Even if the soil he stood on existed in an artificial environment filled with so many mysteries, the air that drifted through the Doctor's hair managed to leave him in a trance. He stood outside the TARDIS, her health as palpable as the sky was clear that night. The Doctor could feel her humming on his back as he leaned against her, feeling all the more tranquil despite the anxiety that racked his brain. He fought the urge to sit on the grass and rest, because he knew he wouldn't be able to fall asleep.
Just a bit of courage and you can get it off your chest. Just a few words…
He tried to push the thought aside. It was daft, and he knew it. Of all things to worry about, he was concerning himself with petty emotions that continue to confuse him and drive his actions more than it should. Again he grew frustrated at how bizarrely human he seemed in his current regeneration, partially wanting to change back just so he didn't have to deal with his inner conflicts—if he had that choice, that is.
The fact that he let himself enjoy the experiences he had with her, with her soft pink lips against his, was an amazing feeling despite every doubt in his mind telling him that he shouldn't. But, once more, he couldn't help it. He kept imagining her smiling face the moment he would tell her the 'secret' that they both knew was true. Nevertheless, that was the problem: it was the fact that Rose would be happy about hearing his 'secret'. It would mean that he would be happy, too… and that in itself was scary. The intoxicating, elated feeling that will fill his breast will eventually fade, zapping itself away before it could commence and blossom, because he knew that he wouldn't get the chance to experience it for very long. His desire to take advantage of that one little moment between him and her was growing stronger the longer he and Rose kept meeting confidentially.
You'll regret it the moment you tell her; no matter how tempting it is to risk it.
The Doctor breathed in and out through his nose as he tried to calm his hormone-ridden body down, trying hard to keep himself mentally stable, which was unfortunately another downfall of being in his recent reincarnation. After suddenly feeling drained, the Doctor turned his back to open the TARDIS doors. He felt it was best to rest in his bed rather than dwell in the air of another cool night.
He couldn't even step inside before a firm pair of limbs caught him off guard. His face met the ground with a harsh thud as scrambling hands tried to bend his arms to his back in order to restrain him. The familiar voices that quarreled amongst themselves gave away their identities.
"I can't believe he's alive!" said one of them. Immediately, the creature began to shout. "MOTHER! MOTHER, HE'S ALIVE!" The Doctor knew that both of them at one time meant his doom. Even as he grunted and fought to get away, the both of them together proved too strong.
"Daughters! DAUGHTERS!" yelled another familiar voice. Seeing Lady Tremaine run towards him in her full alien form sparked a whole new level of fear. Their species' full form was a mix between being quadrupedal and bipedal in stature, and needless to say they look intimidating. The Doctor knew that he was definitely on the menu, especially if they're willing to reveal themselves in order to consume him. Lady Tremaine managed to calm her daughters down as they picked the Doctor off the ground, holding him sternly in place as he fought for his life.
Lady Tremaine's visage was that of shock and amazement. No one survived their venom, and the fact that the mysterious man in front of them was still breathing made her curiosity for him grow. "How…?" she said, her voice just above a whisper.
"Lady Tremaine! Please, just listen to me!" He knew he didn't have much of a choice, but he had to convince them of his offer at least for one last time. He had to buy time to think of a plan.
Just hearing his voice made the elder female alien tense up and wash off her shock. She had more pressing matters to deal with; in this case she had her children's hungry mouths to feed. "No, I will not accept your silly little peace treaty," she replied hastily. "Why should I when we finally found the one thing that led us to dinner and a way out of this wasteland?" She turned around to see the TARDIS sitting on the hill peacefully, almost unaware of the Doctor's predicament. She blinked her eyes a bit, before turning back to her confused offspring.
"It's a bit tiny," the Doctor grinned, lying through his teeth as always.
"It will do just fine," Lady Tremaine snapped, her smile maniacal. The Doctor could hear all three of their stomachs growling, though he didn't know if he was just hearing things. Regardless, he knew that if they stepped inside it could mean the end. With little options for them, the desperate creatures didn't care how small the opportunity, because if it got them away then they were home free.
A subtle peek inside the Doctor's ship stopped the alien in her tracks as her offspring waited for her to enter. The golden light that escaped the TARDIS's doors almost seemed welcoming, yet the aliens were in a state of shock and bewilderment at what stood before them. "Children… you won't believe this…"
Lady Tremaine shoved her form through the doors as Anastasia and Drizella hesitantly stood just outside, the Doctor barely inches from the runway to the control panel. He sensed the daughters' curiosity, and with them distracted he broke away, running into the TARDIS as fast as he could.
"Hey!" called one of them, racing inside the blue box in an effort to catch the Doctor. Before Lady Tremaine could even react to the situation, the Doctor was already at the control panel, flipping buttons every which way and that, startling the elder female at his speed. With one final swipe of a lever, the TARDIS abruptly hummed to life as lights dimmed ever so slightly, turning red and yellow in alarm. The doors to the ship closed suddenly, trapping everyone inside.
"Mother! Mother, what's happening?!" Lady Tremaine looked at her frightened offspring before staring back at the Doctor, her eyes ablaze. The TARDIS suddenly ceased her rumbling while the lights remained red, the Doctor typing on his monitor before giving the intruders stern looks.
"Obviously you have no idea as to what this ship is capable of," the Doctor told them, the room dead silent. "Right now I have the TARDIS at full defense mode, and if you dare to even touch her you will be eradicated on spot."
Lady Tremaine, feeling foolish, gave the Doctor a snarling hiss as her offspring drifted back to her side. She was in no mood to back down when they were close enough to take control of the situation. "You talk of this box as though it were a living thing."
"That's because she is, Tremaine," the Doctor said. His eyes remained cold, his patience lost. "She is a living thing who is more than the eye can see. And she doesn't like how you came in uninvited." As if to respond to his warnings, the TARDIS once again rumbled slightly as Anastasia and Drizella huddled closer to their mother out of fear. Lady Tremaine could only look upon the ship she stood inside, confused and trying to think fast. She had underestimated the little blue box that she thought was harmless and small.
However, she pondered the TARDIS's state of defense as the Doctor moved towards the walkway, his back still against the control panel. Lady Tremaine let a small grin show on her visage, her offspring sensing their mother's ease and stood up beside her. The Doctor growled, "If you think you can just barge in here and take control of a ship this powerful, let alone drive it, then you are wrong! She is more important than anything you have ever known on your planet and one false move can destroy all of time itself. Are you this desperate that you are willing to risk the sake of creation for your own selfish desires?!"
Drizella and Anastasia suddenly stepped forward, realization on their faces as the thought of the Oncoming Storm droned in their heads, noting the Doctor's use of words as though he were a god. "Time Lord…" one of them said.
"What?" Lady Tremaine said, bewildered.
"He's a Time Lord, Mother," said Anastasia, a look of disbelief on her face. "I remember now. The race that was thought to have gone extinct… yet one lone man made it out. This is he!"
Lady Tremaine stared back at the Doctor as puzzle pieces started to fit together. "Now I understand…" she spoke, her smile ever wider. "So rare… and yet so valuable."
The Doctor still stood defiantly, standing his ground yet not liking the way Lady Tremaine was looking at him. He grew leery.
"I remember how Gallifreyians used to be considered a delicacy before the planet was destroyed," Lady Tremaine explained. "… And to think that only one made it out alive." Anastasia and Drizella picked up on what their mother was hinting at. To the Doctor, they almost looked like baby birds in a nest, hollering and chirping nonstop for food, only that the creatures in front of him were more dangerous by far.
"Can we have a taste, Mother?" asked Drizella, her eyes begging.
Lady Tremaine looked at her children lovingly before giving the Doctor a mischievous grin. "Oh, sweetheart, I think the Doctor is much more important than that…"
As quick as lightning she was grasping the Doctor, who by now was full of adrenaline. Two pairs of arms made it easy for Lady Tremaine to do multiple tasks, and with one pair able to grip him close to her body, the other pair was free to do whatever she wanted, which didn't help the Doctor's case one bit. Lady Tremaine couldn't resist a taste of him, and invited her daughters to have a lick as they placed their hands on the Doctor's head. The Doctor suddenly screamed in pain, feeling them go through his mind and tug at every memory, every single thought that caused him misery, and feasting on the agony of his experiences. What made it worse was that he could see and remember every memory pass in his consciousness the longer they raided. In a sense, it was as if he were reliving them the day it happened.
The Doctor couldn't believe that it was this easy for them to feed off of their victims, but his ship, as beautiful as it was, was a death trap. Rose didn't stand a chance against what kind of creative things they could do, and he was thankful that they were clueless about how to actually use his TARDIS. Unfortunately for Rose, time was running out. Finishing the story might be more dangerous than he anticipated.
After what felt like an eternity they let his mind go free, feeling content after using him as a light snack. His body felt emotionally and physically fatigued, but he was alive.
Lady Tremaine lifted her head up, looking around the control room and smiling triumphantly. "Well, go on, box. Destroy me if you're as powerful as he says! Go on, then! I'm waiting!" The Doctor felt the TARDIS shake angrily as lights began to flicker once again. The TARDIS stopped after a brief few seconds as Lady Tremaine waited, knowing what was going to happen next. "What's the matter?" she mocked. Silence followed. Lady Tremaine began to laugh lightly, then boisterously as the Doctor looked at the control panel longingly.
C'mon, old girl…
"You can't kill me," she said to the TARDIS. "I have the Doctor… and there's nothing you can do, is there?" She gripped the Doctor closer to her body, knowing full well that the TARDIS won't do anything to her when the Doctor was standing in her path. "Being the last comes at a price, doesn't it?"
Ever so slowly, the Doctor felt the rumbling beneath his feet and the red lights dim, cussing to himself as the room went back to its original format. Unless there was an inescapable problem with the TARDIS or a self-destruct put in place by the Doctor himself, he knew she wouldn't singe a hair on his head… even if the enemy were in the room.
Lady Tremaine's massive head bent down to the Doctor's eye level. A toothy grin formed on her lips, liking the feeling of her prey's two hearts beat rapidly under her hands. "Now that we're on the same page, Time Lord… I suggest you start pressing a few buttons."
Cindy expected the rest of her family to be back at a later time, knowing that the Ball was going to last long into the next morning. As tired as she was, she still told herself to at least sweep the stairs and tidy things up; old habits die hard. After living all of her life as a maid, it was hard for her to shake the concept of 'doing nothing'. Even so, she was able to keep her mind clear of any stress. Thinking about her lovely night with the Doctor helped with her fears, and she wished she got the opportunity to have a dance with him, if only for a few minutes. Yet I get an alien Prince chasing after me instead…
She suddenly froze at an unusual sound coming from nowhere in particular, looking around the room to pinpoint where it was coming from. She couldn't describe exactly what it was, but it was a strange sound that she couldn't describe through words. From out of thin air, she noticed a large blue box slowly materialize in front of the doors, the box fading in and out slowly. It wasn't until the blue box stood before her, the sound ceased, did she realize who was responsible for the event.
"Doctor?" she questioned to herself, feeling giddy as butterflies filled her chest, a wide grin forming on her lips. Was he really willing to take her home this soon, despite how much she protested? It has only been mere hours since they last saw each other, yet she ran to the box as though she hadn't seen him in a lifetime.
The door to the TARDIS opened from the inside, but instead of the Doctor, Cindy saw a face she never wanted to see again. Lady Tremaine's head poked out of the door as she used one of her hands to open the second door, allowing more room for her offspring to exit. Cindy halted so fast that she almost fell down on her bum, a look of pure horror on her face at the sight before her. In Tremaine's second pair of limbs, a few of her talons lightly scratching the figure's skin, was the Doctor looking exhausted and pale. He was still conscious, but appeared too fatigued to fight back. Whatever they did to him, it weakened him significantly to the point in which he could hardly grapple with the creature's nimble fingers.
"Hello, my dear," Lady Tremaine purred, her expression arrogant. "I'm glad you made it home from the Ball in one piece. After all, that bridge you tumbled over was quite the scare, don't you think?"
Anger boiled white hot in Cindy's stomach at the sight before her. Instead of cowering, like she instinctually did, she decided to take a step forward in the Doctor's defense. She gulped down her fear despite how much she trembled, walking towards the monster and looking directly in its eyes. "You can take away everything that is sentimental and meaningful to me, but if you harm another hair on his head then I'll make sure that you'll never be able to get what you want from me!"
All three of the aliens barked out a good laugh, but Cindy remained defiant, her expression stern. Lady Tremaine was the first to stop laughing and answer her seriously. "You self-righteous wench! What makes you think you're not going to do as we say? You're too weak-minded to have such stupid, idiotic thoughts!"
Cindy's expression remained hard. "Oh yeah? I'm weak-minded? If I'm so weak, then how am I able to fight back for this long? How did you think I managed to get past all of the abuse and torture you put me through and still make it out? No matter how hard you try, I will keep fighting until the Doctor and I escape from this place, away from you and your devil spawn, for good!"
From the corner of her eye, she could have sworn she saw the Doctor put on a smile, one that she recognized from whenever he was proud of her for any milestones she achieved. However, it didn't take long for Anastasia and Drizella to come up behind Cindy, bite down on her neck, and letting her fall in an unconscious slumber on the ground. Cindy's attempts were in vain against their swift venom.
The Doctor, while drained, was determined and was slowly regaining strength after the ordeal he had faced in his TARDIS. He tried to break free of Lady Tremaine's claws, but it too was in vain.
"Quit wriggling, worm," she spat at him, turning back to her daughters as she drained him ever so slightly, enough to keep him quiet. "Daughters, let me have the wench. We still need her in good health for tomorrow when the Duke and his men arrive at the door. You know what will go down; they will search the entire town for the murderer." She looked back at the Doctor, who was still trying, and failing, at getting himself free. Lady Tremaine's grin widened and turned to her eager daughters. They partly understood what their mother was going to generously offer them. "Have a light snack, my dears."
Both siblings ran up to her second pair of arms eagerly. Lady Tremaine instantly halted their advances. "Remember to keep him alive! Nibble on him if you would like, but do not drain him to the point of collapse. We need him to make our escape, so keep that in mind. Keep him out of sight…" She loosened her grip as her daughters used their own alien limbs to drag the Doctor to their chambers. The Doctor was still alive and helpless to the situation, and even as he did struggle, the two sisters had proven to be too strong for him.
He shut his eyes, hoping that by resting a bit he would be able to recharge himself. All he could imagine was Cindy's miserable self, trapped. It fueled his desire to escape and help. He knew that the ignorant alien race unbeknownst to him would face the Oncoming Storm with a powerful vengeance when they mess with the people he loved.