Changing The Rules (Sequel to 'Possibilities')
This story is also posted on , though it's not finished yet. This story features, along with the 6th Doctor and Rose, the 7th Doctor, 4th Doctor, Valeyard, and an earlier incarnation of the Valeyard--the 4th one to be exact (who will be referred to as the 4th Doctor or 4th incarnation of the Valeyard). The usual disclaimers apply, I don't own Doctor Who, etc.
"The Valeyard is on that Tardis?", Rose asked the Doctor in disbelief.
The Doctor continued working the controls as he replied in clipped, businesslike tones that conveyed just how much stress he was under to save his ship, "Yes, Rose. Now, there's not much time left before the Valeyard circumvents all of the Old Girl's security measures. When that happens, the console room will become completely vulnerable and the Valeyard will be able to just waltz on in here. He's already taken control of over fifty percent of the Old Girl's systems." He abruptly stopped talking and looked up at Rose. He had a grim, determined look on his face as he stated very calmly, "Rose, when I give the word, I'll need you to leave the Tardis. You are to hide and wait nearby. Under no circumstances are you to rush to my defense. I'm going to need some help with this, but unfortunately, you cannot and will not help me. I don't know why, but I believe the Valeyard's target is you, not me. And I'll be damned if I let him get his hands on you!", the Doctor stated adamantly.
Rose came over to the Doctor's side and placed her hand on his forearm gently and replied with absolute confidence while gazing into his eyes, "It'll be okay, Doctor. I trust you to come up with a brilliant plan. Speaking of which, you said you're going to need help. Who are you going to get to help?"
The Doctor gazed lovingly into Rose's eyes and cupped her cheek with his hand, as he stated more calmly, "I'm going to establish a telepathic link with one of my future selves, my seventh self. I've run into him once before and he's just the right 'me' for the job," the Doctor grinned slyly. "I figure the two of us against the Valeyard should just about even the odds in my favor. The Valeyard won't know what hit him."
"Also, I'll need someone to keep an eye on you while you're on this planet, just in case you run into trouble. For that part of the plan, I'll establish a telepathic link with one of my past selves. Now, the only question is, which one of my past selves would be perfect for the job of protecting you. Hmm…I've got it! The perfect 'me' for the job would be my fourth self. I was very tall and imposing back in those days, which was surprising considering I always wore that damn ridiculously long scarf. Anyways, you'll like him, Rose. I've also run into him once before and we had a fantastic time on Pauate at this great restaurant I'll have to take you to sometime. He had the whole place rolling with laughter and he was quite charming with the ladies." At Rose's raised eyebrows and smile to that statement, the Doctor, realizing what she must have been thinking, said, "Well, not charming in that sense, no. What I meant was that he was charming in the way that a lovable family member would be. Besides, I was nowhere near as handsome back then as I am now," he grinned at Rose and gave her a quick kiss on the lips.
"You are so full of yourself, you know that," Rose said light heartedly as she embraced the Doctor in a hug. She pulled away quickly and said, as she started walking towards the chair on the other side of the console, "Now, you have to get to work contacting your fourth and seventh selves. I'll just step away and sit down over here."
The Doctor smiled at her, quickly checked the monitors to make sure the Valeyard hadn't taken over much more of the Tardis systems yet, and then made his way to the far side of the room. He lay down on the floor, closed his eyes and prepared himself for the telepathic links. He briefly went over his choices again. He knew he was right to choose his seventh self. That version of him was cunning and manipulative enough to be more than a match for the Valeyard.
What gave him pause was the choice for Rose's protector. He had shrugged off and joked to her about his fourth self's charming personality, but he hadn't been completely truthful. Yes, his fourth self was charming, but in a completely gentlemanly way that had made more than one female's head turn back in the day. He knew that his fourth self would be more than able to look after Rose and he was sure that he and Rose would become great friends. Then why did he suddenly feel unsure, as if he was worried about what could happen if Rose met his fourth self? That incarnation of himself was completely trustworthy and would do anything to protect his companions. He also knew deep down that his fourth self had a love for Earth and humans that was unmatched. He remembered how attached he had become, in that incarnation, to one particular human, Sarah Jane.
He then realized what it was that had given him pause. Rose was quite similar to Sarah Jane, in terms of fierce loyalty, bravery, and beauty. Stop right there. I refuse to go down that path, he thought to himself. There's no time for it. I've made up my mind. I have to do this. Rose will be fine with him. Besides, she chose me to travel with and she loves me. With himself just about fully convinced, he took a deep breath and began to establish the telepathic link with his seventh and fourth selves.
About five minutes after the Doctor had begun the telepathic link, the lights flickered in the console room and then went out. The only light source came from the console's time rotor and some of the buttons on the console. Rose stood up and moved to where the Doctor was still lying down. She knew she couldn't wake him up, not while he was still engaged in the link. She looked toward the door, leading to the rest of the Tardis. Through the small round window of the door, she could see the hallway bathed in darkness, so there was no way of telling if the Valeyard was standing just outside the door and peering in. She wrapped her arms around herself and felt an involuntary shiver at the thought of this Timelord who had caused the Doctor so much trouble. When the Doctor had informed her of his trial, she knew that he wasn't telling her the whole story. She hadn't wanted to pry at the time. Now, she wished she had asked to be told as much about the Valeyard as possible. She liked to know what she was standing up against. Of course, the Doctor had said that he would give the word when it was time for her to leave the Tardis. He hadn't said, though, what to do if the Valeyard got to the console room before he woke up from the link.
She inched her way closer to the doors that led outside the Tardis and decided to open one of them a bit, just to see what was awaiting her out there. She was relieved to see they had landed in a heavily dense forest, and it appeared, at first glance, that there was nobody around waiting to ambush her. The forest looked just like an Earth forest and the sky had beautiful sunset hues. The air smelled different, though. It smelled like a combination of lavender and vanilla. She took a deep breath, enjoying the smell of two of her favorite fragrances.
At that moment, she thought she heard the sound of the door knob, of the inner door, move. What if the Valeyard finds a way to lock the outer doors before I can get outside, she thought to herself. I should leave now while I can. I just wish I could say goodbye to the Doctor before I go. Who knows how long it'll be before I see him again. Starting to feel extremely worried at the thought of what could go wrong with his plan, she glanced at the Doctor one last time, fully opened the outer door, and walked outside.
She walked about ten feet from the side of the Tardis and decided to sit down behind a wide tree. She had a clear view of anyone who would be coming out of the Tardis. While waiting, she spent the time wondering what was happening in there. Was that the Valeyard trying to get inside the console room earlier? Did the Doctor wake up from the link before the Valeyard got inside? Also, where was the Seventh Doctor? Shouldn't his Tardis be here by now? And where was she supposed to meet up with the Fourth Doctor, or was he supposed to arrive at this location, too? Damn, I wish there had been enough time to find out all these details, she thought to herself. She looked at her watch and realized that only ten minutes had passed. Still, no one had exited the Tardis. Still, there were no sounds of another Tardis dematerializing. She was beginning to think it had been a false alarm, that the door knob hadn't really moved, and that she should walk back inside the Tardis. It was at that point that she felt a tingling sensation. She looked down and realized that she was being transported away. A few seconds afterward, the Seventh Doctor's Tardis dematerialized nearby.
Rose's first thought, upon opening her eyes, was that she wished whoever was making the room spin would stop. She closed her eyes, concentrating on fighting down the nausea. The sounds of footsteps could be heard from nearby, along with the sound of a deep, commanding voice. The footsteps became louder as they approached her location. She opened her eyes a bit and realized that she was in a dimly lit room on a hard cot, with a small window on one wall and a door similar to what would be in a jail cell. There was a faint purplish light emanating from the window, indicating that it may be dusk out. Hell, for all I know, it could be just before sunrise, she thought to herself. How long have I been here and what happened to the Doctor? Where is here? As these questions circled around in her mind, she realized the dizziness and nausea had diminished considerably. Probably a result of that transporter thing they used on me, she thought as she slowly sat up on the cot.
She was facing away from the cell door and looking towards the window, when she realized the sound of the footsteps had become considerably louder and then stopped. She got the sense that whosever they belonged to, they were standing right at her cell door. Not knowing what to expect, she slowly turned around. She wasn't prepared for who she saw standing there along with the guard.
Yes, she noticed his tall, imposing form and his ridiculously long scarf, but it wasn't just those things that gave him away. It was his eyes, the color of a brilliantly blue Earth sky, which shone with wisdom and the infinite complexities of time. Although his face was set in a serious expression, his eyes conveyed all the warmth and trust she associated with her Doctor. She immediately began to relax and a smile started to form on her face. It was then she realized that she probably shouldn't be smiling now. She wasn't sure what he had told the guard and she didn't want to blow his cover. Before she looked away from his face, she heard a voice in her head that said kindly, 'Trust me. I'll explain later."
The Doctor broke eye contact with Rose and stated in a calm voice, which brooked no nonsense, "Guard, open the door now. I have a schedule to keep and the Timelords mustn't be kept waiting." Rose had been looking down and had to keep herself from looking up quickly, in shock at his statement, and asking what the hell was going on. She felt intuitively that she had to play the subdued prisoner in order for the Doctor's plan to work. The guard opened the door and walked up to Rose. He grabbed her arm tightly and yanked her up. She involuntarily cried out in pain, thinking that he had twisted something. In a flash, the Doctor strode into the cell and punched the guard square on the jaw. The guard lost his hold on Rose and went careening across the floor, where he hit his head on the wall.
The Doctor then looked at Rose and said, "Now that that's settled, let's get back to my Tardis, Miss Tyler, so I can take a look at your arm and fill you in on what's going on here." All she could do was nod. She was surprised at how fast he had moved and by what he had done. He noticed her expression and said calmly, "Never mind him. I didn't hit him that hard. Come on. We don't have much time before the other guards arrive." He held out his hand to her and, using the hand on the side of her uninjured arm, she took his. There was no type of electric current feeling similar to when she had first held the Sixth Doctor's hand. No, this was different. She briefly looked down at their hands. Her hand fit perfectly in his and looked as if it was always meant to be there. He noticed her gaze and looked down at their hands. He then looked up at her face, gave her hand a gentle squeeze and said in a way that was almost a question, "Trust me, Miss Tyler." At her slight nod and hopeful smile, he gave a brilliant smile, turned away and led her in the direction of his Tardis.
The Doctor slowly opened his eyes and smiled. He had been successful in establishing a telepathic link with his Seventh and Fourth selves and conveying all the details in order to get both of them up to speed about Rose and the current situation with the Valeyard. Speaking of which, why was it so dark in here? It was time to see what else the Valeyard had gotten up to while the Doctor had been in the telepathic link. He stood up and went over to the console. He was relieved to find that the Valeyard had only gotten control of sixty percent of the Old Girl's systems. It was at this point that he realized how quiet it was in the room and how it felt like he was totally alone. He looked towards the chair sitting on the opposite side of the console and his suspicion was confirmed. Rose wasn't there. She wouldn't have gone outside just because the lights went out, would she, he thought to himself. No, something else had happened. Did the Valeyard come outside the door leading to the rest of the ship? No, he wouldn't just stop there and peer inside the console room. He would've just strolled on in here, especially if he had noticed me lying on the floor and if he had seen Rose in here.
It was then that the door, leading to the rest of his ship, opened. The Valeyard confidently walked through. The Doctor stood by the console, an annoyed expression on his face as he asked pompously, "To what do I owe this excruciating pleasure, 'Brickyard'?
The Valeyard smiled, yet his eyes remained cold and calculating. "Well, well Doctor. Not much of a greeting for your old 'friend'. No questions about why I only stopped at sixty percent, why I chose Mycenae in this time period to drag your Tardis to, or why I was able to just stroll on into your console room? Tsk, tsk. Bad form, Doctor. Manners must be upheld, no matter the 'unique' circumstances we find ourselves in."
Now why did he put emphasis on the word 'unique', the Doctor thought to himself.
"You are such an open book, Doctor. I can read your thoughts as clear as day. You really must learn to better properly shield your mind. Or have you forgotten that basic rule from our old Academy days," he tauntingly asked.
"State your business here, Valeyard. As you can see, I am extremely busy, what with you mucking about with my Tardis. Why don't you just take your Tardis and shove off back to your own universe," the Doctor replied in a bored voice laced with annoyance.
"I'm afraid I can't leave just yet. You see, you have something that I want. Well, that's not entirely true. You have something that the Council wants," the Valeyard stated as his eyes glittered with delight at what he was about to inform the Doctor of.
"Out with it, Valeyard. I don't have the time or patience to play twenty questions with you," the Doctor's voice sounded calm, but he couldn't help the extreme concern that began to creep into his mind at the mention of the word 'Council'. The Doctor looked down at the controls and asked in a voice he hoped didn't sound concerned, "By the way, to which 'Council' are you referring?" The Doctor couldn't help the ever so slight shake in his voice. He tried to shield his deep concern and fear from him, but he knew it was useless. The Valeyard already had picked up on his emotions.
"The High Council of the Timelords, Doctor," the Valeyard was greatly enjoying this. Now for the final nail in the proverbial coffin. He only need wait for the Doctor's next obvious question.
"The High Council", the Doctor exclaimed loudly, deciding to hell with trying to mask his roiling emotions any longer. "What could they possibly want that I have?"
"Well, I may have misspoken earlier. You see, it's not so much a question of 'something' as 'someone'," the Valeyard replied in a mock apologetic tone.
Oh no. No, please not her, the Doctor silently prayed to Rassilon. Out loud he asked, in a deadly calm voice, "And just whom are you referring to?"
The Valeyard grinned slowly in a way that made the Doctor's skin crawl and which reminded him of that cartoon, the Grinch. He then exclaimed loudly, as if addressing the Council right there, "My dear Doctor, surely you've guessed by now who the High Council has fixed their sights on? The one 'unique' human who can help the Gallifrey of my universe to defeat the Daleks once and for all! Who, in her own universe, looked into the 'Heart of the Tardis' and had the Time Vortex itself running through her! Who, with just a single thought, erased the Dalek Emperor and the Daleks from existence!" The Valeyard's eyes were gleaming maniacally as he stated with confidence, "My mission is to take your precious companion with me back to the Gallifrey of my universe. You, dear Doctor, have no hope of deterring me by yourself. I know you contacted your Seventh incarnation, but where is he, I ask," the Valeyard spread his arms wide and looked around the console room.
At the Doctor's shrug of his shoulders and his calm demeanor, the Valeyard quickly looked confused. Why wasn't the Doctor angrily ordering him to stay away from his companion? What was he playing at? He's got something up his sleeve, the Valeyard realized. How can that be? I read his mind. I saw that he had only contacted his Seventh self. What else…oh no. The Valeyard then realized something important.
As realization dawned in the Valeyard's eyes, the Doctor nodded and calmly replied, "That's right. I only showed you what I wanted you to see. I am one step ahead of you, Valeyard." The Doctor then hit the control that turned on the view screen. It showed the Seventh Doctor's Tardis outside. "Did you not wonder why you were only able to take over half of my Tardis systems? Did you not wonder why it was so easy for you to make your way up here to my console room? I wanted you to come here at just the right moment."
"The right moment for what," the Valeyard sneered, but he could only muster it half-heartily. He was no longer in control of the situation, and that frightened him.
The Doctor motioned that he look at the view screen. What he saw on there surprised him, to say the least. The Seventh Doctor had just stepped out of his own Tardis and was making his way to the Sixth Doctor's Tardis. When the outer door of the Tardis opened the Seventh Doctor, with his dark brown suit, hat, and brolly came sauntering in, as if he had just come in from a relaxing walk in the park. He smiled benignly at the Valeyard, but his eyes were another story. The eyes of The Oncoming Storm bored into the Valeyard's for about seven seconds. Afterwards, the Valeyard appeared pale and shaken, as if he had stared straight into the eyes of Rassilon himself.
The Seventh Doctor stepped back a bit from the Valeyard and stated in a voice that would brook nothing but absolute obedience, "Get back in your Tardis and return to the Gallifrey of your universe. Tell your High Council that, no matter how dire their war with the Daleks, they will never have the opportunity to use Rose Tyler for their gain."
The Valeyard, still looking pale, asked in a voice mixed with fear and awe, "You're nothing like your previous self. You seem to be something more than the Doctor. What are you, really?"
The Seventh Doctor gave a calculating look at the Valeyard, walked closer to him, and whispered one word in his ear. The Sixth Doctor had no idea what that one word was, but from the Valeyard's shocked and horrified reaction, the Doctor didn't really care at the moment. The Valeyard walked backwards out of the console room, not even giving the Sixth Doctor a second thought, and made a run for it back to his own Tardis in the conservatory. The Sixth Doctor made an adjustment to the view screen controls and watched as it showed the Valeyard running into his own Tardis and dematerializing.
The Sixth Doctor looked at the Seventh Doctor, smiled, and held out his hand to the Seventh Doctor. As the Seventh Doctor walked over to his former self, smiled and shook his hand, the Sixth Doctor said, "Thanks for helping me out, Doctor. One question though, what did you glean from looking into the Valeyard's mind?"
The Seventh Doctor replied, "I found out what we need to know about the Valeyard's plan for kidnapping your companion and taking her to the High Council. Apparently, he had hired a few mercenary guards to transport her away from this location to one of their holding facilities. From there, he would rendezvous with them and personally take her to Gallifrey."
The Sixth Doctor put both hands flat on the console and looked down, deep in thought with concern and fear etching his features. After a few seconds, he looked up at him and asked, "Is it true, what the Valeyard said Rose would be used for? Does she have enough of the time vortex left in her to actually defeat the Daleks in the Valeyard's universe? Would the High Council actually believe that those means would justify the end result?"
The Seventh Doctor looked down at the console momentarily, as if collecting his thoughts. He then looked up at his former self and stated bluntly, "Our fellow High Council members put you on trial for your life and tore you away from Peri. What makes you think the High Council in another universe, faced with the destruction of Gallifrey, wouldn't do whatever it had to in order to survive?"
The Sixth Doctor nodded his head and replied, "Yes, you're right. No matter the cost, we can't let them have Rose. She's too precious to me. I don't know what you said to the Valeyard to get him spooked, and I don't need to know at the moment. You know, though, that the Valeyard is extremely resilient and won't give up that easily."
The Seventh Doctor looked at him and said, "I know, Doctor. With the help of our Fourth incarnation, I believe we'll be able to defeat whatever other plan the Valeyard has in store." He then looked away for a moment, as if recalling a great memory. "I had this one human companion, Ace McShane. She was brilliant. You would have liked her. Unfortunately, she moved on." He then looked at his former self and stated, with regret and sadness in his voice, "they all move on, Doctor. Rose can't stay with you forever."
The Sixth Doctor looked at his future self and stated resolutely, "I don't need forever. I just need this moment in my time line to be with her, traveling in my Tardis. No one will take her away from me, not the High Council and not the Valeyard." No one, not even my Fourth incarnation, he thought to himself.
Oddly enough, the Fourth Doctor and Rose made it out of the building without running into any other guards. Upon leaving, Rose turned around and saw that they had actually been in the basement level of an enormous mansion. There was a gravel road leading away and nothing but forest surrounding it. Rose's earlier guess about it being around dusk was correct, for she saw twin silvery moons in the darkening sky amid an array of stars. The Doctor still held Rose's hand gently, but firmly as he pushed aside a branch to lead them into the woods. The light from the moons and stars made it fairly easy to see the narrow dirt path they were walking on and they made it to the Doctor's Tardis within minutes.
Rose noticed, as he was unlocking the Tardis door, that his key looked very different from hers. He noticed her curious look and responded matter of factly, "I have been known to change the lock from time to time." He pushed open the door and guided her inside, his hand gently touching the small of her back.
As she walked inside, she was pleasantly surprised by the difference in appearance to her Doctor's Tardis. This console room was done in dark wood paneling, which gave it a sort of Jules Verne quality, if she was remembering her classic stories correctly. The console itself looked very small without the time rotor. Rose had only managed to walk a few steps into the Tardis, which made the Doctor have to walk around her. He took off his fedora hat and hung it on the coat rack in the corner. He made his way to the inner door of the Tardis, turned around to Rose and said warmly, "The med bay is this way, Ms. Tyler, if you'll follow me." He held the door open for her and she made her way to the door. Before walking through the door, she smiled at him and said, "You know, you don't have to keep calling me 'Ms. Tyler'. My name's Rose."
Smiling, his eyes twinkling in amusement, he replied, "I can assure you I know far more about you than just your name."
Her curiosity piqued, she asked as she walked through the door, "What exactly did my Doctor tell you about me?"
"Oh, he told just the necessary information, including the fact that you are very important to him. I dare say my future self has fallen completely for you. I can't say that I blame him," he stated in that deep, charming voice of his that Rose was sure would make just about any woman weak in the knees. Hell, she was certain that if he were to read a phone book out loud, he would make it sound intriguing.
"Thank you for the compliment, Doctor. I must say that your future self was right in what he said about you," she replied, as she began to walk down the hallway. She saw a door open up immediately on the left and knew the 'Old Girl' had just shown her where the med bay was.
As she was walking towards it, he asked curiously as he walked behind her, "Just what did my future self have to say about me?"
At the door to the med bay, she turned around and found him standing close, but not too close to be uncomfortable. She stated matter of factly, "Well, you know, that you can be very charming with women."
As she turned back around to head into the med bay, he placed a hand gently on her shoulder to halt her movement. She turned around and saw that his eyes looked so serious and compassionate. "Rose, although it's true that I can be very outgoing and friendly to all manner of beings, especially females, I want you to know that I take this mission that we're on extremely seriously. You are under my protection, and I will do whatever necessary to save you from what the Valeyard and the Timelords have planned for you. The manner in which I go about things may be different from how your Doctor would go about them. I will need you to trust me implicitly, without question, even if you don't understand, at the time, why I take certain actions. Can you do this for me, Rose?"
She nodded her head and said with conviction, "Of course, Doctor. I trust you, like I trust my Doctor. You haven't said yet why the Timelords want me, but I know that you will when the time is right."
He smiled hopefully at her, his eyes warm and compassionate, and replied, "Thank you, Rose. That's all I needed to know. Before I treat that bruise on your arm, I need you to do something else for me."
She placed her hand gently on his forearm and said, "Anything, Doctor." She was about to ask what he wanted her to do, when she realized he was staring so intently into her eyes. She found herself unwilling to look away. She heard his voice in her head saying, "Trust me, Rose." She noticed something else in his eyes behind the warmth and compassion, and two words came to mind that seemed to describe it perfectly. It was intense determination. All of a sudden, she started to have flashbacks of events of her time with the Ninth Doctor and Tenth Doctor. She couldn't control which flashbacks she was having, nor the speed with which they popped up in her mind.
At that point she realized, with confusion, that the Doctor was, without her permission, sifting through all of her memories. She tried to close her eyes and shut him out of her mind, but his mental abilities were too powerful for her. Is this what he meant earlier about me trusting him implicitly, she asked herself. She stated loudly in her mind, 'Stop it, Doctor!', but her memories kept coming. She didn't know how much time had passed. All of a sudden, the flashbacks ceased and she felt herself crumbling to the floor. She felt his arms catch her and his voice stating in a matter of fact way, "It needed to be done." Before she knew it, she had lost consciousness.
A third Tardis dematerialized next to the Sixth Doctor's Tardis and Seventh Doctor's Tardis. The occupant walked up to the Sixth Doctor's Tardis and opened the door. He found the Sixth Doctor and Seventh Doctor at the console, deep in conversation. They both turned around as he entered. "Sorry I'm late, Doctors. I had to drop off my human companion back on Earth before I could arrive." At their shocked and mortified expressions, he stated, "Look, I know it's been a very long time since either of you have seen my trusty scarf, but it can't look that ridiculous!" He then felt their fear and concern. "What's happened," he asked with concern as he strode over to where they were standing.
The Sixth Doctor was still speechless. The Seventh Doctor was the first to regain his composure. "We had been monitoring this planet's communications channels, in the hopes of finding out just where the Mycenaens and the Valeyard were keeping Rose. Before you stepped in here, we had just heard that Rose had been rescued from a place not too far from this location. Her rescuer matched your description.
"I'm afraid it wasn't I who did the rescuing, Doctor, though I wish I could have arrived here sooner," he stated as he read the communiqué on the monitor that detailed Rose's escape.
The Seventh Doctor looked at the Sixth Doctor, who had his head bowed and his hands pressed flat against the console. Anger, confusion, and fear etched his features as he looked up at his other selves and stated, "It was the Fourth incarnation of the Valeyard."
Rose slowly awoke in a dimly lit med bay. At first, she wondered what she was doing in there. Then, everything came back in a rush. Why did he look through my memories like that, she thought to herself in confusion mixed with concern. It was then that the door to the med bay opened, allowing a soft yellow light from the hallway to filter into the room. The Doctor leaned against the doorframe, looking at Rose intently. The room was just bright enough to make out the serious expression on his face, but it was difficult for her to see the look in his eyes. If she had been able to, she would have seen a touch of remorse mixed with an absolute resolve for him to see his mission through. For about thirty seconds, neither one of them spoke. Rose had sat up on the side of the bed, trying to figure out just what was going through his mind and wondering what his true motives were.
She was about to speak, when he broke the silence. "I apologize only for the confusion and concern that my act caused you. I will not apologize for doing what I did. Like I said, before you lost consciousness, it had to be done. Remember what I told you, that I need you to trust me implicitly, even though my methods may seem questionable to you?" At Rose's slight nod in the affirmative, he continued, "I wish I could enlighten you as to my true motives, but I cannot at this time, for that would jeopardize the entire mission. You must believe that I will do everything in my power to keep you safe." He slowly walked over to her bed, his hands in his pockets, as he said, "All I can tell you, at this time, is that the memories I viewed of your past experiences with my future selves is quite valuable. I had to know everything about your memories. They are the key to the success of the mission. The less you know about the mission, the safer you will be." He stood in front of her, leaned towards her, and placed a hand on either side of where she was sitting.
Rose gazed into his intensely blue eyes, searching for the truth of his words. She saw the friendship and compassion he held for her. This was mixed with intense determination, as evidenced by his statements of this mysterious mission of theirs to keep her safe from the Valeyard. With what he had done earlier, she should have felt concerned that he would try to look through her memories again. For some strange reason, she didn't feel that way at all. She should have felt uncomfortable with his hands on either side of her, blocking her from standing up. She, quite to her surprise, felt safe in his presence.
As soon as she had that thought, he smiled in relief and said in that deep voice of his that she found oddly soothing yet sensual at the same time, "I'm glad you do, again. I was worried that you would no longer trust me." He gently touched her cheek and pushed a stray strand of hair behind her ear.
"I wish you could tell me everything about the mission, but I accept your apology, Doctor," she replied. She was about to ask if he could tell her when they would be meeting up with her Doctor when she heard footsteps walking down the hallway.
Immediately, the Doctor's expression grew serious and his body tensed. Before he backed away from her, to allow her to get off the bed, he whispered urgently in her ear, "Trust me, Rose. From here on out, nothing is as it seems." He moved away from her and faced the door, just as the newcomer arrived.
"My dear former self, how nice of you to meet me here on time, and with the precious companion." Gazing at her as if he had just found the key to an ancient civilization, he stated, "How do you do, Miss Tyler? I am the Valeyard. Welcome to Gallifrey."
Having received an urgent telepathic message from the Gallifrey of their own universe, the Fourth Doctor said his goodbyes to the Sixth and Seventh Doctors. At first, he didn't want to leave, but his future selves persuaded him of the vital importance that he return to Gallifrey. Both of them remembered all too well what kind of crisis awaited the Fourth Doctor there. After the Fourth Doctor's Tardis dematerialized, the Sixth Doctor looked at the Seventh Doctor and stated with grim determination, "To Gallifrey?"
"To Gallifrey," the Seventh Doctor replied with equal determination and walked to his own Tardis.
The Sixth Doctor punched in the coordinates on his console as he saw, on the view screen, the Seventh Doctor's Tardis dematerialize. The beginning of their plan was simple, really. Both agreed on preset coordinates to land both of their Tardis's a few miles from the Citadel to avoid detection. Since they were about to enter the unknown, the Gallifrey of the Valeyard's universe, they didn't know what to expect. The Doctor briefly watched the time rotor move, as the Old Girl dematerialized, and lowered his head, deep in thought. Doubting that a telepathic message would reach Rose from another universe away, but doing so anyways, he sent her a simple message, "We're coming for you, Rose. I love you." With that done, he walked over to his chair, turned it around to face away from the console, and sat down to mentally prepare for the challenge ahead.
At the Valeyard's statement, Rose, trying not to let him see her fear and confusion, stated boldly, "So you're the one who's been giving my Doctor so much trouble. What could the Timelords want with me, a 'lowly' human?"
The Valeyard smiled at her appraisingly, looked at the Doctor, and replied, "I can see why he loves her. She's quite brave to address me in that manner."
As the Valeyard began to walk towards her, the Doctor casually stepped in his way and asked, "When does the High Council expect her at the Citadel?"
The Doctor's somewhat protective gesture of Rose did not go unnoticed by the Valeyard, who said with a touch of suspicion, "I am to bring her before the High Council upon her arrival to Gallifrey. That is why I came aboard your Tardis. Why the sudden interest in the timing of her appearance?"
The Doctor casually leaned against the bed where Rose was sitting and replied, "Well, if you want her to make her grand entry looking like she is presently, that is your prerogative. Might I suggest, though, that she have time to go to the wardrobe room to change into something more becoming a 'Savior of Gallifrey', that is, 'if' she happens to do what 'you' believe she is capable of."
Raising his eyebrows in surprise, instead of the slight suspicion from just a few moments ago, the Valeyard looked straight into the eyes of the Doctor as if he was searching for confirmation of the Doctor's doubts in Rose's abilities. After about twenty seconds, in what Rose thought must have been some type of telepathic communication, the Valeyard looked down and walked away slowly as if the weight of the world were on his shoulders. "I have failed the High Council. She is not what I believed she was," he stated in shocked disbelief.
Turning around, he looked first to Rose and then to his former self. "What you have shown me of her memories confirms my very worst fears. How my Tenth self could have thought she might have been able to defeat the Daleks is beyond me now. He severely over exaggerated the few memories he had gleaned from his meeting with her and the Sixth Doctor on the Gallifrey of the Sixth Doctor's universe. To think, I risked everything to have her brought here. Now I am faced with the wrath of the Sixth Doctor and his future self." At the mention of the Seventh Doctor, the Valeyard involuntarily shuddered, "I tell you, the Seventh Doctor is not what he appears to be. He is something entirely new. Doctor, if you could be so kind as to see Miss Tyler safely back to the Sixth and Seventh Doctors." The Valeyard then walked out of the med bay. The Fourth Doctor turned, winked and smiled briefly at Rose, then followed after him.
As the Valeyard was walking through the console room to the outer doors of the Tardis, the Doctor asked, "The Timelords of your own personal timeline will be able to defeat the Daleks, won't they?"
The Valeyard turned around, smiled ruefully and replied in a determined voice, with some of his former smugness returning, "That is the general idea."
Before he took another step, the Doctor asked, "One more question, if you will. What did you mean about the Seventh Doctor?"
The Valeyard, while looking into the distance, replied, "He whispered one word to me. He spoke it with such a level of importance and power, the likes of which I have never heard before." He then looked at the Doctor and stated, in a voice filled with fear and awe, before walking out the door, "When I asked him what he was, he stated one word. I honestly believe it was his true name. It was 'Omega'.
As the Fourth Doctor walked back toward the med bay, he pondered what the Valeyard had told him. How can the Seventh Doctor also be Omega? He must have just been fooling the Valeyard. He decided to put these thoughts in the back of his mind for the time being to ponder over later. As he walked to the entrance of the med bay, he looked inside and found Rose still sitting on the bed, a distant look in her eyes. He halted at the door and leaned against the entrance for a moment, as he fought down a sudden wave of apprehension. He didn't have to be telepathic to know what she was thinking. The look on her face spoke volumes. She was thinking of what the Valeyard had assumed about her and wondering if she indeed did have any remaining vortex energy left to help the Gallifrey of this universe to defeat the Daleks.
He recalled the memories, gleaned from her mind, of the Doctors she had originally traveled with and the deep overwhelming pain those incarnations had felt regarding what had to be done to end The Time War. She had wished she could have done more to help ease the pain that the Ninth and Tenth Doctors had felt, even though both incarnations had assured her that she had helped them in more ways than she could ever know. He knew where her line of thought would be leading her and he had to prevent her from even briefly considering it. Not just because he feared the retaliation the Sixth and Seventh Doctors would throw upon him, but because it would mean the ultimate sacrifice, her life.
Firmly placing a smile on his face, he walked over to Rose. She looked up suddenly and noticing his smile of success, she smiled too. "Well, now I know why you needed my memories earlier. How did you change my memories around to convince the Valeyard that I wasn't able to help him?"
Placing his hands in his pockets and shrugging his shoulders, he casually replied, "Oh, just a little trick I learned from a Tibetan monk." At her bemused expression, he chuckled and stated, "All right, that wasn't the trick I learned from him. It was just one of the many things we Time Lords know how to do." He then got a look in his eye that reminded her so much of her Tenth Doctor. It was the look of a Time Lord who had just thought up an interesting scheme. As it usually meant trouble, of a fun but dangerous sort, she prepared herself to hear his wild idea. He sat down on the bed beside her, a close but comfortable distance away, turned to her and asked nonchalantly, "I don't suppose you'd like to see the trick I learned from the monk, would you?"
Her curiosity piqued, she replied, "Yeah, sure."
He turned fully towards her and began in a slow, soothing voice, "Look into my eyes." Before she knew what was happening, she was riveted by his eyes, the color of a deep and infinite ocean. She heard his voice, but it was like a gentle background sound which made her feel comforted and safe. Every muscle of her body began to feel very relaxed. She had no idea of time or place, only of his voice. She trusted that voice and knew it would never lead her astray. The voice then began to sound like words she could understand, though the importance of them wasn't understood while in her current mindset. This didn't matter to her at the moment. She trusted the voice. Before she knew it, she felt herself swaying and then gently being held. She felt a soft mattress and a soft pillow as she drifted off to sleep.
He had done it. The commands he issued to her while she was in a trance were embedded in her subconscious. When she would awake, she would come to the decision that she could do nothing to help the Gallifrey of this universe and that it would be best to leave. She would think she had come to this decision on her own. She wouldn't remember being hypnotized or the conversation they had about the trick the Tibetan monk had taught him. In point of fact, it wasn't exactly the trick the old monk had shown him. That trick had involved hypnotizing a human into not breathing deeply and slowing the heart rate to where they were just barely breathing. He remembered having to use that trick on Sarah Jane while they were dealing with the Zygons. The only reason this same type of deep hypnosis worked so well on Rose was because she trusted him on a gut level, just as Sarah Jane had.
He still wasn't sure how Rose had come to trust him so completely in so short a time. As he watched her sleep, he brushed a stray strand of hair away from her face and whispered, "Sleep well, dear Rose." He gently kissed her forehead, turned and slowly walked back to the console room to program the coordinates to Mycenae, where he knew the Sixth and Seventh Doctors would be waiting to take Rose away. It was one of the most difficult things he had to do.
While traveling in the time vortex, the Tardis began shaking violently, as the cloister bell began to toll. "What is it, Old Girl," the Sixth Doctor asked out loud, fear and confusion beginning to take hold, as he began quickly checking the systems and the coordinates. Before he heard the Seventh Doctor's voice in his mind, his feelings of fear and confusion intensified, as if he knew that whatever his future self was going to say would be too terrible to contemplate. The Seventh Doctor stated in just as fearful and confused a voice as the Sixth Doctor felt, "Doctor, something is preventing us from getting out of the vortex and arriving at Gallifrey. I can't make heads or tails out of it. It's almost as if…dear Rassilon!"
"What is it, Doctor?" The Sixth Doctor then saw the new readings that appeared on his screen and, for a full ten seconds, couldn't believe what he was seeing. This couldn't be happening. As if from a great distance away, he heard his future self commanding him to reverse course and head back to Mycenae immediately. As if on auto pilot, the Sixth Doctor did as instructed. His mind was in a total whirlwind. As the Tardis began going back through the time vortex toward Mycenae, the Doctor began to sit down on the chair by the console, but missed it by a few inches and sat down hard on the floor. The ache from hitting the floor hard didn't even register with him. All he could think about was what he had seen, the brief glimmer that he and the Seventh Doctor had witnessed from the time vortex as they had come upon Gallifrey's coordinates. They couldn't escape the time vortex and materialize on Gallifrey because the whole planet was engulfed in a whirlwind of death and fiery destruction with what had appeared to be thousands of war ships in the vicinity. The Sixth Doctor had seen those ships before, from the memories of Rose Tyler. They were Dalek ships. Everyone on Gallifrey, from the Valeyard to the High Council, to the Fourth incarnation of the Valeyard had been destroyed. He and the Seventh Doctor couldn't sense any Time Lord in this universe at all. This paled in comparison to the most immediate thought that kept running through his mind, 'Rose is dead.'
Rose was a bit surprised that her Doctor hadn't contacted her telepathically to let her know what was going on. He must have his reasons, she thought rationally to herself. He and the Seventh Doctor will be waiting for me on Mycenae. She had just woken up a few minutes ago and had remembered the Valeyard leaving the Tardis, but couldn't quite pinpoint exactly what had happened after that. I must have been exhausted after all that's happened so far, she thought as she made her way back to the console room. Upon reaching the entrance to the console room, she found him hunched over the console, staring down at it, deep in thought. Then he noticed she was standing in the doorway. For a brief moment, she thought she saw sadness in his eyes. It then vanished, to be replaced by eyes alight with warmth and something she couldn't define as he gazed at her. He stood fully and, as he slowly walked towards her, hands in his pockets, he stated, "We should be arriving at Mycenae within a few minutes, if that's where you wish to go right now?"
"Well, he'll be waiting there for me and wondering where I've gone to," she replied as she slowly walked toward him and momentarily looked away from his gaze, trying to figure out why she suddenly felt hesitant about saying goodbye to him.
Sensing her hesitation, he walked closer to her until he was in front of her. He lightly cupped her cheek. She slightly leaned into his touch and gazed into his eyes. He saw the hesitation and conflicting feelings in her eyes. Knowing that she felt she needed a good reason to stay, for a short time, with him and not have it feel like she was abandoning her Doctor, he stated with a knowing grin, "You know, we could always take a journey somewhere, in your Doctor's universe of course, and still arrive at Mycenae in plenty of time to spare. It would be as if you hadn't been missing long at all." He then said, in that richly deep voice of his that Rose swore she'd never get tired of hearing, "He need not know, Rose."
"I'd have to tell him about where we traveled to, Doctor," she replied quickly.
Before she could continue, he placed a finger on her lips and said softly, "That's not what I was referring to." His finger lingered on her lips a few seconds more than necessary and she realized he was gazing at her lips. Everything finally clicked in her mind. He wants to kiss me, she thought in surprise. He then removed his finger and leaned his head towards hers slowly, to give her time to back away if she wished. She found herself standing in place, her mind in shock over her revelation and the fact that he was about to kiss her. As his lips touched hers, she found she couldn't help but kiss him back. As he deepened the kiss and wrapped his arms around her, she came to another surprising revelation. She found herself wanting more.
Rose lost all sense of time and place as the Doctor continued kissing her deeply. She couldn't find the words to describe what she was feeling. It was difficult to have any coherent thoughts at all, save one. At this moment, she wanted him. Nothing else mattered. He as well, was thinking along the same lines. He had no idea how much he would enjoy kissing Rose. He was initially planning to kiss her chastely, but that plan got literally thrown out the window as she had, to his great surprise, started to kiss him back. Wrapping his arms around her, in a protective gesture, felt like the most natural thing for him to do. As they continued to kiss deeply, he knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he wanted her. Nothing else mattered. He briefly broke the kiss with her, and went to the console to set the Tardis to drift in the vortex. There was no way they were going back to Mycenae now.
He quickly walked back to her, took her hands in his, raised them up to his lips and kissed them chivalrously. She was about to speak when he gently placed a finger on her lips and stated softly, "No words right now. No rationalizations. We're adrift in the time vortex. We have all the time we desire. We can do anything we desire." With that said, he took her hand and led her out of the console room and down the hall toward his room.
As he walked inside, he took off his long brown coat and scarf. Rose, while standing in the doorway, looked longingly at him. He was now in only his white dress shirt, which reminded Rose of one of those Renaissance style shirts, brown pants and boots. He turned around and smiled softly at her, his eyes filled with warmth, love, and desire. To her surprise, she felt no nervousness at all around him as she smiled and walked into his room. She could no longer deny it in her mind. She was in love with him and being here with him felt like the most natural place to be. To an outsider, it would be seen as cheating on the Sixth Doctor. In her mind, she didn't see it that way. This man standing before her was the Doctor, even though he was an earlier incarnation of the Sixth Doctor and from an alternate universe.
Standing in front of him, she placed both of her hands flat against his chest, relishing the cadence of his double hearts beat. He placed his hands over hers, leaned his head towards hers and kissed her slowly and tenderly. He then guided her over to his bed.
Clothes were shed. Hands explored. Kisses were placed. Moans of desire, raised and met, were heard. Nothing was hastily done as both were deliberately solicitous in their movements. As their bodies and souls became one, joined together in that most ancient of dances, his mind touched hers. She welcomed his presence in her mind, as the waves of passion overtook and crashed over them.
If his mind hadn't have been in hers at that exact moment, she would have heard another voice in her mind, coming from a vast distance away, say, "We're coming for you, Rose. I love you."
As the Seventh Doctor's Tardis was traveling through the time vortex, with the Sixth Doctor's Tardis not far behind, the Seventh Doctor noticed something odd appear on the screen. Another Tardis was stationary in the time vortex. As the Seventh and Sixth Doctor's Tardis's came within range of it, he did a quick scan. Sure enough, it was an old Type 40 model. Could it be the Fourth incarnation of the Valeyard in that Tardis, along with Rose, he wondered. Working the controls, he stopped his own Tardis in the Vortex a safe distance from the Tardis in question. He quickly established a telepathic link with his former self, instructing him to stop his Tardis alongside his own and informing him of what his scan had indicated. The extreme hope and relief could be heard in his former self's voice as he replied, "It has to be them. Rose has to be inside that Tardis. They mustn't have made it to Gallifrey. The Fourth incarnation of the Valeyard mustn't have been able to go through with the Valeyard's plan."
"Now don't jump to conclusions. We don't have all the facts yet. I'll send a message to whichever one of us or whichever one of the Valeyard is in that Tardis," the Seventh Doctor stated reasonably. He opened a channel, also keeping the receiver open so the Sixth Doctor could hear the following conversation, and stated, "This is the Seventh Doctor calling whoever is over there. Please inform me of who you are and if you have Rose with you." As the minutes ticked by, the Seventh Doctor began to get an uneasy feeling.
"I'm not hearing any response. Did you receive anything yet?", the Sixth Doctor asked, worry evident in his voice.
"No, there's still no response. Move your Tardis right next to mine and come aboard. We'll then dock my Tardis right next to whosever Tardis that is over there and see if we can gain access to it," the Seventh Doctor replied. "I normally wouldn't just barge on in where I've not been invited, but we must take matters into our own hands at this point."
The Sixth Doctor came over to his future self's Tardis and they made their way right to the other Tardis, lining up the doors to both Tardis's perfectly. The Seventh Doctor found that his Tardis key didn't work, nor did the Sixth Doctor's key. The Sixth Doctor searched around the top of the Tardis and found a key hidden in a secret compartment behind the 'p' in the word 'police'. Smiling in triumph, he put the key in the lock and opened the door. The console room was dark, with emergency lighting flickering, and there was an odor of burned wires and circuits. They both were unprepared for the sight that greeted them on the floor of the console room, that of the Valeyard unconscious.
"What in the name of Rassilon?!", the Sixth Doctor exclaimed as he stared in disbelief at the Valeyard on the floor of what looked to be the Valeyard's just barely functioning Tardis.
"Don't you mean 'Omega', Doctor?", the Valeyard said groggily as he moved to a sitting position on the floor while holding his head in pain.
The Sixth Doctor knelt by the Valeyard to see how badly he was hurt while the Seventh Doctor stood his ground and stated impatiently, "Never mind that now. By the look of things, you only barely survived your own universe's Time War. From what I and my former self saw of things, nobody else could have survived, not even your Fourth incarnation and Rose".
This last part sounded almost like a question from the Seventh Doctor. The Valeyard pushed away the Sixth Doctor in annoyance, who was trying to ascertain if the Valeyard's head was bleeding. The Sixth Doctor stood up and angrily stated loudly, "Well, I was only trying to help, though I don't know why I even bothered, seeing as how you were the one who ultimately got your former self and Rose killed!"
The Valeyard blinked twice and looked up at the Sixth and Seventh Doctors in confusion. "What in the hell are you blathering on about? My former self and Rose were nowhere near Gallifrey when the Daleks arrived. It's been two days since I've last seen them."
It was the Sixth and Seventh Doctors turns to blink in surprise. The Seventh Doctor sighed in relief as the Sixth Doctor leaned against the console, filled with such immense joy and relief that a few tears began to form in his eyes. He hastily turned away from the Valeyard and wiped his tears away, but not before the Valeyard noticed.
Standing up slowly, the Valeyard glanced from the Sixth Doctor's turned form to the Seventh Doctor. He looked the Seventh Doctor square in the eye, and asked, with some of his former smugness returning, "You haven't told your former self what happens to her, have you?"
The Seventh Doctor stared down the Valeyard in warning, as the Sixth Doctor looked from the Valeyard to the Seventh Doctor in confusion. "Told me what, Doctor?"
The Valeyard grinned in triumph as he stated boldly, "I wouldn't count on your precious companion returning to you anytime soon, Doctor. Let's just say, she's been 'enlightened' by my Fourth incarnation.
The Seventh Doctor looked down, holding his head in his hand, as if he was reliving a very hurtful memory. The Sixth Doctor was surprised by the Seventh Doctor's reaction and looked angrily at the Valeyard, as a feeling of jealousy began to take up residence in his mind. He stated in a deadly calm voice, "Tell me, what you mean by the term 'enlightened'.
The Valeyard gave a look of mock apology and replied, "No, Doctor. There are some things that one has to find out on their own and see to believe with their own eyes." Looking thoughtfully in the distance, as if recalling an old memory, the Valeyard said out loud to himself, "Yes, they would be there at those coordinates in that universe." He went to the console, found an old data pad and typed in the coordinates. He then gave the data pad to the Sixth Doctor and stated, "Here, these are the coordinates and time where you will find them in your universe." The Valeyard then walked away from him toward the door leading to the rest of his ship.
As the Sixth Doctor read the coordinates, still surprised that the Valeyard would give those to him, the Seventh Doctor asked, "Why did you do that for us?"
The Valeyard stopped, gave a world weary sigh, and turned to face them, all of his smugness vanishing in place of the look of someone who had seen and been through too much in too short a time. "I've just barely escaped the Daleks. There was nothing I could do to save Gallifrey. The Daleks will end up taking over everything if I can't find a way of stopping them. I thought Rose was the answer, the 'silver bullet' to defeating the Daleks. My former self, through images he telepathically projected to me, showed me that Rose never had the capability to defeat them and that she never would. The High Council had just banished me from Gallifrey and I had just started to dematerialize my Tardis when the Daleks appeared in full force."
"Dear Rassilon," both Doctors stated in sadness at all the Valeyard had told them. They both knew they could never tell the Valeyard the truth about Rose's abilities, thus they kept that information carefully hidden in their minds from the Valeyard.
The Seventh Doctor walked closer to the Valeyard and stated confidently, "I have a method of defeating the Daleks in your universe. I know where the Hand of Omega is." At the Valeyard's look of surprise and the Sixth Doctor's look of awe, the Seventh Doctor continued, "I will help you, Valeyard, if you will agree to the following terms: Never travel in my universe again and, if you happen to run across any of my former or future selves, do not attempt to contact us. Do we have a deal?"
At the Seventh Doctor's proffered hand, the Valeyard, seeing no other option, reluctantly shook his hand and replied, "Yes, we have a deal."
The Seventh Doctor then looked to the Sixth Doctor and stated seriously, "I believe you have a prior engagement, Doctor. I suggest you don't waste any time in getting to those coordinates." The Sixth Doctor looked like he was about to press his future self into telling him what he knew, but decided against it. He would just have to wait and see what his future held and he hoped, more than anything, that Rose would still be a part of it.