If you hadn't noticed, each chapter will be like an episode, including a few two-parters. This was really fun to write, so please enjoy and review!
Chapter III - Princess of the Deep
Rose stood on the observation deck of Poseidon XLVII, staring out at the royal blue abyss. Glowing fish swam by, as did brightly colored ones that she could hardly even imagine eating. Of course, that is what she would think of. Standing on a futuristic habitation facility with aliens all around and she thinks of food. What she wouldn't give for some chips right now.
"Why exactly are we here?" she heard Amy ask the Doctor. They had arrived a few minutes ago after the Doctor promised an interesting trip, but then he got distracted as soon as they arrived and he realized that something was wrong.
Just as mysterious as always, as Rose found out from Rory, the Doctor said, "Doesn't that water seem a little murky to you?" The conversation continued, but Rose didn't pay attention. She was too busy trying to comprehend what had just happened over the last hour and a half.
For the first nineteen years of her life, nothing happened. Nothing at all, not ever. But then she met this man called the Doctor, and he whisked her off in his box through time and space. Who knew what would happen?
"How're you doing?" asked a voice from Rose's left. Rory was really far too kind to her for someone he'd just met. But maybe that's what people are like-real people who aren't chavtastic losers from the Estate. When Rose gave no answer, Rory continued, "I'm the designated explainer, it seems. Amy said that since I'm the newest, it's my responsibility. I think it's because she's too excited to be traveling with the Doctor."
"You two are married, right?" asked Rose.
Rory twisted the wedding band on his finger. "Yeah. She's just known the Doctor since she was seven. It's kind of a long story. They're best friends-well, I suppose we all are. We've traveled with him for about six and a half years now."
"I still can't really wrap my head around it all," Rose admitted with a shy half-smile. "I don't even know what's going on really."
"Yeah, I usually don't either. Amy likes to pretend she gets it, but I just wait for instructions and then things make more sense. Like now, for example. The Doctor said to wait while he does some scans to figure out what's wrong. Next, he'll use a bunch of fancy words, run off and do something stupid and we're backup."
Rose didn't really get why this was so fascinating to her. She hardly even knew these people. In retrospect, maybe running into this adventure wasn't such a good idea.
"Atlantis II," the Doctor called out, gaining Rose and Rory's attention. They walked over to the Doctor and Amy, who was casually leaning against the TARDIS. "Six decades old-the final settlement on Earth before the planet gets destroyed."
"But we're underwater," Rose said aloud without thinking.
"Yes," the Doctor responded as he studied his screwdriver. "Ruled by Princess Leilani. Oh, it looks like there's a big party on right now. Sounds fun!"
"Let's go," Amy agreed, before Rory could argue that this was the real reason they came here. "But only if you promise not to do that awful dance you did at our wedding, Doctor."
He sighed and frowned. "You are no fun. Dancing is the best part of a party and I am brilliant at it."
"Full of yourself, much?" Rose interrupted.
"Sort of, yeah," the Doctor replied. "I can't help it that I'm so clever and handsome. Confidence is key."
Rory rolled his eyes and got them back on track. "I thought you said this was Poseidon Forty-Seven."
"It is," the Doctor explained. "Atlantis II is the society. Obviously the first Atlantis was destroyed a long time ago. Poseidon is the base, Atlantis is the nation, if you will. But that may not be the correct terminology. Alright, game plan," he said, clapping his hands together. "There's an odd virus on the computers here that's overriding the system. It's technology that is so advanced that, while it is from this time, they might not even know its invaded. Fortunately, they've now got us. We're going to go to the party and mingle. Try to find out if anyone doesn't belong or something isn't right."
"Um, I'm still in my pyjamas," Rose said softly.
The Doctor sighed. "Up the stairs, turn right, take the second left, third door on your right. Be fast, please. I don't want to miss the party."
Rose ran off, leaving Amy and Rory alone with the Doctor. "Doctor," Amy began, "You don't really take on strays, do you?"
"What would you call yourselves?" asked the Doctor, only a bit miffed. "Besides, I need someone to talk to when River's in prison and you two are off on a date or something. I think the TARDIS gets tired of me beating her at checkers."
"You beat the TARDIS?" asked Rory. After the Doctor nodded, he huffed, "That's like beating the computer. It's impossible."
"Excuse me," the Doctor said, "but I'm extremely clever. I can beat the computer whenever I want."
"We'll see about that," Rory muttered under his breath.
The Doctor sighed and tugged on his bow tie. "And Rose seems nice."
"I never said she wasn't," Amy argued, "just that it seems kind of-that was fast!" Rose walked back out of the TARDIS in jeans and a gray t-shirt. Amy smiled at the blonde. "Let's go to the party!"
They walked down the halls confidently, but not so much as to draw attention to them. Even if they did get in a scrape, the Doctor's psychic paper would get them out of any situation. Well, almost any situation. A large ballroom was the site of the party, with three of the walls made of glass, as well as the ceiling. Rose felt like she was drowning, and wondered if there was any chance that the glass would fail and they would all die. She never even really got to say goodbye to her mum or Mickey.
None of the guests looked human. Hadn't the Doctor said that this was a human settlement? Rose looked around, shellshocked. She'd thought the Vega were odd, but at least they were somewhat humanoid compared to this lot. There were dozens of species milling about the place and none looked human. What her mum and Mickey wouldn't give to see something like this!
Rose felt an empty feeling in her stomach, and it wasn't because she was hungry. This was the future. Amy and Rory seemed so fine with it, but Rose knew that everyone she knew and loved was dead. They were all long dead.
"What's wrong?" asked the Doctor with a huge smile.
Rose couldn't keep the words from tumbling out of her mouth. "They're all dead. My mum, Mickey, all my friends...they're all dead by now. And I'm still here."
"Well, time is relative-technically-"
"They're all dead!"
The Doctor sympathized with her. He knew what it was like to think every last person you knew was dead, even if it wasn't quite the same thing. "Give me your mobile," he said. Rose gave him a questioning look, but passed it over when he held out his hand. The Doctor used his sonic screwdriver on it, and widened the signal. "There...can call anywhere, anywhen in the universe. All it needed was a bit of jiggery pokery."
Rose instantly brightened. "Is that a technical term, jiggery pokery?"
"Of course! Didn't you take jiggery pokery?"
"Nah, I didn't get past hullaballoo," she laughed, looking through her phone contacts, about to call her mum.
The loud music that Rose didn't recognize stopped and a voice came over the loudspeakers. "Now that you've all gotten acquainted with each other, it's time to bring in the guest of honor!" the announcer said gleefully. The Doctor glanced at the double doors and the other three followed his lead. "It is my honor to announce the last human, Lady Cassandra, and her highness, Princess Leilani!"
Applause filled the room, and while the Doctor allowed his attention to wander, Rose, Amy, and Rory watched the processional. The first in the door was a large metal frame with what looked like skin pinned to it-skin with a face. It-she?-was being wheeled through by two pale men with odd designs on their skin. They looked more human, than her. Following the skin lady was a tall woman with pale blue skin and a silver dress that matched her long, silvery hair. She looked only a little older than Rose. Amy and Rory turned to the Doctor.
"So what's the plan?" asked the ginger.
"Let's go speak with her highness. She'll know if something is wrong. She looks very technological, doesn't she?"
They made their way through the crowd as smoothly as possible. The Doctor led the way up to the princess, who was chatting amicably with the skin-Lady Cassandra, it appeared. Reaching out for her hand, the Doctor smiled and said, "It is so lovely to meet you, Princess Leilani!"
She smiled brilliantly. "And you, sir..."
"I'm the Doctor, and this is Amy, Rory, and Rose. We're visiting for the special occasion."
"Oh, how lovely," Princess Leilani said. "I do hope you are enjoying yourself."
"Immensely," the Doctor said. "Would you like to come get a piece of cake with me?" She nodded, and he offered her his arm. The Princess placed her arm through his and Amy and Rory followed suit. Amy glanced at Rose, who looked uncomfortable all of a sudden.
"Don't worry about me," she said. "I'm just gonna wait here and have a conversation with my cousin, Michael Jackson." Amy and Rory laughed and walked behind the Doctor and Princess Leilani to the refreshments table.
Rose turned to Cassandra, who was ordering her servants to, "Moisturize me, moisturize me!" Upon seeing Rose, Cassandra smiled. "I'm sorry, I don't do photographs, dearie. The flash isn't good for my skin." Her voice was so sweet it made Rose sick. There was no way Cassandra could be trusted. She was just too, well, alien.
"Oh, I just wanted to talk," Rose said quickly. "I happen to know for a fact that you aren't the last human. I'm human, and so are my friends."
Cassandra laughed. "Oh, please. You may appear human, but I am the last pure human. Your lot just went caboodling and mixing with others." If Cassandra could have shuddered, she would have. "I am the only pure human left."
Rose rolled her eyes and scoffed. "Don't pull that 'pureblood is so much better than mudblood' crap on me. I've read Harry Potter. And you are definitely not human. Anything human on you was nipped and tucked and thrown in the bin. You're just skin, Cassandra. That's all you are-skin and lipstick!"
"Well, I'm sorry you feel that way," Cassandra said with a frown. "You could be beautiful, you know. All you have to do is get some of that fat and bone trimmed away. I'll give you the name of my surgeon if you'd like."
"I'd rather die."
"I'm sorry to hear that."
Rose snorted. "No, I mean I'd really rather die than be like you-a bitchy trampoline."
She began to walk away, but Cassandra stopped her. "Wait!" she cried, and as Rose turned back, she caught a glimpse of Cassandra's narrowed eyes widening to seem kind and warm. "I really do want to hear your opinion. It's too late for me, but maybe I could hear your side of the argument and warn the future generations. Let's just go somewhere more comfortable."
Rose was wary of Cassandra, but figured that something was wrong here, and maybe Cassandra was the problem. She followed the flap of skin and her attendants out of the ballroom and down the hall into a formal sitting room. Rose sat on a lavish sofa and waited for the attendants to leave the room before she began her questioning. But they didn't leave. The two men grabbed Rose and held her down on her seat.
"What's going on?" she gasped, struggling against their grip.
Cassandra smiled. "I'm tired of this skin. And it'll only be temporary, dear. You'll only be gone until I find someone better, like that pretty redhead you were with earlier!" She took a deep breath and a pink gas filled the air, then Rose was gone.
She sat up, and pressed a hand to her forehead. Cassandra gasped, and wiggled her fingers. "It worked! I have a body now!" She rose to her feet and started walking around. "I don't need to be moisturized anymore, and-ooh! It's like living inside a bouncy castle! A bit loose, if you know what I mean. Now, where's a mirror, I want to see-" She rushed over to a full-body mirror standing in the corner. "Oh my God! I'm a chav! Don't worry, it'll only be until I find someone better. Well, it's not all bad. Nice rear bumper..."
"Are you ready, milady?" asked one of the attendants.
"Oh, yes," Cassandra said and a smile lit up Rose's features. She walked toward the door and down the hall until she reached the ballroom. "Now where are they...oh!" Cassandra approached the Doctor, Amy, and Rory. "'Ello, guv'nuh."
They all stared at her in disbelief for a moment before bursting into laughter. "Come on," the Doctor said, "we told Princess Leilani we would join her on the Royal Deck to talk about the, uh, problems." She smiled and nodded, following silently after the three who knew what they were doing.
Cassandra decided that enough of this poor girl's thoughts were on how weirdly attractive this Doctor fellow was, and maybe she would get him interested in her as payment for stealing her body. At least it would be fun, like a game. Even if she was totally hideous. Cassandra always did like kissing people. It was fun, especially when it led to-
"Second," the Doctor said as they walked, "it's entirely possible that this is an elaborate way of killing millions of sea creatures. Didn't you see how murky the water was?"
"It looked normal to me," Cassandra-Rose said. "I mean, I don't understand why one would want all of these gross fishies swimming around the base anyway. It's quite disgusting if you ask me."
Amy and Rory looked confusedly at her. "I thought you thought they were pretty," Rory said.
"Oh, well, people change their minds, don't they?"
"Um, what's with the voice?" asked the Doctor. "Are you feeling alright? Do you need to go back to the TARDIS and lie down? Is it culture shock? Bananas will help-"
"I'm perfectly fine," Cassandra-Rose said slowly with a smile and raised eyebrows. She tossed her blonde hair over her shoulder and batted her eyelashes at him. Stupid man wouldn't even realize she was fishing for this little-
"Bit rich, isn't this place?" asked Rory.
"Yeah," Amy agreed. "though not nearly as nice as Starship UK." They paused, and then burst into laughter. While Rory had not been present for that trip, they'd relayed the details to him, and that was the closest thing to this place as they'd ever been to, except some of the intergalactic museums they'd been to so that the Doctor could keep score.
The Doctor ignored them and kept his attention on Rose, who clearly wasn't well. "So are you enjoying yourself?" he asked, trying to keep his tone even and normal.
"Of course! Never been better. Just larking about this place..."
Narrowing his eyes, the Doctor stopped walking and turned to face her. "Are you sure you don't want to go back to the TARDIS?"
"Are you serious? I can't Adam-and-Eve it. This place is just, so..."
He smiled. "I guess I understand. New places are always exciting." Cassandra-Rose smiled and placed one hand on his chest, while the other fingered his bow tie. The Doctor grew uncomfortable, as he always did when people invaded his personal space, even River. Hugs were fine, but this was a bit excessive. "Um, what about Mickey?"
"Damn him," she responded coyly before rising to her tiptoes and pressing her lips to his. The Doctor's arms flailed about as she ran her fingers violently through his hair, grinding her body against his.
"Oi!" Amy shouted as Rory covered his eyes. "He's married!"
Cassandra-Rose backed off, breathless. Her chest heaved a bit over-exaggeratedly as she mumbled, "I'll just-just go see the princess." She walked away, trying to catch her breath from what was quite possibly the best snog she'd had in long time.
The Doctor watched her go, having forgotten that Amy and Rory-his wife's parents-were still standing there. He smirked as he straightened his bow tie. "Yup. Still got it." He started to swagger off after Rose, but was stopped by Amy.
She cleared her throat meaningfully as she squeezed his arm. "I think you owe someone an apology."
The Doctor instantly got on the defensive. "She was the one who kissed me! I had nothing to do with it! I'm the victim!"
"Just don't forget who you're dealing with," Amy said with narrowed eyes. She turned and followed after Rose. Behind her back, Rory held out his fist and the Doctor bumped it with his own. "I saw that!" They grimaced, and sheepishly slumped behind Amy.
When they walked into the Royal Deck, they were shocked to see Rose holding Princess Leilani at gunpoint. "You will abdicate, and allow me to be Queen of Atlantis, or I'll continue dumping grease and oil and other nasty things into the ocean. Try me, your highness, I promise I'll go through with it."
"Rose!" Rory shouted, aghast that their new companion would threaten to do such a terrible thing.
"That isn't Rose," the Doctor said calmly. "She's been possessed. By Cassandra, I gather."
Cassandra-Rose laughed and smiled at the Doctor. "You think you're so clever."
"I am so clever."
"If you're so clever, what the hell is that bloody awful thing around your neck?"
Offended as he always was when someone made a derogatory statement about the piece de resistance of his wardrobe choice, the Doctor scoffed. "It's a bow tie. Bow ties are cool."
"Maybe in the nineteenth century," Cassandra said, cocking the revolver in her hand. "If you'll excuse me, we've some unfinished business to attend to. Now, your majesty, I'm growing impatient. And I don't want to seem rude, but, well, when I grow impatient, I tend to make rash decisions. So please hurry."
"Leave her, Cassandra," the Doctor ordered.
"Or what?" she sneered. "You'll call the police?"
"Or I'll stop you."
She sneered, "Is that meant to sound intimidating?" He looked to Amy and Rory for reassurance, for once questioning his ferocity. They appeared as they always did when he threatened someone, so he assumed that he still was the Oncoming Storm, as goofy as he looked and insulted as he was. "Don't worry, sweetie," Cassandra-Rose crooned with a sick smile, "you won't have to kill anybody."
"Leave her body, Cassandra," the Doctor said, a storm brewing in his eyes. It wouldn't take long before the fury of a Time Lord became physically apparent. He may not know Rose Tyler very well, but she was kind to him, and kindness was not something that the Doctor let go easily. "I don't want Rose Tyler hurt, and you aren't standing in a safe place right now."
"Well, where am I supposed to go?" she screeched hysterically. Amy grasped Rory's hand tightly. Cassandra-Rose smiled. "Never mind." A pink cloud left Rose and disappeared as Rose crumpled. The Doctor had to leap forward quickly to catch her in his arms. She looked up gratefully at him and met his smile. "Thanks," Rose mumbled as she picked herself up.
"What the hell?" asked Rory. He ran his hands down his chest and gasped. "Ugh! I'm a man! I was aiming for her!" Cassandra-Rory pointed at Amy.
The ginger smacked Rory's face, having convinced herself that he wasn't Rory. "Oi! That's my husband. I won't let you take him!"
"Your choice," Cassandra-Rory sighed, and Rory stumbled as the pink cloud left him.
"This is so much better!" Cassandra-Amy smiled, and shook out her hair. She inched her already short skirt up a bit higher and grinned at the sight of her long legs. "This is exactly what I was hoping for!"
"Okay, what happened?" asked Rory, staring at his possessed wife, trying to piece it all together.
"Go back to your own skin, Cassandra!" Rose shouted, noticing that Leilani was speaking with her guards. Hopefully they would be able to do something helpful in this strange situation. She had not woken up this morning (yesterday, since she hadn't really gone to sleep for long?) without even a hallucination that something like this could possibly happen.
"I can't," Cassandra-Amy said crossly, folding her arms across her chest. "The skin dried out as soon as I left it. There was no one left to moisturize me-I hadn't thought about it."
"You need to leave Amy right this minute," the Doctor commanded, taking large strides to reach his friend. He placed his fingers on her temples and thrust his mind into hers.
"I have nowhere to go!" she gasped, her tone painful and sad.
"That's not my problem." The Doctor knew he would regret this, but he had no choice. "You can't prolong your life any longer, Cassandra. Everybody knows that everything dies. You have your time. I see your timeline ending. It's the burden of a Time Lord, to know, and I know that it's time you died. Let Amelia live. You've had your life."
"But I'm so young!" Cassandra whined, tears leaking from Amy's eyes.
"So is she," the Doctor said calmly. "It's time, Cassandra. Let go."
Rory and Rose stood to the side, watching wordlessly. Neither could believe that the Doctor was convincing this woman to give up on her life. He seemed so optimistic and self-sacrificing that they hadn't considered him really being a killer. They weren't sure they could ever look at him the same again.
"Doctor," Rose stepped out, "please, give her another chance."
He said nothing in response, only, "Cassandra."
The Doctor caught Amy in his arms as a pink gas filled the air and dissipated into nothing. Cassandra was gone.
On the TARDIS, things grew silent. Nothing could be said. Amy and Rory were off to their bedroom, exhausted from the day-saving and subsequent party held in their honor. Rose was sitting in her room, poking around what the TARDIS had to offer. As for the Doctor, he sat in the swing underneath the console, making adjustments to his ship's operational systems.
Lost in his own thoughts that ran faster than he could process, the Doctor didn't hear the light footsteps above his head until she came into his view down the stairs. He lifted the large steampunk-esque goggles onto the top of his head and smiled. "Hello, Rose Tyler."
She gave a soft smile in return and tucked her blonde hair behind her ear. "Hello, Doctor."
"Did you have a good time today?"
Rose took in a deep breath, having expected this. She could only give a true answer, even if it wasn't what she wanted to say or what he wanted to hear. Neither deserved a lie, as easy as it would be to say. But how could she say what she needed to? "Is it always that dangerous?"
The Doctor laughed. "If you thought that was dangerous, just wait until we meet some Judoon or an Abzorbaloff!"
Rose didn't laugh in return, but only said, "Cassandra didn't have to die."
A pause. "Everything dies."
"You killed her. You made her kill herself," Rose corrected. The Doctor said nothing. "She could've had a second chance. You hardly knew her. You killed her."
After an eternity of thick silence, the Doctor looked up at Rose and said, "I can't tell you the number of people I have killed. There is more blood on my hands than there is in the entire universe. Don't you dare think I don't regret it. I'm the last of the Time Lords. I killed my entire race, and the entirety of the Dalek race, and so many others that I've lost count. People have died in my name, because of me, and by my hand. If it bothers you, leave."
Rose didn't back down. "That's what I came to say. I hardly know you, and I have a life back home. I didn't think before running away, and I've no idea what I've gotten myself into. I came down here because I'm asking to go home."
Making no verbal response, the Doctor stood and walked up to the console, and began to pull levers and push buttons that made loud noises and shook the console. Rose held on for dear life as she was tossed and thrown about as the Doctor piloted the TARDIS. She wondered if he was being purposely rough because he was cross with her.
Once everything became still, Rose walked to the doors and pulled one open. There was the Estate, just as it always was. The sun was rising, presumably the morning after she had left. A gentle wind blew the swings at the park and ruffled Rose's hair as she stepped out. She looked around.
How could she ever go back to her normal life after something like that? She'd been to the future, where man- and alien-kind lived underwater and humans had plastic surgery to practically get rid of their body. Normal life would never be the same. Rose turned to the Doctor, who'd followed her out of the TARDIS.
"I'm sorry, Doctor," she said softy.
He smiled, but it didn't quite reach his eyes. "I understand."
Rose bit her lip. "And I'm sorry for whatever I said while I wasn't, um, myself."
The Doctor smile grew a little bit and it seemed more genuine. He didn't appear as old, which was odd since he physically looked like he was twenty-something. "I don't blame you a bit. You were just possessed."
"Funny thing is, I don't remember any of it. It's all blank between being in that room with Cassandra and waking up in, uh, in your arms." Rose blushed a bit at the phrase and thought of Mickey.
The Doctor blushed, too, but not for the same reasons as Rose. To think of what River would say when she found out about all of this-about that kiss-was terrifying. "Well, I assure you, it wasn't anything traumatizing."
She laughed and looked back at the Estate. "I don't know how I'm gonna go back to normal life after all this. Bet my room's still a mess."
He didn't know why he said it, but the Doctor offered, "You could stay here for a bit longer. Your room here's clean and we can go anywhere you like. What do you say? One more trip?"
Rose smiled at the Doctor and looked once more at Powell Estate. She met the Doctor's eyes and said, "Well, it is a time machine. I guess I could always come back to just after I left and nothing will have changed..." The Doctor smiled as she trailed off, and stepped aside for her to pass by him into the TARDIS. Just then her mobile rang. She furrowed her brow as she didn't recognize the number. "Hello?" Rose asked, and the Doctor walked into the TARDIS and prepared to throw them back into the Vortex. "Who is this?" Rose asked, looking around the Estate for someone playing a prank on her.
"Silence will fall."
The line went dead.
Rose put away her phone and walked into the TARDIS, closing the door behind her. "Wrong number," she explained briefly.
The Doctor nodded in understanding. He pulled a lever as Rose got a secure grip and smiled with her tongue caught beneath her teeth. "So, Rose Tyler, where do you want to go? As a new-companion, Doctor trip. Amy and Rory won't mind."
Rose smiled. She had just the place in mind.
Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. I couldn't resist a few nods to other episodes other then the few with Cassandra. Please review and let me know what you think! Your thoughts mean the world to me, and I would love to hear from you.
Next week: The Strange Death of Mr. Pamuk