The Doctor was working late. The chameleon circuit still refused all the efforts he made to repair it. He didn't really mind that his Tardis always appeared in the form of a 1960's British police call box, but he knew it would become problematic if he showed up on the wrong planet. His toils were interrupted by a piercing scream resonating from his young companion's bedroom. Dropping everything he dashed down the corridors to her door. "Ace?" he asked through the door. "Is everything alright?" There was no answer. The doctor pulled his panama hat from his head and tapped its' brim on his bottom lip. He wondered if he should go in to check on her. He had always considered his companions' rooms as off limits. This was in consideration for them as he had tried to afford them as much privacy as possible. He knocked, hoping for an answer but to no avail. Perhaps the danger has passed he thought to himself as he turned to go back to the Tardis' circuitry.
A second scream stopped him in his tracks. He had to help her. He pressed the buttons on the door control panel and was rewarded with it whooshing open.
The room was dark, but he could still make out the outline of Ace's bed in the corner. Why she chose a twin he would never know. "Ace." He tried again. "Ace, is everything alright?" the Doctor reached out his hand and gently touched her shoulder. She responded by taking a swing at his head. "No! Don't touch me! Not you!" The Doctor dodged blow after blow before gently restraining his flailing companion. "Glitz, NO!" She was still lost in the haze of half-sleep, but what bothered him was the name she had just shouted. He could feel the oncoming storm rising in his hearts. If that damn space pirate had hurt Ace, not even Rassilon and Omega combined could protect him.
Ace's struggling slowed and the Doctor could see the sleep fall from her eyes. "Professor?" she asked in a voice barely above a whisper. He released his hold on her and gently cupped her cheek with his hand. "Oh, Ace, you were having a nightmare. I heard you scream from the control room and had to make sure you weren't in any danger." She nodded her understanding. "Do you remember what you dreamed?" he asked concerned. She slowly raised her eyes to meet his gaze and his breath caught in his throat. Her deep hazel eyes were glistening with moisture as she looked at him with utter trust. She leaned into his chest, her hands grasping his pullover, before allowing herself to cry. He patiently held her, rocking back and forth in an effort to be comforting. Soon her tears were spent and she moved away from the Doctor's chest. Her head drooped as she tried to find the strength to speak. The Doctor waited calmly as only a Time Lord could.
"I… I was dreaming about being back home in Perivale. It was my Mum, she… she was chasing me with an extension cord." She let out a single dark laugh as she continued to study her lap. "That used to be her favorite, you know. I always knew I was in deep shit when she started swinging that thing around." The Doctor brushed a strand of her long hair behind her ear. "Then. she. kind of morphed, you know became someone else." "Who?" he asked quietly already knowing what name she would say. Ace took a shuddering breath and looked at the Doctor. Pain was resonating from her dark gaze. "My first, Sabalom Glitz. He… oh Professor, he hurt so much." The Doctor gathered her in his arms again so she would be spared the look on his face. "It's alright, Ace." He said as he rubbed her back. "You do not have to speak, but I would like to know one thing, was it consensual?" He felt her body stiffen, then there was an ever so slight shake of her head on his shoulder. She sat back and turned on her bedside lamp. In the light he could see that she was wearing a sports bra and shorts, but they did nothing to obscure the silver white lines that covered her torso and back. Scars, damn them, thought the Doctor. "Still pretty bad, aren't they?" asked Ace with trepidation. "They tell a gruesome story, but not your whole story." He sighed. "But are they bad, no, nothing imprinted on your skin could ever mar the wonderful young woman that I have come to know." He rose to leave Ace to her sleep but was stopped by her hand as it grasped his arm. "Please, Professor, don't leave. I never feel as safe as when you're near." He took in her trusting gaze and knew he couldn't refuse her simple request. He slid onto the bed facing her as she lay back down. Ace snuggled up to him and sighed. Safe in his arms, she quickly fell asleep. The Doctor carefully pulled the covers over the both of them and turned off the light. The Tardis' chameleon circuit would keep for another day. He tightened his grip around Ace protectively before succumbing to sleep himself.