Will be True

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Rose blinked in surprise. She really oughtn't to be by now. But she was. This was not where she had been only a second ago. As far as she was concerned, she had been walking back to her car after finishing lunch. Now she was walking up the driveway to her house.

She looked down at her watch. It was about quarter after two in the afternoon. And she felt like she had spent an entire day pushing around boulders or something. She was so exhausted, both mentally and physically. Though she had no memory of why she would feel this way at all. She now had the horrible sinking feeling that she knew what had happened.

Her phone began to ring. In a state of slight disorientation, it took a moment for her to realise what it was.

"Hello?" she answered, her voice slurring slightly.

"Rose!" the Doctor sounded relieved. "I've been trying to call you for the last fifteen minutes. There's been another spike. Can you believe it? Two in one day! That's never happened before."

"Really?" she said, the exhaustion obvious in her voice.

"Yes, and I was right. This one happened at precisely two pm, exactly two miles away from the spot this morning, right in the spot I said that two pm would happen!"

"And… and you didn't see what happened?" she asked.

"Well, erm, no, not exactly. We put up cameras in the predicted areas, but about a minute before two, the camera just went static. It's like electronic devices can't handle the power. And we weren't personally watching the area. See, thing is, even though we now know where they're going to happen, the timing is unpredictable. We don't know what hour she's going to go for next. Pete says that he can't afford to have that many people on a stakeout for however long."

"Oh…" she said. Then no one would have seen her… assuming that it was her. "Doctor. There's something I have to talk to you about… Just us. Can you come home?" She realised how small her voice sounded.

"Rose, are you okay?" he asked in concern.

"I don't know," she replied. There was a moment's pause on the other end, she could faintly hear voices in the background. Then he was back.

"I've left this one to Jack," the Doctor finally said. "I'll be there in a few moments." The phone disconnected, and Rose sighed as she shut it and put it in her pocket. She rummaged around for a moment for the key, but couldn't find it.

In the end she grabbed the spare key from the garden and went inside. She just dumped everything she was carrying in the doorway, then flopped down on the couch.

In the next minute she was dead to the world.

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* An alarm blared irritatingly around them.
"You said we'd die. For the future, for the human race!" a woman was shouting. Adelaide Brooke. And there, there in front of her was the Doctor in an orange spacesuit… He looked almost insane, his eyes filled with a darkness she had never seen before. Even the anger that had earned him the name 'the Oncoming Storm' had nothing on this look. It sent shivers of horror down her spine.
"Yes, because there are laws. There a laws of time. And once upon a time there were people in charge of those laws, but they died. They all DIED," his voice cracked. "Do you know who that leaves? ME! It's taken all this time for me to realise that the laws of time are mine, and THEY WILL OBEY ME!"

* "If I have to fight you as well, then I will," he warned darkly.

* "We're not just fighting the flood, we're fighting time it's self… AND I'M GOING TO WIN!" Losing. He was SO sick of losing.

* "No, no, no, no, no. See, someone told me recently I was going to die. Said, 'he will knock four times'. Now, I think I know what that means, and it doesn't mean right here, right now, because I don't hear anyone knocking, do you?

* "No one should have that much power!"
"Tough," he replied flatly.

* "Who the HELL are you?" a girl cried, before turning and running away from the Doctor in fear.

* "For a long time now, I thought I was just a survivor, but I'm not. I'm the winner. That's who I am. The Time Lord Victorious!"
"And there's no one to stop you?"
"No."

* There was a flash as the woman pulled the trigger of her laser gun. She fell to the ground, having given her life to correct the timeline that had been wronged.

* A look of horror came over the Doctor's face as he stared at the house. "I've gone too far…" He fell to his knees in the snow. "Is this it?" his voice shook with tears. "My death? Is it time?"

* "No," he said determinedly, reaching for the controls. He would run from it. Run from it all. His past. His future. His pain. He would not let it end like this. He would not let it end.

* "He will knock four times…."

* A man with beached blonde hair, wearing a dirty black hoodie smashed a pipe against a bin. Beating out the drumming that was ever present in his head. Bang, bang, bang, bang.

* Tap, tap, tap, tap.

* "Even when I change, it FEELS like dying," the Doctor said quietly to his old friend, Donna's granddad, Wilf. "Everything that I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away. And I'm dead." He struggled to hold back the tears. He didn't want to go. He didn't. He had had the best of times. He liked who he was. For once… he just wanted things to stay the same. To be right.

* "And how about you?" Wilf asked. "Who have you got now?"
"No one. I'm travelling alone… I thought it would get better…" He was really struggling to hold the tears back, and his voice shook. "But I did some things, it went wrong."

* "The Time Lords are returning!"

* With a crash, the Doctor fell through the glass roofing and smashed onto the floor at the feet of the Lord President of Gallifrey.

* The click of a gun echoes through the room…

* "You die with me, Doctor."
"I know."
"Get out of the way," the man behind him warned. Returning the favour, and getting his revenge.

* Tap, tap, tap, tap.

* "He will knock four times…."

* Tap, tap, tap, tap. The Doctor froze. He turned slowly to face Wilf, who stood in a glass chamber.

* "50,000 rads, about to flood that thing."
"Well, you better let me out then," Wilf said, still shaken.
"Except it's gone critical. Touch one control and it floods. Even this would set it off…" he said forlornly, playing with the sonic-screwdriver. He knew what had to come next.

* "Look at you, not remotely important. But me? I could do so. Much. MORE! SO MUCH MORE! But this is what I get," he deflated. "My reward… Well it's not fair!" With a sweep, he knocked everything off the table. Then he stood there, his breathing heavy.
He was upset… because he knew what came next. He didn't want it to be like this.
"Oh… I've lived too long."

* "Wilfred… it's my honour."

* The Doctor groaned as the radiation hit. He fell against the glass. He sunk to his knees, the pain unbearable. The cries wrenched their way from his throat. He curled in a ball as the agony continued.

* "I'm going to die."

* The Time Lords are returning!"

* The click of a gun echoes through the room…

* "I'm going to die."

* He will knock four times…."

* Tap, tap, tap, tap.

* "It's my honour."

* "I'm going to die."

* Save him.

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"ROSE!"

The voice startled her awake and she sat bolt upright to see the frightened, concerned face of her Doctor. They stared at each other a moment and she trembled. Then a sob escaped her lips and he pulled her desperately into a hug.

"It's alright. I've got you," he whispered, stroking her hair. "It wasn't real."

"But it was," she croaked. "It… it will be true. It was." Her voice stuttered as her body tried to drag in haggard breaths, her sobs causing her to hyperventilate.

"It was just a dream, Rose," he tried to comfort her and calm her breathing. But she just couldn't calm down.

"He - he was dying. He was going to die. Everyone was telling him he was going to die. And he was going to knock four times. And he had a gun. And the mad man. The man with the drums in his head. And the Lord President. And the Time Lords were returning. And Wilfred Nobel was stuck. And radiation. And he was burning. It was killing him. He was dying and nothing could save him. And I have to help him. And I can't. And-"

"Rose!" the Doctor shouted over top of her. He was alarmed, and she was hysterical. He looked her in the eye and stroked her hair from her face, frowning when he noticed it was still tinged gold from the powder that morning. "It was a dream. We're all safe. No one's going to die. I promise."

"Doctor, what does it feel like when you regenerate?" He sighed, not understanding where this was coming from. But it seemed he would get nowhere with her otherwise.

"Well," he started. "You've seen it. At first it hurts… I'm rewriting my entire cellular structure. But I just change. It's a little strange, being in a new body, but it's good. I'm still me."

"Tell me the truth!" she sobbed, pounding on his chest. He caught her hands and she gave up hitting him. Her hands were shaking so bad. Feeling very scared for her, he reached up and wiped the tears from her face. As he did, his hand grazed her forehead and he gasped at how hot it was. Placing his palm on her head only confirmed that.

"Rose, you're burning up!"

"Even when I change, it feels like dying," she mumbled quietly, making the Doctor pause. "Everything that I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away. And I'm dead. That's what he said." She sniffed. "Is that what it feels like?"

The Doctor hesitated, slightly shocked that she would know that. It was exactly how he saw regeneration. The down side to it. And it stirred something in him. Something about that seemed vaguely familiar. It was like she had plucked the words from his head. "…Yeah," he replied quietly. "Yeah, it is."

"He's going to die," her voice trembled.

"It was just a nightmare," he said as he picked her up and carried her to their room.

"What if it wasn't?"

"Rose, stop this. You're sick. Stop worrying yourself." He was very concerned for her right now. She was in such a panic. Gently, he put her down on their bed and kissed her burning forehead. That's when she dropped the bomb.

"I caused the spikes," she blurted.

"What?" he said in bewilderment.

"Well, I'm not sure. But I've been having blackouts. One second I'm here, next I'm somewhere else, hours after. This morning I woke up beside that lake in the middle of the explosion thingy. It was me."

"Rose, don't be silly." It couldn't have been her. He would know, wouldn't he? And she was human.

"I don't remember the last two hours before you called me. I'm completely exhausted for 'no reason'."

"That doesn't mean that-"

"Look at my nightdress! As much as he didn't want to, as much as he wanted to deny what she was saying, his eyes flicked to the nightdress that was lying on the floor. It was mottled with colours that shouldn't be there. The black of ash and the gold of the dust…

"No, but… how did…" he was absolutely baffled. How could it have been her? "Rose, what's happening?"

"I don't know," she whimpered. He climbed into the bed and held on to her. "I - I only really just figured that out this morning… when I woke up in the middle of the burnt spot. Size five and a half foot, remember."

"Okay, so you might have had something to do with the spikes. What about the dream?"

"I think it's real," she whispered, burrowing deeper into his chest.

"What happened?"

"It was you," she told him. "The Time Lord you. He looked… I think he's gone insane."

"Wouldn't surprise me," the Doctor muttered. But Rose wasn't listening. She was trying to sort the jumble of images in her head so they made some sense.

"He was travelling alone. He said he was sick of losing. That since he's the last left, the Time Lord Victorious, the laws of time should obey him. He saved some people he shouldn't have, and one of them, Adelaide, I think… Adelaide Brooke, she committed suicide to keep the timelines intact. And he knew he'd gone too far."

"Blimey," the Doctor breathed. He was actually starting to get really scared now. There was no way that Rose could know anything about Adelaide Brook.

"He was told that he was going to die. They said 'he will knock four times'. There was a man. A mad man, he kept knocking four times… like the drums in his head. But I think, in the end, he saved the other Doctor's life… From the Time Lords. The Time Lords were returning. But it was Donna's granddad, Wilfred. He was trapped in this glass box and he knocked four times, asking to be let out. But it was going to flood with radiation… and he did it. He said 'it's my honour', and let him out."

She shuddered as she remembered how he had screamed in agony…

"I… I wish I could say that was a dream…" the Doctor said quietly. "I don't know what it was, or how you saw it… But there's no way you could know about Adelaide Brooke. And I've never told you that the Master could hear drums in his head."

"So he's going to die?"

"Radiation… He'll only regenerate. But Rose… it's most likely already happened and just echoed back to you."

"No," she shook her head vehemently. "It hasn't. It hasn't happened. It can't of." She let out another whimper and she clutched her head.

"Rose?" he said in concern.

"My head," she gasped. "It's killing me!"

The Doctor froze, the last time she had said that flashing though his memory. But… no, she couldn't! It had been years! Years and nothing was wrong. She'd been to the doctors hundreds of times, she was fine. She couldn't have been affected by it.

But the spikes, the gold dust, the dreams. Also earlier he had found that the energy signature they spikes' were giving off were a mix of Artron energy and Temporal energy… It was all pointing to one thing.

"Rose," he said quietly. "I know you really don't want to do this now, but we have to go to Torchwood." Rose just whimpered in reply, still clutching at her burning head. This made the Doctor truly begin to panic. "Please, Rose. I need to know what's going on. I need to know what's happening to you. I need you to be okay. It's just a few tests. No one else will see it. You don't even have to do anything."

Her only response this time was to curl into a tighter ball. Fear spread through him faster than it ever had in his life. His lab was at Torchwood. If something was happening to her, he couldn't do anything about it this time. Not like he had the other time, he didn't have that ability to manipulate it anymore.

Her only chance was if they got to his lab. If she got worse, he may be able to do something.

He noticed her body relax as she slipped into unconsciousness. Quickly, he swept her up in his arms and headed to the car, not even bothering to lock the door. He had to get to Torchwood. Now!

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*Gasp!* What's going to happen to Rose?

This actually wasn't my original plan. The Doctor was supposed to find out much later when there were only one or two spikes left. He was supposed to be worried about her for a long time before he saw her go all vortex-y. But it's pretty obvious. In the first chapter he was just joking about and didn't really make the connections, plus he only had half the information. Then he's in denial. And now full out panic.

In the next chapter, see what they discover… and what someone else discovers too.