to the Mara. I remember coming back and her taking over, I remember…” her pink face flamed full red and the Doctor suddenly recalled what the Mara had done in Rose’s body, his arousal coming back in full force.
“Oh, my, God!” Rose gasped, her hands flying to her burning cheeks, “she…and you. You…!”
The Doctor felt a wicked grin cross his lips. “Yes, we did. Or we were going to. Until I realised that it wasn’t you.”
Rose seemed not to hear him, being fully content in her humiliation. “God, that is so embarrassing!”
“Perfectly natural bodily reaction,” he said casually glad to distract her.
Rose glared at him. “Oh, yeah. I remember your reaction, Doctor,” she shot back. “Enjoying yourself?!”
“I was.” His admission stopped Rose in her tracks, her mouth dropping open in shock.
“What?” she squeaked.
The Doctor dropped the scanner on the side and grabbed Rose’s hips with his hands, pulling her onto his lap.
“See, Rose, I’ve been waiting for the perfect time, the time when you trusted me and wanted me completely.”
“I do!” Rose interrupted and he placed an admonishing finger on her lips.
“Quiet, my turn to talk.”
“When isn’t it?” she grumbled but fell silent and he grinned in approval.
“Figures you’d turn all my clever plans on their ear and, yes,” he said quickly off her amused look, “I actually had a plan this time. A brilliant plan, with diagrams and…” he trailed off, “point is, I realised that I’m acting as stupid as the stupid bloke I was before. Always putting it off, waiting for the right time, when the right time is any time you’re here.”
Rose’s insides melted into a big pile of mush and she smiled softly. “Really?”
“Told you,” he said off-handedly, “Love you, daft alien that I am. I’ve always…well.”
He stood and placed her gently on her feet.
Unable to resist just one taste, he caressed her lips with his own, drawing on the soft texture of her mouth in one brief, tender kiss.
He pulled away, relishing the way her eyelids drifted open lazily. He held out his hand. “Rose Tyler, do you want to…dance?”