AN: Sequel to 'Ghosts' and 'Three's a Crowd'. This should have been posted before 'The Sound of Screams', my mistake.


Forgotten Loyalties by Alexannah

The Doctor bade Martha goodnight, went into his room and began undressing. He didn't have much opportunity to reflect on the events of the day, much less how long it had been since he had last stepped foot inside his ship, as the floor literally opened up beneath his feet.

"Aargh!"

He was falling! Air was rushing in his ears as he floundered, trying to grab hold of something as he whizzed down what seemed to be a vertical passageway. Before he could gather his thoughts enough to demand of Bad Wolf what was going on, he landed—on his bedroom floor, right where he'd started.

After a few seconds to catch his breath and rub his sore limbs, he sat up properly. "Oy! What was that for?"

"For falling for a human," Bad Wolf said.

The Doctor sighed. "I guess Martha mentioned it."

"You think?"

He struggled to his feet and sat down on the bed. "Rose, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. I certainly didn't expect it."

There was a long silence. He couldn't blame her for being mad at him. He felt a stab of guilt. He'd been living a perfectly untroubled life—well, until the last day or so anyway—while she'd been here the whole time, waiting for him to return. At least Martha had had the day-to-day distractions; Bad Wolf had had … nothing. Just a long wait.

And after Martha had inadvertently informed her of his unintentional unfaithfulness … that must have hurt her a lot.

"I am so sorry," he whispered.

"I understand," she said, though it sounded grudging.

"I'm sorry," he said again, feeling he couldn't say it enough.

"I know."

An awkward silence stretched. Not knowing what else to do, the Doctor continued undressing. Bad Wolf was silent for a long time, then out of the blue, "I missed you."

He wanted to reply with 'I missed you too', but unfortunately it was technically untrue and she knew it. He sighed. "Rose, I love you."

"What was she like? Your human girlfriend."

He shook his head. "Maybe we shouldn't go there."

"What was it like, then? Being human."

"Honestly, it feels more like a dream than anything, now," he said. "Like someone else's life. Well it was, really. Everything I was then, was programmed in, it wasn't really me." He paused, hoping Bad Wolf would get his point.

"You didn't program in a command to fall in love."

"No, but he was a living person. The programming only goes so far then the rest sort of … happens."

"Tell me about what happened, Doctor. I want to know."

So he lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling and recounted the whole experience. Bad Wolf was silent for the whole thing, and remained silent for several minutes after. The Doctor was just starting to think that she had decided to let him sleep, when she spoke again.

"Martha did well, then."

"Oh, you're saying something nice about her," he said with a grin. "First time for everything."

"Well, she did, and I'm grateful she got you back to me in one piece. I couldn't lose you to the Family of Blood."

Doctor stroked the wall, and felt Rose's ghost arms embrace him in response. "You didn't," he said softly. "And don't worry, I won't be using that chameleon arch again. Too many complications."

"Good."

As he began drifting off to sleep, a thought popped into the Doctor's head. It was one of those half-formed thoughts that only come when one is half-conscious.

He wondered if he shouldn't have something like Property of Rose Tyler tattooed over his hearts, to prevent a repeat of the incident should any form of amnesia ever again occur. The next morning, he was positive Bad Wolf had been the one to implant the thought, and asked her.

"Of course not, Doctor. What a suggestion. Although …"

The End

To be continued in The Sound of Screams