A/N: I'm sorry this ending is so rushed and utterly pants, which it really is and again I'm really really sorry, but if I didn't finish it tonight then I never would have. I AM going to go back and give it a better ending I promise, but for now this is it. Again, I'm sooooooorryyyyy!! :(


Chapter Eleven

Showdown

The Doctor moved quickly and easily over the rocks, keeping a tight grip on the bottle of Aqua Regia at all times. Ashley wasn't so graceful in her movements. Twice she had tripped and now had scrapes up her forearms. She had also managed to rip the hem of the dress.

'You know what would have been so much easier?' Ashley huffed as she stumbled over a small outcrop. 'If we had just got in the Tardis and moved to the top of the mountain. Probably quicker too.'

'That's the lazy way,' the Doctor replied. 'You're not lazy.'

'You don't know me very well then. Are we nearly there?'

'Yep. I can see the wagon.'

'Thank God for that.'

They finally reached the flat area of the mountain where the stream cut through it. The Doctor gazed around, not even out of breath. Ashley had to rest her hands on her knees and take a couple of deep breaths.

'The corset doesn't help you know.' She wheezed.

'Sshh,' the Doctor whispered, and tilted his head. Ashley mimicked his movements.

There were voices coming from the other side of the wagon. Low but aggravated voices. Someone was getting agitated while someone else was trying to calm them down. Ashley glanced to the Doctor, but he was already heading towards the voices.

'I'm gonna give you to the count of three, boy,' Bobby was saying, aiming his gun unsteadily. 'You get up on your feet or I'll blow you the hell away.'

'Bobby let me deal with this.' Sheriff Lockely said nervously, although his eyes never left the young man hunching over his dead brother.

Billy Bloom had his back to them and was cradling the heavy and rigid body of his brother in his arms. He was sobbing quietly and rocking gently. The Doctor quickly took in the scene. The large blonde man was missing. It just appeared to be the Sheriff and Bobby and it didn't look like they had been there long.

'Come along now Billy,' Lockely said, one hand in front of Bobby and the other gripping in own pistol. 'I've been talkin' with your ma and she sure is worried about you.'

Billy Bloom didn't show any sign that he heard. Bobby slapped Lockley's hand away in aggravation. 'He's a killer!' he spat. 'Should just kill 'im now.' He pulled the trigger without hesitation.

'No!' Ashley cried automatically, giving away their whereabouts immediately. The Doctor tried to pull her back, but it was too late. The Sheriff saw them.

'What the hell?' he cried, pushing his hat back on his head. 'How'd you get out of your cell?'

'Look,' The Doctor said, moving forward. 'This is a lot more complicated than you think. We're here to help, that's all. This isn't just a case of murder, there's something inside him. Making him do these things.'

Lockely blinked. 'S'cuse me?'

Bobby grasped the front of Lockley's shirt, staring with bulging eyes at the man he had just shot. 'Sh…sh…Sheriff?'

Lockely, still frowning in confusion, turned to Billy Bloom. His face dropped.

There was a large bullet hole in the back of Billy Bloom's head. Despite this, he sat upright. In fact, he was slowly getting to his feet. The hole glistened with golden blood. The Doctor pushed Ashley behind him.

'We're too late.' He whispered.

Ashley swallowed hard and clutched on to the Doctor's jacket. She watched with wide eyes as Billy turned to face them. She gasped at what he had turned into. His eyes were solid gold, but they looked at each one of them in turn. Patches of his skin were turning gold. The veins on the insides of his wrists and in his temples almost glowed. Tears had frozen on his cheeks and there was no emotion there at all. He stood, opening and closing his fists by his sides.

Sheriff Lockely immediately rose his gun and fired three more shots.

'No!' the Doctor cried. 'Sheriff get away from here! The gun isn't going to do anything!'

Lockely ignored him. Billy advanced, not at all deterred by the bullets bouncing off his chest, and headed straight for Bobby. When Lockley's gun just clicked in his hand, he moved quickly away to the Doctor and Ashley, and only watched in horror as the thing that used to be Billy Bloom seized Bobby by the throat and began to squeeze.

'Doctor, do something!' Ashley cried hysterically.

The Doctor winced. 'I… I can't. I can't overpower him. If I use the acid then there's a good chance I'll burn off half of Bobby's face in the process.'

'What the hell are you two on about?' Lockely cried. 'Get 'im off Bobby!'

By now Bobby was turning blue. Billy continued to squeeze. The Doctor watched, frantically trying to figure out what to do. Without any thought, Ashley ran forward and tackled Billy to the ground.

'No, no, no, no!' the Doctor yelled. 'What the hell are you doing?'

Before Ashley had a chance to respond, or even get to her feet, she felt hard cold hands clamp around her throat. She tried to gasp, but her throat was restricted. She stared in horror as Billy pushed her to the ground, staring back at her with those golden eyeballs. His strength was unreal. It felt like she was being strangled with chains. She could hear the commotion of the other three men somewhere, but she was quickly becoming dizzy. Her chest felt tight and painful. Her vision was starting to double, but not before she saw golden strings falling from Billy's mouth. She felt something cold brushing her lips.

I'm dying. She thought it was absolute clarity. None of the men would be able to overpower Billy, and if the Doctor poured the acid on him now, there was an extremely high chance of it burning her just as much. At least this way it would be quick.

The Doctor was tugging on Billy's shoulders, but it was like trying to lift a train. He could see Ashley's face turning bluer and bluer, and he could see her eyes closing. And now he could see the parasites emerging from Billy's mouth to invade her own. To either make her like him or kill her instantly. Either way, the Doctor wouldn't have it. He felt a surge of anger and he grabbed the parasites, which were more like worms than anything else, and tugged on them hard.

Billy Bloom wailed out and let go of Ashley's neck.

'That's it!' The Doctor yelled, pulling him to his feet roughly. 'Not so big and tough now that I've got your private bits, eh? Sheriff! Get her out of here!'

He didn't have to look to know that Lockely was doing as he was told. The Doctor swung Billy around, still holding onto the golden creatures that were resisting him and trying to return to Billy's oesophagus. But he wasn't going to let them.

'Guess you've got rid out poor old Billy, am I right?' the Doctor growled, still gripping onto the bottle of Aqua Regia tightly with his free hand. 'Made yourself a nice little golden home in him. Although humans aren't that durable you know. They only last about a hundred years, and that's if they look after themselves! You start breaking down their support systems and they're not going to last longer than a few hours! And what will you do then? Go back to the stream with your tails between your…' He paused and grimaced. 'Uh, tentacles? And wait for some other ignorant soul to blunder along? How long is that going to last you, eh? Probably not very long. And it's unlikely that you'll be able to spread the way you want.' He flipped the lid off the bottle and held it up. 'Which is why I'll do you this favour now.'

He shoved the end of the bottle into the mouth that used to belong to Billy and tipped it up. A bloodcurdling howl pierced the air and instantly the golden body began to jerk and lurch and smoke and bubble. The Doctor moved back, watching solemnly as the body began to cave and crumble and finally was nothing more but a pool of gold liquid in the dirt. He looked down at it for a few moments.

'I'm sorry Billy Bloom.' He whispered.

'Dan!' Lockely yelled. 'Your lady friend ain't wakin' up!'

The Doctor turned and ran to Ashley's side. She was unconscious, her face pale and her lips tinted blue. Lockely was staring at the golden pool, his face pale.

'What the heck did you do to him?' he stammered.

'Nothing you would understand.' The Doctor felt Ashley's pulse and put his ear to her mouth. 'She's not breathing.' He muttered through gritted teeth. He put his hands together and started CPR. He pumped her chest three times, hard, and then blew into her lungs. No reaction. He repeated the process.

'What are you doin' to her?' Lockely frowned. 'If she ain't breathin' then she's gone.'

The Doctor ignored him and continued the CPR.

'You hear me, Dan,' Lockely repeated. 'She's gone. She's dead. That son of a bitch strangled her to death. Dan, stop that.'

'I'm not called Dan!' the Doctor yelled angrily. He continued the CPR.

Lockely frowned and fell silent. He watched as the Doctor continued his mysterious ritual. Thirty seconds passed. Then forty. Then a minute. In this time Lockely noticed that Bobby was gone. Probably ran back to the town in a panic. The golden liquid that used to be Billy Bloom seemed to be running off into the stream, even though it was on a flat. Just as Lockely was about to ask the Doctor to stop again, Ashley heaved in a long gasping breath.

'That's my girl!' The Doctor cried happily.

Wild eyed, Ashley grabbed out frantically for anything to hold onto. She grabbed the front of the Doctor's jacket and he pulled her into a hug.

'You're okay,' he told her gently, still grinning. 'You're alright. I got you.'

Sheriff Lockely sat back and pushed his hat back on his head. He wiped his sweaty brow. 'I've bin' in law enforcement for ten years, since I were twenty years old, and I ain't never seen someone come back from the dead. Who the hell are you people?'

The Doctor and Ashley looked at him. The Doctor was smiling, although a little pale. Ashley was white as a sheet and didn't even have the slightest hint of humour on her face.

'We're no one.' The Doctor told him, still beaming. 'You never met us.'

The Sheriff watched as the Doctor got to his feet and helped Ashley up with him. He put a supportive arm around her waist and began to lead her away. Lockely watched after them, silent and solemn.

THE END

Extra A/N: Thanks for all the reviews on this one, they were mucho appreicado :D Episode 7 will be 'The Lonesome Shapeshifter', and Ashley thinks the Doctor is acting out of character... :P ANNND that should be up either tomorrow night or the day after tomorrow... which could be never :o No I'm joking, it'll probably be tomorrow night :p And thanks again you brilliant baboons you! xD