Hello again! Yes, I have started ANOTHER one. But in all fairness, the idea behind this one is bloody BRILLIANT! Seriously, it is. I wonder if anyone else picked up on this connection. It was inspired by one line in 'New Earth'… But I won't tell you what one yet.
The Face of Boe just stared at the two people before him. The Doctor, so desperate for answers, and the Rose-that-wasn't-really-Rose, who was looking bored and sarcastic. He had so many fond memories of the both of them. Rose was like a little sister to him, and the Doctor his best friend.
He wanted so badly to tell them, to warn them of the horrid fate that Rose was to face. But he couldn't. He couldn't disrupt the timelines. That was one thing that millennia upon millennia had taught him, and he refused to break that rule. Even for the people he loved most.
He looked at the two of them. Someday soon he would be heartbroken… and she would be heartbroken and dying. He had seen them out the window as they had arrived, before Rose had been kidnapped by that bitchy trampoline. They had looked so happy. It tore him apart to know that was all about to change.
It was too early to tell his secret. The Doctor couldn't know. He could hold on longer… hold off dying just long enough to give him one last message… When the time was right. "We shall meet again, Doctor, for the third time... for the last time... and the truth shall be told," he said mysteriously. "Until that day..." And then he teleported out, before he could say what he was dying to scream out at them.
Because their time was up.
Rose splayed her fingers and stretched her hands. She felt really odd. Quite frankly, she blamed Cassandra. It had been hell with that stupid cow jammed inside her head. It had left her with an awful headache. She was kind of jealous of the Doctor. He wasn't suffering any side effects. (Darn superior Time Lord biology).
But what got to her most is how she felt about Cassandra. How could she feel so bad, so sorry for someone who had done her worst to try and kill her?
She sighed as she stretched again, not caring how she looked as she contorted her body to get everything that felt out of place, which was, well… everything.
"Are you alright?" the Doctor asked her, eyeing her warily from the other side of the console.
"Yeah, I'm fine," she lied. "Just a little stiff and disoriented."
Yeah. She did just lie to the Doctor. But what would he think if she told him that she felt like she was trapped. Not just as if there were walls pressing in all around her… it did actually feel like that and it was starting to freak her out and make her feel claustrophobic. But also, she felt as if she were trapped insider her head. Like she was screaming to get out. It was the same feeling she had when Cassandra had taken over… only this time she had control of her body.
It just wasn't right. The Doctor would think she were mad, or worse, still possessed by something. And she wasn't. She wasn't mad. And she was just her self, normal old, simple Rose Tyler. So she blamed Cassandra. It was all that stupid psychograft machine's fault. It was making her feel strange. Hopefully the feeling didn't last too much longer.
"You sure you're okay?" the Doctor asked again, seeing the look on her face. "Cassandra was in your mind for quite a long time. Sifted around in there a little even. Something could be damaged."
"I'll be okay, Doctor," she laughed nervously. They were both avoiding talking about what Cassandra had said about Rose's thoughts… "I just need to sleep it off. Not everyone has superior biology you know." Instead of laughing like he should have, this only made the Doctor frown more. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," he said quickly, shrugging out of it. "Just thinking. Stupid really. Never mind me. You go get some rest. The sooner you're back to normal, the sooner we can be running around again… Although, this time we'll go somewhere nice. I quite liked relaxing on that hill. Yes, definitely doing that again."
Rose grinned as he babbled on mostly to himself. "Goodnight, Doctor."
He watched as Rose retreated down the hall to her room, the events of the day swirling around in his head. But the one thing he couldn't push down, nor push from his mind, was the image of Rose kissing him, and the disappointment that it hadn't really been her…
Disappointment! Rassilon, he really was in too deep, wasn't he. What was it about her that was different? He had many companions and a few that probably had fancied him, even complete strangers. He had cared for his past companions very much, but he had never lo- …cared for one so deeply before. What was so different about Rose Tyler?
For the billionth time that day he heard his own voice as Cassandra's words poured from his lips. 'You've been looking… you like it.' Him, they'd been talking about him and his body… Well, at least he didn't have to worry that Rose didn't like him in this incarnation. That was a fear that had been tugging at the back of his mind the moment he had seen how scared she'd been after he regenerated.
But no, he couldn't. He'd known that even as he kissed her, taking the Time Vortex from her body. She was human, she could never be his. 'My Doctor… protected from the false god.' He closed his eyes painfully. He was hers… she had no idea just how much. It was so much that it terrified him. Because he was in too deep… and he didn't know if he could cope losing her. He'd already lost everything else. She was the one thing he had left…
Okay, well, he had the TARDIS. He needed the TARDIS very much. It was the last piece of his home. It scared him that he was even putting Rose over the possession of his TARDIS. He loved his TARDIS! Loved his R-
Trying to work out the frustrations of his mind, he set to work under the console. It really didn't help that this body was made specifically to suit the blonde woman sleeping just down the hall. She had liked pretty boys; he'd pointed that out to her many times. He could just hear what his ninth incarnation would be saying if he could see himself now.
But it wasn't just the looks, it was the voice, the shape, everything. It was strange that their hands were so different in size and shape, yet fit together so perfectly, just as her body moulded to his.
It also didn't help that he was much more touchy feely in this incarnation. He was constantly moving, touching things, tasting things… craving to touch her and hold her and feel her in his arms. He really did like hugs… but they were better from Rose.
He worked harder, trying to keep his mind off Rose. He was barely paying attention to what he was tinkering with. And then he heard it. Just a faint whimper, but oh, it stopped his hearts. The whimper came again and he realised that the TARDIS was projecting the sound over the speakers.
In less than a second, he was up and sprinting for Rose's room.
Her vision was blurred, but she could still see the people before her. Catkind… Sisters of Plenitude. She could see their cream coloured wimples starkly against the dark walls. One of them came over with a syringe in her gloved hand and stuck it into her arm, drawing blood.
She whimpered as she found she couldn't move. Her wrists and ankles were strapped to the side of what ever the hell she was in. The wimple wearing cat turned her cold, calculating eyes upon her at the movement.
"Sister Kade, It's awake," she said. "Do we follow usual procedure?"
"No, Sister Tink," Sister Kade replied. "Matron Casp wants this one for a long time. It's blood could possibly give us a new cure per day."
"Per day!" Sister Tink exclaimed. "All from one piece of flesh?"
"That's what she said. I wasn't given the details. Perhaps you could ask her once quarantine is over."
"Wonder what it is this time," Tink said in a board tone.
"Doctor…" her feeble voice called out.
"It's speaking," Tink said, still with a slight air of disinterest and disgust. "Are you sure we shouldn't incinerate It?"
"Our orders were quite clear. We need this one. Now let's hurry up and run these tests so we can put It back. It's eyes are starting to unnerve me."
"Rose!" the cry startled her. Rose looked up to see the anxious face of the Doctor hovering above her. His hands were on her shoulders and he was quite close. She found that she was shaking and she felt her face crumple. She grabbed him tightly by his shirt and pulled him to her, curling into his chest as she began to sob.
"I was so alone!" she gasped out as he wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly and shifting on the bed to make them more comfortable. "I was so scared and so alone. And they were so cold. They didn't think I was actually someone. They just wanted to run test on me. They wanted to kill me because I was awake. And I was so, so scared. And so alone. And you were gone…" The rest of her words became incoherent amongst her sobs.
"It's okay, it's okay, Rose," the Doctor soothed, stoking her hair. "You're safe here with me."
"It-it was those cat ladies at the hospital. It felt so real."
"It probably was real," he mused softly. Rose looked up at him, panicked and shocked. "Not to you," he amended quickly. "I'm just thinking… Cassandra had access to your mind. But your mind wasn't the only one. She couldn't get to mine, because I was blocking it off. But she also went into that woman, the one who was infected. I'm thinking that perhaps she accidentally transferred some of that woman's memories over to you."
"It was so horrible," was all Rose could say, snuggling in tighter still. "Promise me we're never going back there. Not ever!"
"Alright," he agreed. "The hospital, New Earth… I'll never take you anywhere you don't want to go."
"Thank you… Oh, and Doctor?" she said, her voice shaking. Suddenly she lifted her face up to his and kissed him fiercely, bringing it down to a soft gentle kiss at the end. He just blinked at her in shock and bewilderment. "That's how I kiss, for future reference."
"Okay…" he croaked. "I'm sorry… I'm sorry I didn't notice earlier. I mean, I knew something was wrong. You were acting really strange. But it wasn't until we saw all the infected people that I knew it wasn't really you. Didn't even fully suspect that until you started going on about how to get into intensive care. You're brilliant and so, so smart - don't get me wrong - but you wouldn't have been able to know what the protocols were. Before then I just thought you were being silly, having a laugh… I'm so sorry." Rose said nothing. He continued to hold her and comfortingly stoke her hair until the sobs subsided. She was practically asleep in his arms. "Come on," he said gently. "You're exhausted. You need some sleep."
He tried to lay her back and position her on the bed, but she clung to him desperately when he tried to move away. "No! Stay with me, please!" He hesitated; then, reluctantly he nodded and curled in beside her, letting her take comfort in him. "Doctor," she mumbled, now mostly asleep. "We have to go back. Please you have to come back."
He chuckled softly. "Make up your mind, Rose. It's the apple grass isn't it?" He got no reply; she was dead to the world.
The Doctor sighed and pulled her closer to him. Today really had been rough on her. He didn't even know how much…