A/N: For any Doctor Who fans who have not watched Dollhouse, don't worry, this isn't a direct crossover. Instead, I'm just using the concept behind Dollhouse and putting our beloved Doctor Who characters inside it.
For clarity's sake, here's an explanation of the Dollhouse concept.
Set in modern day/slight future times, there is technology that can "wipe" people's minds, to make them blank and put them in a sort of tabula rasa state. Their minds can then be "imprinted" with a different personality/identity. The people who become this (some willingly, some unwillingly) are known as dolls. The dollhouse corporation uses this technology in a form of perverted prostitution-rich clients can order anyone they want.
Key Phrases: "It's time for your treatment."-handlers. No matter what their identity at the time, they'll immediately go with their handler back to the dollhouse.
Bonus points if you can catch every element of Doctor Who I tried to weave in to the story. :D
"They're like robots, these people. They can program them however you want. Then they sell 'em to the highest bidder."
"People's brains can't just go blank. It's just a trick, just a bunch of actors. C'mon, it's so not real."
Normally, Rose stayed out of the workplace gossip. She had enough on her mind, without the stress of being caught in petty squabbles that were likely to show up at any moment.
This time though, she was intrigued. Rose turned from her row of shirts and quirked an eyebrow at the two gossiping behind her.
"What are you on about?" she asked.
Trish tossed her curls over her shoulder. "It's the rumor going about. That some secret program can make people into whatever you want. Mess with their brains."
Rose looked at her coworkers incredulously. "That's a bit out there."
Trish shrugged her shoulders. "Either way, I hope I never see one of them."
"One of who?"
"The dolls. The ones who get programmed."
"Dolls," Rose repeated in disbelief. "This sounds ridiculous."
Trish scowled. "No one asked your opinion."
"Easy, Trish." The other girl pulled Trish away, leaving Rose to the shirts.
She brushed off the incident. Rent was due soon, and with the state her mum was in . . .
Rose sighed. Being a doll didn't sound so bad. Maybe then she wouldn't have to deal with the junk in her life.
She turned, whipping out her can of pepper spray. It was late, and the back alleys of London weren't exactly populated. The man in front of her held up his hands, backing away.
"I don't want any trouble." His Northern accent made him stand out. Like it fit his body, but somehow wasn't part of him. Rose examined him closer. He looked tired, the leather jacket making him seem intimidating, but the casual stance and laugh lines seemed to speak of something kinder.
"Who are you?" Rose asked carefully.
"I'm the Doctor."
"Doctor of what?" She gripped her pepper spray tightly.
"It's just the Doctor."
"Right . . ." Rose drawled. "So what is it, you want my money? Or you want me to become a prostitute or something?"
He looked appalled. "No, I was just sent to give you this." The Doctor held out a piece of paper, and Rose snatched it from him, keeping him at a distance.
"How do you know my name?" she finally asked.
"They told me," he said simply. He seemed bored, rocking back on his heels and gaze darting around, not nervously, just filled with a lively curiosity.
"Who are they?" Rose growled. Everything about this situation screamed of some kind of gang or backhanded drug deal.
She caught some kind of hesitation in his icy blue eyes. If she had known him better, she would almost think that he was confused.
"I . . . I'm just . . ."
A blue van rolled up next to the sidewalk. The side door slid open, and as Rose watched, suspicious, a woman with curly hair stepped out.
"Doctor, it's time for your treatment."
The lines on the Doctor's forehead smoothed. "I enjoy my treatments."
Rose wanted to protest as he got into the van, but everything felt so wrong and confusing that she didn't know what to do. The woman gave her a calculating glance before following the Doctor into the van.
Rose ran the rest of the way home.
The letter was quite vague. These people, whoever they were, had noticed how she was quiet and discreet, and worked well in the clothes department. They wanted her to join them, so long as she didn't tell anyone who she was working for.
There were red flags popping up everywhere.
But, the amount of money they were offering . . . Rose glanced over towards her mother's bedroom. They had never been well off, and this might be a chance to get her mum a nicer apartment.
The letter stated that someone would be by to talk with her.
The door's cat flap rattled, and Rose jumped.
"Mum, I told you to nail that cat flap down, we're gonna get strays."
Her mother called back, "I did it weeks back!"
"No, you thought about it," Rose griped, approaching the door. She knelt down, only to have the flap open and the Doctor staring at her from the other side.
"Um, hello," Rose said breathlessly. She opened the door, and he grinned at her.
"They've sent me to get your answer," he said amiably, stepping inside.
"You . . . are you a doll?"
"I suppose, yeah."
Rose stared at him, fascinated. "So, what, they want me to be a doll too?"
"No. They want you to work for them, in the clothing section."
"Clothing section," Rose repeated. "This isn't some evil plan to kidnap me?"
Rose didn't know him, but despite herself, she found herself trusting the Doctor. Rose took a leap of faith.
He helped her into the bright blue van, and Rose sat next to the woman from before, glancing at her nervously.
"Who are you?"
"Name's River Song. I'm a handler."
"Handler of . . ."
"The daleks." Rose gave her a confused look. She sighed. "Look, you're new, but I'm only going to explain everything once. They," she pointed to the Doctor, "are technically called daleks, though the layman's term is doll. The organization you will be working for is officially called Torchwood to the outside world, but is mostly known as the dollhouse within. Handlers are those in charge of daleks. Your boss is known as the Master. That's all you need to know."
"Right," Rose whispered. The Doctor gave her a reassuring smile, and took her hand.
"I'm glad you're coming," he said.
She laughed nervously. "Says the one whose emotions have been programmed into him."
He almost looked hurt, and didn't say anything else until they arrived.
Rose was impressed. She had figured this operation would be some kind of dingy basement operation; instead, the facilities were spectacular. The outside was some nondescript building, but in some ways, it seemed bigger on the inside.
Rose let her hands trail across some kind of coral strut before following River Song up another flight of stairs.
"Mickey, Martha, this is Rose Tyler. She will be in charge of clothing the dolls."
The two looked up in tandem. "Hello," Mickey offered. The woman just nodded, going back to something scientific looking.
"What are your jobs?" Rose asked.
"More like what is our life," Mickey muttered. Martha finally looked at her.
"We're in charge of the brain stuff. I'm more on the medical side, he's the techie."
Rose smiled and nodded politely, somewhat intimidated. For a girl who had never finished school, the two of them seemed far too smart for her. As she watched, a red-haired girl sat down in the chair, babbling about having such a good date. The chair was turned on, the girl spasmed slightly, and then sat up.
"Did I fall asleep?"
"For a little while," Mickey intoned, as if he said it all the time.
"Shall I go now?"
They went back into the main room. There were a lot of people just wandering around. Rose was unnerved by the way they seemed so peaceful . . . the peace was almost alien.
"Those are all of the daleks. You'll need to learn each of their designated names."
Rose nodded. She noticed the Doctor sitting on the couch, and moved over to him.
He looked up at her placidly. "Hello."
"Rose, he doesn't remember you anymore. That's not the Doctor. Please, come along. We need to go talk to the Master."
"Ah, yes." Uncomfortably, Rose backed away from the man who wasn't actually the Doctor, and followed the handler up another set of stairs.
The Master was surprisingly short, but Rose didn't mention it. It wouldn't do to insult a prospective employer.
Only it wasn't prospective anymore. According to him, the moment she had stepped into the van, she had become a part of Torchwood.
"No one must know you work here. If you talk to anyone about your work, there will be severe consequences. You may not try and engage any of the daleks in any unprofessional way. Are we clear?"
Rose nodded, fighting the impulse to run and get out before it was too late. The money they offered made it worth it . . . she hoped.
"Very well. Acquaint yourselves with the daleks."
There were at least twenty individual dolls. Rose sifted through the stack, surprised to find so many different types of people. She noticed a red-haired woman who didn't look as vacant, and walked up to her.
"Excuse me, do you work here as well?"
The woman nodded. "I'm the personal assistant of the Master. Donna Noble. You are?"
"Rose Tyler, I'm the new, uh, well, I'm in charge of clothing, apparently."
She nodded. "Welcome,"
"Thanks . . ." Rose shuffled the files in her hands. "I just had a question. Why is it that three of these have numbers instead of names?"
Donna smiled. "We used to use numbers only, instead of names, back when this started. These three are left over from that time. The chief handler felt that a more personal touch would be better, and started giving the dolls names, instead."
Rose frowned. "So, if these three are nine, ten, and eleven, then where are the first eight?"
Donna shrugged carelessly. "Either their time was up, or they were sent to the attic."
Rose stared. "What?"
The woman sighed. "When a doll's time is up, that means the contract they signed has ended, they are given their original personalities back, and they leave. If they're sent to the attic . . . well, that's if something has gone very wrong."
Rose felt the beginning of a headache coming on.
"I'll just get back to this, then," she said, "thanks for your help."
Rose fell into the system rather easily. Her job was to find outfits for the dolls, depending on the people they became. It was more interesting than her last job had been, and she became fond of several of the dolls. Amy, Rory, Lucy, Jack . . . all of the dolls were so innocent in their wiped states, it was hard not to love them.
But seeing them with different personalities . . . as different people, even, was somehow . . . sickening. Rose tried to ignore how wrong it felt, and just work. She had gotten her mum into a new apartment, and set her up with more than enough money to keep her satisfied. That didn't stop her mum from questioning her every time she came home, though. Rose began staying at the dollhouse overnight, just to avoid the interrogations.
She did make friends with both Mickey and Donna.
"How long have you been here?"
Donna considered. "Well, it's been at least four years."
"Who came before me?" Rose asked curiously.
"Gal named Sarah Jane Smith. Nice woman, just couldn't handle it when a job went south." Donna laughed. "I remember now. She always used to call what we do scientific prostitution."
Rose laughed awkwardly. Sarah Jane Smith had a point.
"Oh, Jack's going on another job. You need to dress him up?" Donna pointed out, as Jack headed in to get imprinted with a new person.
She groaned. "The number of engagements he gets . . . it can't be healthy."
"Can you blame the buyers, though?" Donna wiggled her eyebrows suggestively, and Rose really laughed.
She left the couch and nearly ran into Nine. It was difficult, trying to make herself separate the Doctor from Nine, even though it had been weeks ago.
To distract herself, she turned to Amy. "Amy, how are you today?"
Amy smiled guilelessly. "I am good. Rory is good, as well."
"Yes . . ." Rose agreed uncertainly. Why would she tell her that?
"Rory will eat dinner with me."
Rose couldn't help frowning in thought. She had noticed that those two sat together more often than not. They were supposed to be in a state of blankness . . . no personality, no thoughts or real emotions. Finally, she shrugged, moving on to her job. If anything was wrong, the others would have noticed it by now.
There was only one person . . . at least, one personality, that said her name like that.
Rose spun on her heels to offer Nine a smile. "Hello, Doctor."
"I'm to go recruiting. Just the usual."
She swiftly picked out his customary t-shirt and leather jacket. "Do you like doing this? Being a doll?"
His expression twisted into something pained. "I don't really have a choice."
"I don't understand."
He closed his eyes. "I have a lot of history behind me, that I'd rather not bring up. A lot of bad choices, people I've lost . . . There's no place left for me, really. So I have this existence."
"Why not stay in one body all the time?"
His smile was grim. "My own body is on loan. The Master doesn't want me continually alive, so he puts me in the computer system and lets me out when it pleases him."
"That's . . . awful," Rose muttered. She finished helping him pull on his jacket. "Wait, so you . . . well, your body, it's one of the dolls?"
"Oh," Rose said softly.
"It'll be a nice day when I can finally talk to you face to face."
Rose watched him leave, feeling confused and guilty, though she didn't know why.
"Tell me about the Doctor."
Martha gave her a somewhat annoyed glance. "I'm working here."
"No, you're watching Mickey." Rose smirked.
Martha blushed. "Okay, sheesh, just . . . what do you want to know?"
"It just doesn't add up. He's aware that he's a doll, but never leaves. Why?"
Martha smiled tightly. "The Doctor was a special case. He has some involved history with Torchwood, only I think he tried to back out at some point. The Master stopped him, and wiped him. He's in the system now, and doesn't leave because he owes the Master and wants his own body back. Also, we," Martha gestured to herself and Mickey, "were told to put in some special edits. Keep him under control. The Master has the keys to the Doctor's blocks, and he's never taken them off."
"Ah," Rose murmured inadequately.
"Oh, did you put Amy on your schedule?"
Rose frowned. "She was just on an assignment yesterday."
"Yeah, special case. As in the buyer is really rich. Just go with it, Rose. Don't worry your little blonde head about it. Could you get her up here?"
Rose scowled as she walked away, sliding down the banister as she usually did-at least, whenever she wasn't wearing a skirt.
"Amy, it's time for your treatment."
Amy looked up at her, and Rose noticed with a start that she was holding hands with Rory. "I enjoy my treatments."
Rose nodded mutely, gesturing Amy up the stairs. Rory waved goodbye.
She hovered as Martha set Amy up for her imprint.
"Rose, please, I'm working here."
"When the dolls are wiped, do they have emotions?"
Martha gave her a startled glance. "Not really. Why?"
Rose shrugged. "I thought I saw Amy acting a little . . . strange."
Martha considered it, and then her expression cleared. "It must be residue from her imprints. She is consistently wanted in some kind of . . . well, with a dominant personality. I'll do a thorough wipe next time."
"Yeah," Rose said awkwardly, avoiding the real issue.
Over the next couple days, she kept an eye on Rory and Amy. The two seemed to unconsciously gravitate towards each other. The romantic in Rose found it sweet that even without true personalities, they were able to have such a connection. The practical part was terrified that whenever Torchwood found out, the two would be split up.
She went home for a couple days, skillfully avoiding questions about her job by taking her mum shopping. Rose was finishing up her weekend off with a trip down to the pub when she noticed a figure following her.
Not one to be caught off guard, Rose slipped out her taser-she had moved up from pepper spray-and turned the corner. The person rounded the corner.
"Don't move!" Rose shouted.
The person stepped into the light, and Rose straightened, dropping her arm.
"Eleven?" she questioned.
Eleven shook his head. Then he nodded. "Well, kind of," he admitted.
Rose cocked her head at him. "Doctor?"
He smiled, and Rose could almost see the manic smile he wore with Nine through the different face. It was throwing her off. "In the flesh . . . sort of," he confirmed.
Rose narrowed her eyes. "Why are you following me?"
"It's my job," he said with a shrug.
"What, Torchwood thinks I'm a double agent?" Rose guessed.
Again, he shrugged. The movement seemed awkward on him. "It's standard to check up on employees outside lives from time to time. Though if they had really wanted me to follow you, they should've put me inside Nine. This one's all chin and elbows and knees."
Rose found herself grinning. "You've got that right. Bet you're dead clumsy."
He gave her a look of long-suffering. "Don't make fun of me."
Rose giggled. "Bow-tie?"
His hands went up to his collar. "Bow-ties are cool."
"I see you do need me to dress you," Rose teased. "You've got a distinct professor vibe going on." He stuck out his tongue childishly. Rose looked him up and down, finally sticking her own tongue out of the corner of her mouth in a small grin. "How do you feel about a beer?"
He pulled a long face. "How about some chips instead?"
Rose's smile grew wider. "I love chips."
"So do I."
They reached the chip shop. They ordered chips, and after tasting one, the Doctor looked woefully down at them. "At least, I like them in my real body."
Rose wanted to giggle at his pouting face, but instead gave him a sympathetic look. "Let's go find out what Eleven's favorite food is, huh?"
The Doctor grinned at that. "I like the way you think, Rose Tyler."
Rose couldn't stop a blush at the way his green eyes held hers intently, just as they did when they were blue.
The rest of the night passed in a whirl of tastes and sights, as she and the Doctor explored parts of London she'd never seen before.
The fun was ruined by an irate River Song in one of the blue vans.
"Doctor, would you like a treatment?"
"I enjoy my treatments," the Doctor monotoned.
River Song gave her a fierce look. "Watch yourself, Tyler. You're cutting it close."
Rose stood very still, watching the van leave. For the umpteenth time, she felt that she was in over her head.
"Donna, how's it going?"
The red-head gave her a look of suffering. "The Master is going nuts. Some government blokes want to call us out on our deals here, so he's going to have to use every single doll to get things worked out."
"Every single doll?" Rose echoed disbelievingly.
"Yup." Donna looked disgusted. "Do you want to know how he's doing it?"
"Probably not . . ."
"He's sticking himself into each of them. Can you believe the man?"
Rose felt sick. "Every dalek is going to be the Master?"
"Yes. So tread carefully."
"Got it," Rose muttered. She and Donna watched as the dolls were lined up. Rose caught a glimpse of Mickey, who looked exhausted. She offered him a sarcastic salute, and got him to smile.
"Isn't this fun?"
Rose jumped, finding Nine next to her.
"Whoa, what's going on?" Donna asked suspiciously. "Why aren't you being imprinted?"
Nine shrugged. "The Master wants the Doctor nearby. Probably figures I can help come up with a solution that his brain can't think up."
"Oh, you're the Doctor." Donna gave him a curious look. "Funny, I find it hard to . . . do I know you?"
The Doctor looked at Donna with something unfathomable in his eyes, and Rose, examining him, found pity. He didn't say anything, however, and Rose broke the silence with a question.
"Why is the Master doing this, instead of using the different personalities?"
The Doctor shrugged. "Think of it like being able to focus on every problem at the same time. He can split himself up and work on each issue individually."
"Ooh, I need to report to his office." Donna rushed off, and Rose gave the Doctor a calculating look.
"Okay, spill. What's with Donna?"
The Doctor looked pained. "She and I used to be . . . friends," he said softly. "When I . . . messed everything up, she was there with me. I managed to convince the Master to spare her, but he had her mind altered so that she never remembers me."
Horrified, Rose couldn't help the tears from springing into her eyes. "I'm so sorry."
His face was bitter. "So am I. I always am."
"You tried to get out of this?" Rose asked quietly.
His icy blue eyes held hers. "I did. Far too late, but I did."
"So you shouldn't blame yourself so much. It won't help you get out of this."
"Get out of . . ." The Doctor narrowed his eyes.
"This," Rose gestured vaguely at the room, "is all wrong. I think we should do something about it."
His look was one of fascination. "You mean that?"
Rose was terrified by the hope she had inspired in his intense gaze, and felt certain that if she let him down, it would destroy him and her. "I do."
It was a promise, and Rose, for the first time in her life, felt certain about who she was, and what she was doing. The only question was how?
Rose hated lying. It wasn't lying, per se, but flirting with Mickey was close to it. It wasn't that she didn't like the guy-he was sweet, and adorably geeky. But she could see the way Martha looked at him, and there was no way she would mess that up. A little flirting never hurt anybody . . . she hoped. It was a means to an end.
That end, being converting Mickey. He and Martha were the only two who could work their mojo with the chair to fix the Doctor.
"So, you don't think there's anything wrong with-" Rose gestured expansively at his tech "-stuff?"
"You insulting my work, sweetheart?" Mickey grinned easily.
Rose rolled her eyes accommodatingly. "No need to get irritated. It's just . . . this tech, you know? Doesn't seem wrong to you, making up new people, throwing them in bodies?"
She watched him carefully.
He winced. "Yeah, I mean . . . well, yeah. I just . . ." he looked at her with some kind of guilt. "It pays good, you know? And no where else could I experiment, and . . ."
"Hey. Whatcha two up to?" Martha's displeasure was evident.
"Just chatting," Rose said, striving for nonchalance. "How was lunch?"
Rose chanced a glance at Mickey. "You know, Martha, you shouldn't go alone. Have Mickey go with you, next time. Or I'll go." She smiled, her true, 'I'll be your friend' smile. Smart as Martha was, she was intimidating, but still, she seemed nice.
Martha melted, fractionally. "Yeah. Sure. I need to work."
Rose backed off. Seeds were planted.
"Best secretary in Torchwood?" Rose offered Donna a grin.
"Best secretary in London." Donna smirked.
"Good enough to break into, say, a high security office?" Rose asked casually.
Donna caught Rose's eye and seemed to find something in there to her liking. Her smile grew slowly. "I think so."
"Well, that's good," Rose drawled. They sat in companionable silence.
"You know, I think I'm coming down with something. Must be a virus," Rose said significantly.
"Hmm," Donna hummed, throwing Rose another glance. "I hope you know what you're doing."
"Me too." Rose leaned over companionably and nudged her neighbor. "You're good friends with Martha, yeah?"
"Yeah, we get along. You need her to . . ." Donna trailed off and Rose nodded.
"I don't think she likes me that much. And she's vital."
"I'll talk with her."
"Rose Tyler, the Master wants to see you."
Rose turned from the racks of clothes and offered River a shaky smile. "That so?"
"Yes. Right now."
Rose silently followed River Song to the Master's office.
He spared her only a little attention. "I have heard reports that Eleven was on duty tailing you, and you ended up spending time roaming the city."
"Yes. I'm sorry."
"You only get one warning. Understand? I'm the big bad wolf around here. Anyone steps out of line, and, well . . ." His grin was feral. Rose nodded, rubbing her sweaty hands on her jeans.
"It was stupid of me. I'm sorry to cause trouble."
Rose was shaking as she reached her own work area. She was playing with fire.
That night, she called her mum and had her take a trip out of the country.
"So this whole imprinting thing. You have to be wiped first?"
Martha nodded, her gaze both calculating and friendly. Donna had already talked to her. "Yeah. I mean, I've tried it without wiping, but it normally gets rather . . . messy."
"Mmm. You're sure?'
Martha shifted uncomfortably. "If I had access to some of the older work . . . the work by the Doctor . . . well, no use making conjectures."
Rose fixed Martha with an intense stare. "So, if you had the Doctor helping you . . ."
Martha tilted her head. "It's a possibility."
Rose slid her gaze over to the security cameras. "Would you like to grab lunch?"
It was only when they were far away from Torchwood that Rose outlined her plan. Martha confirmed her hopes, and one more piece fell into place.
"So, Mickey, you may not be a doctor, but you have a cure for a virus?"
"Sure thing, Rose." Mickey grinned. "Vitamin C. Only thing to fix a good cold."
Rose rolled her eyes, playing along. Mickey slipped her some kind of small black chip.
"That it, then?" Rose asked casually, not looking down at her hand.
Rose looked at Mickey worriedly. "You with me?"
The techie nodded. "I may like money, but I'd like to clear my conscience."
Rose smiled in acceptance. "That's good enough for me."
"So. Tonight?" Donna chewed on the end of her pen.
"Yeah." Rose ran a hand through her hair. "It's River Song's night off."
"Pity she's in the Master's pocket. You know, I think she's had some imprinting done herself."
Rose grimaced. "If I could, I would do something about it, but she's too dangerous."
Donna was fingering the virus. "This will take them all out?"
"That's the idea," Rose muttered. She glanced at the clock. "All right, show time."
Mickey imprinted the Doctor into both Nine and Eleven-the barriers were still up for Ten.
"Rose?" Nine gave her a bemused look.
"Rose?" Eleven patted his face experimentally. "What's going on?"
"I figured better safe than sorry," Rose said quickly. "We're doing this, now. I need you-" Rose pointed at Eleven "-to help Martha. The other Doctor-" Rose looked at Nine, "-I need getting everyone else imprinted with their original personalities."
"What about security?" Nine asked before leaving.
"For now, act like they all have assignments. Security's low this time of night. Mickey's hacking into the system as we speak."
"All right," the Doctor-Nine-grabbed her by the shoulders. "I hope you know what you're doing. But I trust you."
Rose swallowed. "Thanks." She hurried out, waving at Donna. Donna nodded brusquely and headed upstairs, heading for the Master's office.
Rose brushed her fingers along the coral struts before heading out to the main rooms.
"Come on, Jack. It's time for your treatment."
"I enjoy my treatments."
"Yeah, not after this one."
The Doctor, the one in Nine, focused on getting the original people back in their bodies. Rose ferried dolls up into the room, explained that their time was over, and herded them out the door.
The process was smooth, but Rose grew increasingly nervous as Donna took more and more time.
Finally she caught sight of the red-haired secretary. Donna gestured her over.
"It's done. The Master wasn't there, and I got the virus through. It will shut down the main systems."
"So the other Torchwood bases . . ."
"I got out a message, that the whole system has been compromised, and that they need to let the daleks all go. It may or may not work."
"Right, good work, Donna. Now, come on. We need to get you fixed up."
"Fixed up?" Donna asked suspiciously.
"There's some kind of blocking thing in your brain. Trust me, the Doctor can fix it."
Rose remained silent, tugging Donna to the chair.
"Doctor," she pleaded, looking at Nine. He nodded solemnly, settling Donna down in the chair.
"Everything is going to be okay. I promise." His eyes contained so much grief that Rose backed away, feeling like she was intruding. She bumped into Rory.
"Who is that?"
Rose gaped. "Oh, sorry. I mean, is this the real you now?"
"Yeah, I guess. Though, I mean, I had amnesia. Apparently I was a soldier, and got a bad head wound. That was why I agreed to do this program. They said they would fix it, after I gave them my body for a while."
Rose flinched. "I'm sorry. I don't think they were able to."
"That was your name, as a dalek," Rose explained.
"That works," Rory mused. "Say, I was wondering . . . I have this feeling that I'm missing someone. Just . . . I don't know, never mind."
"Hey, what's going on here? I was told I would get a lot of money after my time was done."
Rose turned to find Amy, hands on her hips, glaring at Rose. Then her eyes flicked past, to see Rory.
"I . . . Do I know you?"
Rose hid a smile. "I'll let you two talk." She slipped back in to find Donna sitting up in the chair, blinking.
"Well, that's better. I knew I was missing something."
The Doctor beamed at the two of them.
Rory and Amy poked their heads in. Rose realized suddenly how thankful she was that the room, though it seemed small from the outside, was so big.
"This looks exciting," Amy said, grinning at all of them. "Name's Amelia. How's it going?"
"Um, we just wanted to see if we could help? I mean, it's pretty obvious that something's going on here."
Rose cocked her head at them. "And you're willing to help?"
"Well, I mean, I'm just a model, so not much I can do," Amelia admitted.
"And I don't even know who I am," Rory muttered despondently. But Rose saw that his hand was intertwined with Amelia's.
"We can use all the help we can get, but at the moment, just stay put," Rose directed.
"We can do that," Rory smiled shyly.
Rose's moment came. Eleven and Martha came into the room, holding a single disk.
"This is it," Martha said. "This should work now."
Nine gave Rose a sharp look. "What should work?"
Rose sat down in the chair, nervously gripping the arms. "We still need to get you sorted, Doctor. The Master has the key, so I'll work through him."
Nine's eyes were wide. "No, Rose, it's not worth it."
"Yes, it is, Doctor. If it doesn't work out, finish the job. Finish getting the dolls imprinted with their original personalities, and let my mum know that I love her."
"Rose . . ."
But Martha had already started the process, and Rose closed her eyes as a sharp pain tore into her skull, bringing tears to her eyes and a cry of pain to her lips.
It seemed an eternity before Rose opened her eyes. she could feel it, the new information, as a pressure against her temples.
"Rose, you have a short amount of time before the process will overwhelm you. You've got to do it, now."
Rose stood shakily, and moved over to the computers and other instruments. She worked quickly, sorting through information in her mind that wasn't hers.
"Wipe Nine, give him his original personality, and send him on his way. Doctor, the one in Eleven, go help Rose fix this," Donna commanded Mickey. "Also, there's still Lucy. She needs to be wiped."
"What's going on here?"
Rose looked up from her computer to find River Song staring at all of them. She barely had time to shout a warning before Eleven had stepped towards River. The handler reacted, pulling out her taser and hitting Eleven.
"No!" Rose shouted. "Stop her!"
Rory and Amy grabbed River Song by the arms. "Put her in the chair," Donna instructed.
"So she was imprinted?" Mickey checked.
"Yeah, I remember now. The Doctor and I can sort her. Rose, you focus on the Doctor's imprint."
The pain was growing unbearable. Rose didn't say anything, just bit her lip and fought through.
Rory and Amelia had left, along with River. Nine and Eleven-apparently named Christopher and Matt, respectively-had both gone. Lucy was in the chair. Ten was the only dalek left, and Rose was almost done working through the blocks the Master had put up.
"Rose, are you done?" Donna asked, her voice worried.
"I'm almost there. Just give me a little more . . ."
"Well, well, well. Rose Tyler. Apparently I should not have hired you."
Rose didn't stop working, punching in some more keys. It was finished. "Hello. Should've expected you'd come and ruin everything," she said.
"Yes, well, you are about to destroy my life's work."
"Yes." Rose finally turned, and found the Master was holding a gun. Martha was a little behind him, and was slowly inching towards him.
The Master snarled. "So. You didn't heed my warning. See, I told you, you're one of the little pigs. And I'm the big bad wolf."
"No, you're wrong." Rose reached behind to pull out the disk that contained the Doctor. "I'm the bad wolf. You . . . you're little Red Riding Hood."
At that moment, Lucy's imprint was done. The girl sat up, turning to stare at the Master.
"You!" she shrieked. As the Master's attention split, Martha struck, knocking the gun out of the Master's hand. Rose darted over to the chair, plugging in the Doctor's true personality. She pulled Lucy out of the chair and gestured to Donna. Donna dragged Ten over, pushing him down into the chair.
Rose took a deep breath as the process began. This was it.
Martha and Mickey had the Master by the arms. Lucy . . . Lucy had grabbed the gun and was pointing it at the Master.
"You made me into a doll. You ruined my life." The woman cocked her head. "Goodbye, my love." The shot was true, and the Master collapsed.
Rose flinched, as did Martha, Donna, and Mickey. The Doctor . . . Rose turned to him, to find the process complete, and the Doctor blinking, staring at his hands.
"I'm me again!" he crowed. "Ooh, look at that." He ran his tongue across his teeth. "My own teeth! This is . . ." The Doctor caught sight of the Master. "Oh."
"I'm sorry, Doctor," Donna comforted, "I know you used to be close."
Rose's brain chose that moment to start to send a spike of pain that seemed to drive through her eyes. She let out a gasp, and felt oddly disconnected from her body as she fell to the ground.
Vaguely, the thought went through her aching head that his voice sounded perfect.
Strong arms were lifting her. The pain in her skull was turning her vision white, splintering, twisting and pulling . . .
For a moment, Rose thought she felt lips pressing her own.
And then the pain became focused. And Rose felt the world fade away.
She woke up to silence. A few seconds, and the silence had been split by a voice.
"Rose? Rose Tyler, you're awake. I was scared for a bit there, it was touch and go, and you weren't waking up, that you had . . ."
"Please be quiet." Rose blinked, focusing on the Doctor's face. "So, this is really you?"
His grin lit up his whole face. Rose could have lost herself in his eyes. "It's really me."
"So . . . it worked?"
"Yes. You were brilliant. Everything's been sorted out."
"Yeah? Well maybe we should get some chips."
The Doctor blinked, looking surprised. "You remember that?"
"Course I do." Rose was finally able to sit up, a momentary dizziness passing quickly.
"Where are Donna and the rest?"
"Celebrating," the Doctor said promptly. "So, chips then?"
Rose grinned. "Chips."
As they walked, Rose felt the Doctor's eyes continuously flicking over to her. She could almost swear that several times, his mouth opened and then closed.
"All right, what is it?" she finally ventured to ask.
"It's just . . . I mean, it's not the other body that you liked, is it?"
Rose giggled. "This you may take a little getting used to, but I didn't fall in love with the bodies."
"Yes." Rose smiled widely. "And speaking of that . . ." She grabbed him by the lapels of his pinstriped suit and kissed him thoroughly. "This body is perfect."
The Doctor was uncharacteristically silent.
"So, chips now?" she asked, hiding a smirk.
"Rose Tyler." The Doctor's eyes glinted, and held a smile that Rose felt was especially for her. He grabbed her hand. "Run."
A/N: I know it's really too fast-moving, and that technically it would be really fun to flesh out the characters, send the Doctor on assignments, etc etc, but I really don't have the time to work through yet another multi-fic work. I'm stumped on my other ones as it is.
Anyway, hope everyone didn't get too confused. Please let me know what you thought! :)