Title: Command These Stones
Author: Spirit of Eowyn
Characters: Ten/Rose Martha, this chapter others later.
Genre: Angst/Mystery Romance drama
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who. This is all an experiment of fun. I have no beta since all my friends hate rose/doctor. :( So all errors are my own. First Fic posted in a long time. Please comment if you like it.
bSummary: /b After New New York with Martha, the Doctor is visited by a member of the Trickster's Brigade with an offer he can't resist- See Rose again, but lie even once and she dies. Will he accept? Could he live with himself if he didn't? Can the Doctor actually be completely honest to save a life? Find out!
/wiki/Trickster%27s_Brigade - In case you don't know what they are.
Command These Stones...
They were traveling back to the TARDIS which was somewhere below them in the massive city of New New York, when the Doctor noticed that they were being followed. He glanced around and saw what would look to Martha like a pre- pubescent young girl with olive skin, long loose back hair, wearing a long purple dress that was so dark as to appear black in the shadow, with a gold belt and edging.
He however knew she was not. He kept Martha facing forward as they walked. He wouldn't let the creature find the TARDIS.
He whispered to Martha. "If you value your life, do not speak to our guest."
"What guest?" Martha asked looking around.
"Shh! finger on lips." He turned around.
Martha huffed, before putting her finger on her lips with a sarcastic Happy Now? look on her face, before finding before her an over-makeup-ed human girl. "It's just a girl."
"Finger on lips!" He insisted. Martha slowly complied. "Now, no, it only looks young to your human eyes. It's actually quite old, and dangerous, it could kill you with a word, well probably more words than just one, Well if it wanted to..."
The girl gave an rather adult chuckle and waved at Martha. Martha stepped back a step.
"Hello, young girl." The olive skinned girl with heavy golden eye shadow and eyeliner greeted Martha with an accent she wasn't familiar with. "Martha by name, rhymes with phones."
"How do you know my name?" Martha asked.
"It's what I do-" The not little girl said.
"Now, Hey, look at me!" The Doctor waved his hands at the girl. "Time Lord, aren't I interesting! Now tell me why would you join the tricksters brigade? Your kind were made better than that." The Doctor asks, hands deceptively casual in his pockets, face wary.
"Life Debt. I wanted to live more than anything, and it saved me from The War. Besides rules are for those who died." She said disdainfully. "This is far more fun."
He turned to Martha seriously. "Trickster's Brigade. They seek to change the course of history by altering details in individuals' lives," He shook his head "always for evil. They'll offer you your deepest desires and leave you with ash. It always is wrong. Always twisted. Always technically honest but will trap you in your words. You want lots of gold? Fine, it'll send you to the bottom of the sea with buried treasure. Without air. Or inside a golden casket in space. Tricksy. Best leave this to me."
Martha glanced at the alien and then back to the Doctor. "Like Genies?"
"Yes, good analogy," He nodded vigorously. "I'll have to use that one next time."
"How did you know I'd joined him, Doctor?" The girl asked. "Abigali by the way."
He frowned at her in disappointment and his eyes darkened. "I can hear you, and you've lost your light."
The girl tapped her temple. "Oh! Yes." The telepath was immediately inaccessible to the Doctor. "I don't show up for most, but I suppose we're too similar, you and I. Didn't think of that. Thanks for the warning." She smiled.
"So, timelord who calls himself 'Doctor', What do you want most?" She asked idly.
He looked at her with dark brooding eyes. Martha looked between them.
Abigali turned to Martha. "I could tell you who you'll marry, don't you want to know that? Young human women always want to know that."
The Doctor gave Martha a warning look.
"Oh, come on, ruining my fun! I could tell you most anything you want to know- Martha I'll give you a hint-"
"It's just a hint," Martha objected intrigued. "I'm not asking for anything."
Abigali smiled. "He's gone, tombstone and all but he'll be back Mrs. Smith. Once an insecure boy, now a brave stalwart man of his own making."
The Doctor knew by this point what Abigali was leading Martha to believe with that last line, and used that to remind himself that there were lies in technical truth.
"Well, Doctor?" She slithered up to him so she had to look up to see him.
"You couldn't give me what I'd want." The Doctor said.
"I can't bring back Gallifrey, sure, only you who locked it away and ate the key, but you will see it in the moments before you die." She promised. "No, while the want you state is motivated by guilt, at this point what you iwant/i is a second chance of another sort."
His thoughts turned more recent. Regret, longing, sorrow- the want of impossible things. There was a name to them he tried to forget, yet motivated him to keep going. He held it in, and felt the power of the trickster in his voice of it.
"Rose." He breathed.
Abigali grinned as a used car salesman at a desperate customer.. "Tell me more. Mmm. I can see her now."
The Doctor rushed to put up reinforced mental walls, thoughts of her were ones he would not share with one who could turn grief into desperation. He feared what he was capable of if he dared let his mind focus on Rose's pursuit. If he thought too long on what was lost.
"So, your real regret is that you weren't honest with her. hah! You who lies to everyone and calls me trickster in your heart because you refuse to acknowledge it in yourself." Abigali taunted, at odds with her youthful look.
The Doctors eyes turned cold and hard.
"You say to yourself that if you could you would say the words you missed. You would change. But would you? You're still YOU." Abigali's cruel honesty was another mark of her kind.
Martha looked warily between the two.
Abigali pulled out a small gold disc, closed her eyes briefly and blew on it. Immediately the image of a blonde woman at first beaming a bright smile appeared in the air above it. "What would you give to see her again?"
Oh, she's blonde, big surprise, Martha thought, while trying not to compare herself with the Doctor's former companion.
"Alive?" He asked.
Martha's head shot up.
"Alive." She laughed and nodded. The girl now wore a blue jumper with black pants and looked resolute and determined.
"And not seconds, minutes, or hours from dying." He countered.
"Of course. You are like my kind, I'd want to see you happy. This is a gift!" Abigali tried another ploy.
The Doctor very much doubted that.
"A Rose that knows who I am, that remembers Canary Wharf?" He hated the hopefulness tingling his words, and the strength of this temptation.
"A Rose who spoke to you on a beach." She lured. "And is still waiting for a response..."
His thoughts turned inward. "My life." He said.
Abigali laughed "Hah! That's nothing. Nothing for you, you'd give your life away for any damn reason. No. Besides that's no cost. No." The small girl circled around him, as she seemed to brainstorm. "For Rose, This is the deal, Timelord. You must be icompletely /i honest with her, about her unknown past, about you, about your feelings. If you lie, just one lie- she will die. Can you manage that trickster?"
"Her life! Her life is not fair I-" won't risk her. No.
"Come now- all you have to do is be honest. Don't you wish you had been? Come on. Should be easy for you." Abigali grinned. "Does that sound like a hard request to you, Martha?"
Martha jumped a bit when the child talked to her. She thought this was going to be another one of those' you don't get it Martha' talks. She glanced at both of them before saying. " No."
"See?" Abigali countered. "I'm just making sure you don't waste a good opportunity if you get it. Call me a romantic. So things don't just go back to normal, and relatively miserable and closed off. Incentive! So you live that life that you have Doctor, that most of us don't." She waved her hand over the projector again.
The image changed to the same girl in a black jacket, arms across her chest and a desperate sadness in her eyes and a fools hope in her smile.
He stared at it his eyes welling up, Could he do it? But her life, it was just too much. He couldn't risk being the one to kill her. It'd kill him dead. He hated the coward in him, that given this chance he couldn't take it. This was the poison in the gift apple. As he glanced at Martha, he remembered that even right now he was lying to Martha, lying because he wanted to, because it was convenient, because he liked it. Over a simple question. He hated himself the more for it. If he was just the completely honest sort of man, the answer would be yes and he could see his Rose.
He covered his face with his hand, squeezing tears back into his eyes. He couldn't risk it. His answer was long in coming, dead eyes gazing at nothing. "No."
"No?" Abigali said. "I guess she didn't mean that much to you."
He wanted to strike her down where she stood. "No, her life is worth far more than mine. I refuse. Nice try Abigali, but reason wins again." He looked down on the dark haired girl. "I'm a stronger man than that."
"We'll see." Abigali said patiently.
"Martha." The Doctor motioned for Martha to walk away from the creature first. She edged by, eager to escape the weird thing that had made the Doctor waver.
"See you in New York, again sometime." Abigali's words followed them as they walked faster to reach the TARDIS.
For practice, as soon as the Doctor reached the safety of the TARDIS, the Doctor was honest to Martha about the state of his home world.
After defeating the Daleks again the Doctor and Martha walked by the bay on their way back to the TARDIS the Doctor thought about how he'd almost died, and it hadn't bothered him. He'd seen Rose in those moments of electrified unconsciousness.. He could hear her voice. 'New new new new York.' laughing while laying on the grass. 'So good they named it twice. That was our first date! ' He could almost smell the applegrass. Her crying. "I love you!"
"The pig and the showgirl." Martha interrupted his thoughts. Good, he needed those kinds of thoughts interrupted.
"The pig and the showgirl." He mimicked.
"Just proves it, I suppose. There's someone for everyone." Martha said blithely.
The survive while I lose everything...
The Doctor's smile disappeared as he looked out at New York.
"Maybe." His voice turned soft. If there was, she was gone now, while he lost everything, and it wasn't fair! He turned away and walked back towards the TARDIS.
The Doctor walked to the TARDIS while Martha kept looking out at the ocean trying to think of a way to cheer him up.
Behind a cobbled wall a familiar young girl blocked the Doctor's way.
Abigali, smug, said " Now?"
He squinted, looked down, then back towards New York, and spoke defeated. "Yeah."
"Here's how it works, Doctor, I will give you this." She held up a red and gold etched device that looked like a large drink coaster. "And she will come to you. Keep it on your person, always. Once she does you'll have to answer completely honestly, according to your knowledge, white lies meant to deceive and get what you want from her, will kill her as well. " She became conspiratorial " Just to be safe, you just shouldn't lie at all, of any sort you know?"
He nodded, there must be some way. He knew that there were probably a thousand deadly obstacles that would be put in his way but Rose is all he wants in the universe. Either he succeeded or he wouldn't live past killing Rose.
"Because you made me wait- there are some itty bitty more restrictions than there would have been otherwise." She showed a small space between her thumb and forefinger.
"More?" He said angrily.
" Nothing horrid, just necessary. You must give her this by the time you run into Jack, just to be safe. And tell her to keep going to find a future you. You can't force her, or trick her- that's more deception. If she doesn't go she's going to be tortured in front of you, and hurt in some real nasty ways. So I wouldn't suggest it. Wait longer and she may die, and the universe. But if she goes you'll see her again, alive. Could you give her up, be patient like mere mortals after being so honest? We'll see. Take the lantern and she will come to you."
Before he could protest, the object was in his hands and the girl who had delivered it was gone in a wave of dark purple smoke.
He waved it off, and looked down.
"Doctor?" Martha hurried up to him." Meant to say I'm sorry."
"What for?" He said as he hides the object in his suit jacket as if nothing had happened. It was so easy to deceive. A part of him congratulated himself for being so smooth.
"Just 'cause that Dalek got away. I know what that means to you. Think you'll ever see it again?" She asked.
He nodded, busying himself with the lock on the door.
" Oh, yes."
He kept his eyes down as she entered the TARDIS.
"One day." One day very soon. A fool's hope was born as he clutched the disk in his pocket, one last look at the city, before turning to close the door.
A/N: I'd like to thank my husband for helping me come up with this title It comes from Matthew 4:3 because the situation fit, which you'll see as the plot moves along. This is my Evil Plotbunny of Evil that hasn't left.