Title- Encroaching Madness 15/20
Disclaimer- I own nothing you recognise and everything you don't.
Summary- It's all starting to unravel for the Doctor and Rose. Which Doctor will win?.
A/n- Sequel to the Darkness Within. With thanks to all who reviewed and my beta reader Gargantua.
WARNING- This was written last season while I was watching Journey's End and beyond. Anyone who is a big fan of Ten should proably be aware that the next few chapters are not going to be very nice to him. Serves him right for leaving her on the beach....again.
Chapter 11 )
Rose had done some scary things in her time with the Doctor and even more whilst she was alone in Torchwood on Pete’s World.
She had faced armies and stood toe to toe with alien invaders, demanding that they leave her planet or face her wrath. She had bragged and bluffed without any cards and even accepted that a normal life was no good for her. She had been nervous and tense, scared and frightened, but nothing, no alien invasion had ever prepared her for the deep gut-wrenching terror that sunk into her at the sight of the Doctor lying at her feet, writhing and moaning in pain.
She held his sweating head in her lap and frantically brushed hair back from his forehead, murmuring soothing phrases which meant nothing and calmed no one.
“Doctor?” she whispered. “Owen’s gone to fetch the stretcher and he’ll take you down to the medical facilities here. I know you’re going to be okay. I know it but…I don’t—” Rose rubbed at the tears streaking down her cheeks. “Is there anything I can do? Doctor? Doctor, please wake up. Please!”
She rocked him. “What’s wrong?” she begged for some response from him.
Jack stood at the door, torn between picking the Time Lord up and carrying him to the infirmary himself and possibly causing some other damage. He had hit his head pretty hard when he fell.
He couldn’t stand to see Rose so upset, her face contorted in fear and pleading. She looked up at Jack, mascara running in black rivulets down her red cheeks. “Jack, what’s wrong with him?”
He opened his mouth and closed it again. There was nothing he could say to her to make this any better; he didn’t know what was wrong.
Owen and Ianto rushed into the room carrying the white stretcher and Jack hauled Rose away as they loaded the Doctor’s prone body onto it. The medical facility was in the lower levels and the three men took care to be as smooth in transit as they could.
Rose followed with Gwen who had her arm wrapped firmly around the girl, using her police training to full effect with soothing comments and subtle strokes.
They laid the Doctor’s body on the cold metal table and Rose sat on one of the seats by the bed.
The medical room was white and cold. Unbroken white stone walls and unwelcome sterile metal formed a streamlined cage around the perimeter, hard stone steps and beeping machinery being the only thing to break up the strong lines of the room.
The metal bed had seen more than its fair share of life-saving techniques. But also it’s fair share of death. Rose imagined that she could see the life-blood of people coating the autopsy table in slick redness and she shivered slightly into Gwen’s embrace.
The Doctor wasn’t going to die. He wasn’t.
“I need you all to step back,” Owen said professionally and raised an eyebrow at the hovering Jack until the Captain slid to stand by Rose against the wall.
Owen Harper was a jerk. A compete egotistical, sarcastic, self-obsessed, ignorant bastard. He made you want to slap him just for saying hello.
But he was also a very, very good doctor.
Jack pulled Rose to him as they watched Owen work his magic. Owen called for Toshiko to help him pull off the Doctor’s jacket and jumper and attaching leads and diagnostic material to the Doctor’s prone body.
It wasn’t right that the Doctor should lie so still. He was a bundle of energy, he was life personified. He didn’t lie still—he couldn’t even sit still.
He bounced and leaped and hopped. He ran.
The Doctor was incapable of being so… motionless.
“Right,” Owen said as he ran an array of medical instruments over the Doctor that beeped. “What’s different recently? Has he eaten something he shouldn’t have? Drank something given to him by a stranger? Has he been complaining of headaches? Nausea?”
Rose rubbed her head.
“Has he gone anywhere new? Seen something? Injected something? Is he on medication? Allergies?”
“I don’t know,” Rose cried, her eyes stuck on his form. “I don’t know anything!”
Owen turned to her, arrogance and professionalism warring. “Rose, I need to make sure I don’t do anything to hurt him. Now, is there anything you can tell me?”
Rose thought hard. She was better than this. She didn’t fall to pieces; she was head of Torchwood for God’s sake. She could do this.
“Aspirin!” Rose said firmly. “He’s allergic to aspirin. And, um. He has two hearts. He can live with only one but two is better.” She took a deep breath. “We didn’t have breakfast this morning. Don’t even know if he ate anything yesterday. Uh…” She scratched her head. “He went through the rift. There’s like background radiation.” She froze. “Oh my god, has he got radiation poisoning or something?”
Owen made a note. “I’ll check. Anything else?”
“We’ve been…god everywhere! Went to Pluto and Venus. Did the Mini-mega market on F’harg. Slid over the Medusa Cascade and visited Clom. Saw the moon landing and ate with William the 1st. We went to the 17th century and met Guy Fawkes. We were in prison in the
Owen didn’t answer. “I’ll check for radiation and gamma radiation. Normal diseases and the more exotic. Small pox, typhoid, the works. I’ll check blood work and neurological responses.”
“I’ll check his telepathic field,” Tosh added softly. “Maybe his receptors are just out of line. Easy fix.” She started up the stairs, pausing to pat Rose’s shoulder. “We will find out what’s wrong. Owen’s a good medic. He’ll be okay.”
Rose gave her a brief nod in thanks.
Gwen smiled and started up after Tosh. “I’ll go and check the files; maybe we have some old medical files of the Doctor’s on record. He did work with U.N.IT, maybe we can find something there.”
Jack gave Rose a big hug. “I’ll get the hand. We can use it to compare normality scales.” He left the room and Rose watched Owen for a long moment.
“I’ll,” Ianto paused looking around helplessly. “I’ll…make coffee.”
“Actually, Ianto. Its tea in a crisis,” Owen called, not looking up from his work.
Ianto paused on the stairs. “Tea, yes, of course. I’ll make tea.”
“Biscuits would be nice,” Owen added, “and cake.”
Ianto paused again, his voice noticeably cooler. “Anything else?”
“Yeah, stop faffing about, this isn’t a café.”
Ianto mumbled under his breath and walked away.
The Doctor knew where he was even before consciousness beckoned him awake.
The mind of his future self had been his prison for so long that its very essence was burned into his soul and he could identify his surroundings without even opening his eyes.
His alter ego, his lesser self, had somehow managed to pull him back inside his head with a force that had rendered him unconscious.
It was a show of power that should have taken years to achieve. The Doctor hadn’t realised how much ground he had allowed his other self to gain when he opened his mind to save Rose.
He had spent so long stuck inside this selfsame space tormented by what he could see happening outside that he hadn’t realised what control it had taken to break himself free… or what it had cost him to hold his prisoner. The mental strain of keeping his hostage imprisoned, not allowing him to take total command over the body they shared had taken its toll and he was well aware that his mental reserves were alarmingly depleted.
This was alarmingly because he knew that he was going to have to fight. Fight for life, fight for the right to exist.
Fight for Rose.
There was a subtle shift in the resonances of the air signalling the approach of someone else into the room.
The Doctor lurched to his feet in a swift move and faced his opponent.
The other Doctor, his future self, lounged casually against the doorframe in his own signature move; a subtle but insidious taunt against their role reversal.
“Oops, did I pull too hard?” the pin-striped man said with a grin. “Sorry. Well, not really sorry.” He pushed himself away from the frame and stuck his hands in his pockets. “Or surprised really. Subconsciously I must have wanted to hurt you.” He grinned wider. “Imagine that.”
“I s’pose you’re pretty pleased with yourself,” the Doctor snarled.
“Pleased?” the pin-striped man scratched the back of his head. “I suppose you could say pleased. Glad, content, happy, smug maybe even a bit satisfied but pleased?” A grin broke across his goofy features. “Yeah. I am.”
“Oh, is it time for the “I’m so brilliant” ramble already?” the Doctor sneered. “Has anyone ever told you how annoying that is? No—let me guess—everyone bows to your superior knowledge, safe in the delusion that you actually know what you’re talking about. Of course we both know the truth, don’t we?”
“You’re talking bollocks. All that jiggery pokery and pseudo science blasting out at them hides the fact that you’re making it up as you go along. Nice little façade which makes them think you’re brilliant when you’re just a scared little pretty boy out of his depth.”
“Of course I could always be a bitter old veteran, hiding my lust for a young girl behind rudeness and a leather jacket, but that would just be petty.” He rocked on his converse heels and sniffed smugly. “And I do happen to be brilliant, and foxy. Whereas you could open communications with Betelgeuse with those satellite dishes on your head.”
The Doctor crossed his arms across his leather-clad chest. “Uh, who is the petty one?”
They stared at each other for a long moment before the captive sighed. “Look, I’m giving you a chance. One chance. Call this off. Because if you don’t I’m going to stop you. I’ll stop you because you’re wrong. You shouldn’t even be here. Your time has come and gone.”
“It wasn’t enough!” the harsh plains of his face were gripped with anger and desperation. “A year, two years with her, it wasn’t enough!”
“What would be?” there was a hint of pity on the younger face. “A human’s life is so short. But even eternity with Rose wouldn’t be enough. I know that. But what your doing won’t change the fact that one day she will be gone and we will have to go one without her.”
“No,” his hands clenched into fists so tight that the whites of his knuckles all but gleamed taut against his bones. “I won’t let that happen. There are ways of extending a life. Of…making a person live on. You know there are.”
“No. No. No.” Alarm showed in the pin-striped man’s face. “You’re talking of dark ways. Twisting Rose into a creature of your own making to keep her with you. You can’t. Please. Listen to yourself. That isn’t love, that’s obsession; an obsession that will make her hate you. Hear what you’re saying. Would you hurt Rose just to keep her with you?”
The Doctor didn’t even seem to hear him. He straightened and glared with hatred at his future self. “You have no idea of how I feel for Rose.”
But he did. Oh, of course he did. How could he not.
The Doctor who had taken over knew what his previous incarnation had felt about Rose. He had felt that burning need to posses her and make her his own in every way. He had understood the passion that her every breath incited and the overwhelming urge to hold her and never let her go.
But he also recalled the destructive desires that swamped him whenever she was around. Scarred from the Time War and having all his race destroyed filled him with the craving to have her near at all times; to capture that spark of life and smother it for his own; to bind Rose to him in every way imaginable and to…imprison her within himself so that she would never leave.
Oh, he understood it well and had tried, once regenerated, to maintain some distance from the girl so that he didn’t destroy her with his own inclinations.
But all of his work had backfired and the man who had been trapped within his mind had taken it one step further… into madness.
Right then and there he knew that there would be no capitulation from his jailor. There was no reasonableness left in him; this was going to be a fight to the death.
“I know why you called me now,” the man in leather piped up suddenly, an evil grin on his face. “You didn’t want me to sleep with Rose again, did you? Jealous?”
The Doctor’s gut twisted because his big-eared enemy was right. Last night had been the pinnacle of this little nightmare. He had to watch as a man with his face and his body touched his Rose. He had to watch as someone else caressed her and made her moan. He had to watch as she responded so readily, believing it was him, reacting to the way that he was touching her.
He had had to watch as she whispered that she loved him—to another man.
His body had ached, his heart had broken and, in turn, he’d hated Rose for not knowing. He’d hated the other man for taking his place but, most of all, he’d hated himself for not being there, for holding back so many times and not taking the path he should have taken and been with Rose when he had the chance.
The other man knew and his face mocked. “Poor little Doctor, had to listen as Rose made those sweet sounds for me. How did it feel to be truly helpless?”
The Doctor felt his jaw clench at the taunts, his hearts pounding and nerve ends singing at him to just shut this man up.
“How did it feel to know that it was me who was holding her, sinking into her? Making her pant?”
His hands and jaw both clenched tightly, heat rising in his belly.
“Did you watch as she came, calling my name? Begging for me?”
He’d never hated anyone so much in all his existence.
The man in front of him gave a satisfied grin, full of malice and superiority. “Could you feel her nails in my back, her soft skin slick and wet?”
Fire and ice pooled his veins and throbbed a beat through to his brain. Shut him up, shut him up. There was wheel of fury and pain coiling inside. It wound tighter and tighter.
“Did you hear her scream; I. Love. You?”
It was enough.
He snapped and lunged at his tormenter, his hands pushing at the air between the two of them and forcing it with all his might to slam into the other man, knocking that smug smile off his face and throwing him into the air.
The ninth incarnation soared across the room and landed with a thud on the dirt floor.
He slowly looked up, animalistic and savage. “And so it ends.”