Well, here's the third and last chapter. Some scenes were inspired by Nicci French's Secret Smile, Charmed season one's "Dream Sorcerer", and Beth Fantasky's YA novel Jekel Loves Hyde (don't knock the title; it's actually pretty good). I also nicked a line from Aki Kirito, a main character in the manga series Pureblood Boyfriend.
This chapter is NSFW.
Warnings: dub-con; non-con; dream sex; unbalanced, possessive, amoral Doctor. And he has a thing for knife- and blood-play. There's also that line from Secret Smile.
This chapter also contains quotes from "Bleed (I Must Be Dreaming)", "Haunted", "Even in Death", and "Snow White Queen" by Evanescence. There are also quotes from the Wiccan Rede. If this offends you, just skip those lines.
I don't know how my mind comes up with this stuff. I really don't.
Two days passed, during which Rose made no attempt to contact him. He was mildly annoyed with that, but as they were still in space, it wasn't like she was going anywhere anytime soon. Still, she had been acting even more skittish around him since he'd . . . taken her—but she'd been cagey even before then.
Was she beginning to suspect? No, how could she? Yet he knew Rose was smart, and eventually she would catch on.
She'd already suggested they go see Jack, after all.
A small growl escaped from his throat at the thought of the former Time Agent, the ex-con. Even thinking about Jack made him feel uncomfortable. Still, going to see the Torchwood agent was out of the question.
The Doctor shook his head to clear it, set down the book he'd been reading, and rose. Movement helped him think, kept him focused. It was not in his nature to wait, to be patient, to be still. Yet he could be when the situation called for it—especially when an enemy invoked his darker side.
He may call himself the Doctor, but sometimes he reminded himself more of a nogitsune—a dark kitsune, a trickster that fed off chaos, strife, and pain.
Even the Master had been scared of the Valeyard, the personification of the Doctor's evil nature, and a smile twitched on his lips at the thought. The Master may be a sociopath and Death's Champion, but somehow he never seemed to be all that terrifying. Besides, if the Doctor was going to take over and destroy Earth, he would have come up with a better plan than having the future humans come back to exterminate their ancestors. Maybe he was mixing his species, but still. He wouldn't have kick-started the whole event by assassinating the President of the United States.
When he'd been on board the Valiant, it had been difficult to keep playing the part of the poor, helpless, hopeless prisoner. For all his speeches to Martha and Jack about saving the Master, it had been so hard to restrain from killing the other Time Lord. When Jack had mentioned shooting the Master, a very large part of the Doctor had wanted to let the Torchwood agent shoot and kill the other renegade Time Lord. But he couldn't, oh no, not the righteous, pacifist Doctor. Not without raising suspicion. So he'd protested, said he had no intention of killing the Master.
In the end the Master had died, shot by his wife; Jack had returned to his Torchwood team; and Martha had left him, after giving this dramatic speech on how she couldn't take her unrequited love for him anymore.
It wasn't like he'd been that upset by her leaving, in any event. Afterwards, on the Titanic, he hadn't even been looking for another companion. Astrid had just sort of happened—but she'd sacrificed herself before he could show her the TARDIS. Maybe he'd wanted to bring her along because she reminded him of Rose.
He stopped pacing, looked at the empty open doorway. Silently, he asked his ship to show him Rose's location. The TARDIS responded by showing him an image of his companion sleeping in bed, her room dark. Of course. It was the equivalent of eleven o'clock at night back on Earth. She must be knackered, considering everything she'd gone through recently.
He could also use that to his advantage. It had been a while since he'd practiced his telepathic abilities, after all.
A murky river flows sluggishly through dark trees. He makes no sound as he strides across the forest floor; then he pauses, looks up at the waning gibbous moon in the sky. His lip curls in a sneer, and the feel of metal hidden in his sleeve is warm on his cool skin. It's reassuring, in a way.
The water grows louder, its rhythm now matching the four-beat pulse of his hearts. If he looks closely, he can see the faint outline of rocks.
He won't be the one to spill onto the rocks at his feet—or into the river. Not tonight, not ever. (It's not one of his preferred ways to regenerate, but that is beside the point.)
His ears prick up at the scared, feminine voice, and he focuses in on where it came from. As he moves closer, he sees her.
Her back is to him, but he can see she's in a white tank and blue jeans. Her blonde hair is almost luminescent in the moonlight, and he licks his lips in anticipation.
"Doctor, this isn't funny! Where are you?!" She's looking around, yes, but not behind her. Quietly, cautiously, he pads forward. He stops when he's right behind her, slips his arms around her. One hand rests on her flat stomach; the other is on her waist. She jumps, startled, but he quiets her by saying, "I'm right here, love" softly in her ear, teeth gently catching her earlobe before he moves down to her neck.
She sighs, nestles against his chest. His hand on her stomach moves up to cup her breasts; and he's pleased to note she's braless. Oh, she's so soft, so eager and willing beneath his hungry mouth and roving hands.
Then she tenses and starts to pull away from him. "Doctor, what are you doing here? What am I doing here?" She's trying to turn, to search his eyes for the truth, and he won't have any of it. He pulls her flush against him, distracts her by licking the salt from her skin.
"Doctor!" He knows what she's going to say before she says it, mouths the next words along with her: "Answer me!"
He lifts his head and smirks, though she can't see it. "Isn't it obvious? I'm in your dream, inside your head." She goes cold beneath his touch as he continues, "Did you know some cultures believe what happens in a dream happens in real life?"
He doesn't give her a chance to answer, because he's backing them up until he hits a tree, turns her so that she's facing him, and claims her mouth with his own. Dual desires are fighting within him, but he already knows which one to sate first.
He'll take her over, and then he'll take her life.
If she does say anything to him when she wakes—well, it is just a dream.
He smiles at the thought. One hand tangles in her golden hair; the other slides between them to undo her jeans. It's hard—no, difficult—using one hand but he manages, easily takes care of her knickers—and oh she's so wet already, liquid heat coating his probing, slender fingers. There's a moan—he's not sure if it's his, hers, or theirs—and he pulls back from her mouth, withdraws his fingers from her heat.
He knows what he wants, and this isn't it.
"On your knees," he orders, voice low and little more than a growl.
She sinks to her knees before him, but not before undoing his shirt and trailing lightly-scratching nails down his torso and abdomen. Then— Oh gods, yes. Despite himself, a groan spills from his throat, the back of his head knocks against the tree, and his eyes roll back. He's seen a lot, done a lot in his long life—but not this, never this.
It's not long before she has a rhythm going, but then she adds her teeth and tongue, and— He mutters a curse, his hips rocking forward, and hits the back of her throat. He stays there for a few seconds then draws back.
If she keeps this up, he won't last much longer.
Her back is against the tree now, her legs hooked around his waist, and he's buried deep inside her. He rests there for a moment, reveling in the heat of her and allowing her to adjust; then he starts a slow, steady rhythm that he knows will bring her to the edge but not enough to send her over. No, he'll decide when to tear her apart. More than that, he wants to hear her beg, to make her scream.
So he does.
Only after, when her climax has left her trembling and loose in his embrace, does he slip the blade from his sleeve and lightly trace the skin of her throat with its razor-sharp edge.
She is confused, naturally, and doesn't understand.
"Doctor, what are you doing?"
In answer, he lightly draws the knife down her throat to collarbone then sternum, resting it mere centimeters above the line running between her breasts. His tongue darts out to wet his lips as his greedy eyes crawl over her naked body.
Understanding dawns in her eyes, along with terror. "No!" She jerks her upper body backwards, twists to get away from the knife; and her movement sends delicious friction to where they're still joined, with him still hard and fully aroused. A growl escapes him; she freezes, her terrified eyes locked on him. "Don't, please," she whispers. "This isn't you."
Oh, but it is, he thinks. He plunges the blade into her chest, through sternum and muscle till it reaches her heart, loving every second dark red blood flows over his hands—loving her for her sacrifice.
As the light fades from her eyes, all he can see in them is one question: Why?
The Doctor severed the connection with Rose's mind and his fingers instantly flew to her carotid artery to check her pulse. Almost involuntarily, he breathed a sigh of relief. Good. She was still alive: Her pulse beat strong and steady beneath his fingertips. And she was in the REM cycle of sleep, so chances were she would have no memory of this dream.
She was beautiful, he thought as he studied her sleeping form. So, so beautiful. . . . And she was his, solely his. No one else would have her. Not Jimmy Stone; not Mickey the idiot, the tin dog; and definitely not Captain Jack Harkness. If Stone or Jack tried to find her, tried anything with her . . . Well, he wouldn't be responsible for the consequences.
Mind the Threefold Law you should, three times bad and three times good. . . . Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you. . . . An' ye harm none, do what ye will. . . .
The Doctor frowned. Where had that come from? Yes, he recognized the lines as coming from the Wiccan Rede—but he wasn't Wiccan, wasn't even human. He wasn't even sure where he had first heard the phrases, or why they were circling around in his head now.
Harm none. . . .
Oh, shut up, he snarled silently.
Much to his relief, the voices faded.
Rose stirred in her sleep. The Doctor, realizing he'd probably overstayed his welcome, stepped back and slipped out of her room, a small smile on his lips as he shut her door and sauntered away.
Now all he had to do was wait for her to wake.
When Rose came to some hours later, she was suddenly aware of an odd taste in her mouth. She pushed back the covers and padded over to the restroom for some water. After spitting and setting the cup back in place, she glanced up to see her reflection in the mirror—and froze.
Her lips were swollen, hair disheveled (and not in a bedhead way, more like a recently-been-thoroughly-snogged-and-shagged way), and—what was that on her neck?
Rose slapped a hand to her neck, but when she looked again in the mirror . . . There was nothing there.
Spooked, she stepped back—and bolted. Her feet took her down the endless, twisting corridors until she skidded to a halt next to the open library door. Cautiously, she stuck her head around the doorframe, saw the Doctor, and reflexively pulled back before glancing in again. To her relief, his back was turned to her. Carefully, she made her way into the library, mentally frowning as she took in his appearance. Where was his suit, his armor? Was that leather he was wearing?
The Doctor suddenly whirled around, as if he'd sensed her standing there. Rose's insides froze and she fought the urge to turn away from him. Lines from a song played in her head: How can I pretend that I don't see what you hide so carelessly? I saw her bleed. You heard me breathe, and I froze inside myself and turned away. I must be dreaming.
We all live and we all die, but that does not begin to justify you.
It's not what it seems, not what you think. No, I must be dreaming. . . .
"Something wrong, Rose?"
It's only in my mind, not in real life. No, I must be dreaming. . . .
"Rose?" Brown eyes bored into hers; cool hands gripped her biceps and triceps. "Tell me what's wrong."
Help, you know I've got to tell someone. Tell them what I know you've done. . . .
"Rose. Answer me."
Her eyes flicked down to his hands; for a moment, they appeared to be stained red with blood. She blinked, and the illusion was gone. His hands were clean, like always.
Well, not always.
"What happened to you, Doctor?" Rose heard herself ask. "What the hell are you changing into?"
I fear you, but spoken fears can come true. . . .
His grip on her tightened almost reflexively, then loosened. Then he was embracing her, her head resting against his chest, and she forced herself to relax even as her body reacted to his closeness. It shocked her, scared her, that she still wanted him, still craved him even after what he'd done to her roughly four days ago.
"Rose, you really don't want to know," he murmured into her hair. His hands were now rubbing circles on her back, easing the tension out of her muscles. It felt good, soothing even, and Rose relaxed despite herself. "Now," he said, "what made you come looking for me?"
He'd been asking her that for a while now, she realized dimly, but now she couldn't remember why. Something she'd seen in the mirror, a trick of the light or her imagination, waking up with an odd taste and dry mouth? A dream? Maybe. It wasn't as if he would take her seriously, and his behavior right now . . . almost as if he'd been wanting her to come to him, had been expecting her . . .
Icy shivers raced down her back, spread throughout her body. Was he looking at her funny? What was that in his eyes? He'd been watching her ever since she'd returned to him . . .
"I—I don't know," Rose heard herself stammer. "Must've gotten spooked or something." She tried to sound casual, tried to shrug it off. If only he would let her go . . . Why was he still holding her?
The track that had been playing in her head morphed into a new one: Long lost words whisper slowly to me. Still can't find what keeps me here when all this time I've been so hollow inside. . . .
"Want to talk about it?"
She shook her head and pulled back. "No. It's nothing. I was probably just imagining things."
Almost reluctantly it seemed, he released his hold on her. "If you ever want to talk . . .," he offered.
Rose glared at him. "Oh, now you're being considerate," she snapped. Before he could reply, she turned on her heel and stalked out of the library, feeling his gaze scorch into the skin of her back.
I know you're still there watching me, wanting me. I can feel you pull me down. Fearing you, loving you. I won't let you pull me down. . . .
The Doctor watched her go, fought back a wordless snarl. His hands curled and uncurled, his nails digging into his palms. If that was the way she was going to play it, he'd have to come up with another plan to get her back. He supposed he could go into her mind and alter her memories of that night, but where was the fun in that?
Besides, the TARDIS was due for another refueling trip soon, and as much as he loathed the idea of letting Rose anywhere near Jack—as much as he hated being around the former Time Agent turned head of Torchwood—it would be good to catch up.
Just so long as he kept Rose close to him and kept a careful eye on Jack, Ianto, and the other members of Torchwood Three.
He sniffed, shook his head briskly to clear it, then walked out of the library, following Rose's scent. A verse from an Evanescence song ran through his mind: Hunting you, I can smell you—alive. Your heart pounding in my head. . . . Odd, how appropriate that song was for their situation. But this body of his couldn't help wanting her, needing her. He'd been a wreck after she was trapped in Pete's World, had been a complete git—and more than that—to Martha. The Master had been right about his dark-skinned companion, he realized. As for Reinette, she'd been nothing to him. Looking back, his relationship—such as it was—with the French woman had been downright creepy. She'd become obsessed with him, had thought herself in love with him, and he'd only known her for less than a day—hardly enough time for him to return the powerful feelings Reinette had deluded herself into thinking she had for him. Besides that, she'd looked into his mind without his permission, had seen his most secret memories. She shouldn't have been able to do that in the first place, and when he severed the link he'd felt horrified and incredibly violated. Rose had told him about her conversation with Reinette later, how the Doctor was worth the monsters and they both knew it—you couldn't have one without the other—and he'd seethed inside. How dare Reinette talk that way to Rose! Just because the French aristocrat had seen inside his head, she suddenly thought she was better than Rose, knew him better than Rose did? Horseshit.
There was nothing he could do about it now, anyway. Reinette was dead—had been for years—and he'd put her behind him. Still, maybe he could pop back into her timeline sometime . . . He smirked. Oh, he'd enjoy that conversation.
Anyway. Where exactly was Rose? The Doctor silently asked his ship to show him Rose's location, and the TARDIS sent him an image of Rose on the yellow seat in the console room.
Good. He'd been going there anyway.
Rose stiffened when she heard footsteps, jerk her head in the direction she'd heard them come from.
The Doctor stood there in the doorway, eyes on her (Watching me, wanting me. I can feel you pull me down. Saving me, raping me, watching me.) and then he stepped forward, began working at the controls.
"Where are we going?"
"The TARDIS needs a refueling trip."
Rose frowned. "But we've only been here for a couple weeks." Haven't we?
The Doctor shook his head. "No. It's been over a month, Rose."
She paled, forced down bile. "Oh God. You . . . You . . ."
"No. You're not. Shouldn't be, at least, I don't think. I'm close to human but not that close. More close to vampire than anything else. There's a two percent difference between Gallifreyan and Vampire DNA. Then again, your lot can be turned vamp as well, so who knows?"
He said nothing, just looked at her with those dark brown, almost black eyes, and her traitorous body flooded with fire, then ice.
Watching me, wanting me. I can feel you pull me down. Fearing you, loving you. I won't let you pull me down. . . .
A past conversation came back to her now: "You raped me, Doctor!"
"That's not how I see it. You wanted me—still do. Don't even bother denying it."
We all live and we all die, but that does not begin to justify you. . . . You know I've got to tell someone, tell them what I know you've done. . . . Fearing you, loving you, I won't let you pull me down. . . . I fear you, but spoken fears can come true. . . . It's not what it seems, not what you think. No, I must be dreaming. . . . It's only in my mind, not in real life. . . . I must be dreaming. . . .
Then her mind seized on something he'd said, driving the soundtrack out of her head. "A refueling trip means Cardiff, yeah? Doesn't that also mean Captain Jack?"
The Doctor turned his head away, his body tense. "Yes," he said curtly, as if he'd chewed on the word before angrily spitting it out. "Unfortunately."
"What part of 'Jack's like a brother to me' don't you understand?" she snapped. "He's just a good friend. That's it."
"I told you, Rose, he works for Torchwood," the Doctor growled, rounding on her. "He's the head of his own little team in Cardiff, and they're all that's left of the Institute."
"Maybe he's changed it."
He scoffed. "That's what he said, but I didn't believe him."
She frowned as a thought occurred to her. "Hang on. How did he get to Cardiff?"
"His Vortex manipulator. Really lousy way to time travel, if you ask me. I've got a sports car; he's got a . . . a grasshopper."
Rose smiled, but it soon faded. "What did you mean earlier, about him being a mistake? A living fixed point, you said."
For once, the Doctor looked uncomfortable. "Forget it. Besides, it's not my place to tell you."
Rose raised an eyebrow. "So we are going to see him, then."
"Dunno. Maybe, maybe not." Under his breath he muttered, "I hope to Rassilon we don't."
He pretended not to see it.
The Doctor and Rose had only just stepped out of the TARDIS when a familiar voice yelling their names had them turning around and laying eyes on Captain Jack Harkness. Rose smiled at the sight of the American; the Doctor resisted the very strong urge to yank her back into the TARDIS with him and whisk her far away from the immortal human who shouldn't even exist.
Then Jack was on them, sweeping him and Rose into a group hug before the Time Lord could protest. After what seemed like eons but was only five seconds, the Captain released them and stepped back.
"You found her, then, Doctor?"
"No," the Doctor corrected him coldly, "she found me." (Did people really underestimate Rose that much? Even her own family, even Jack?)
Jack turned his gaze on Rose, a smile on his face, and the Doctor found himself wishing Jack would give him an excuse to punch him. Then again . . . better not. Still, being so close to the immortal human was making his teeth itch. After a moment, he snapped, "Were you going to give us the guided tour, or just say hi and watch us leave?"
Jack's blue eyes narrowed. Maybe he had been a bit brusque, but the Doctor couldn't bring himself to care. He just wanted Rose as far away from Jack as quickly as possible.
"Considering your initial reaction when I told you I was working for Torchwood," the ex-Time Agent said, "I didn't think you want anything to do with it or me." (The Doctor kept his face carefully expressionless.) "But if you really want to, I guess I could introduce you to the team and show you around." His eyes slid to Rose once more. "That okay?"
Rose gave a reluctant, hesitant nod.
Jack flashed her a reassuring smile, gave the Doctor a guarded questioning look, and then turned and strode toward the pavement near the waterfall memorial. "This way."
The Doctor would be hard-pressed to admit it, but he was impressed by Torchwood Three's headquarters, referred to by Jack as the Hub. There was plenty of space, multiple hidden levels—he was sure of it—and the pteranadon flying around was really cool. It was definitely darker and grittier than Torchwood Tower, and there were only four other humans down there apart from Jack. Another reason he liked it so much may or may not have something to do with the rift energy—he could sense it running like a current just underneath this underground lair. So close, yet so far. All that radiation, all that time energy. . . . Did the Cardiff team know they were sitting on a dam about to burst?
The tiny platform they were on finally landed, tearing him out of his thoughts. Curious faces turned to him and Rose as they followed Jack off of the pavement square.
"Doctor, Rose," Jack said, "meet my team. Our resident medical examiner is Owen Harper." A pale-skinned man in his mid-to-late-twenties with thin lips and close-cropped dark hair lazily raised a hand. The team leader continued, "Computer technician is Toshinko Sato"—a Japanese woman with dark glasses nodded in their direction—"and Gwen Cooper is our newest recruit. She used to be a cop." Both the Doctor and Rose did a double-take. Gwen looked exactly like . . .
"You wouldn't happen to have an ancestor named Gwyneth, would you?" the Doctor asked her. "Died in 1869?"
"Yeah," Gwen replied, puzzled. "What of it?"
"You look just like her."
Gwen opened her mouth like she was going to say something, but Jack hurriedly introduced the last member of the team, a man who was wearing a smart suit and watching from the balcony: "And this is Ianto Jones. He looks after us, keeps the general public from finding out the truth about us, and cleans up our messes."
"And you don't pay me enough for it," Ianto called down jokingly.
Jack met Ianto's eyes for a long moment, then cleared his throat and looked away. "Anyway. Everyone, this is John Smith—"
"Call me 'the Doctor,'" the Time Lord interrupted quickly.
"—and Rose Tyler."
"Doctor who?" Gwen asked. At the same time Owen said, "Doctor what?"
"It's just 'the Doctor,'" the Doctor said. To Owen he added, "And don't give me any rubbish on having to earn the title. I chose it as my name for a reason. And well, I guess I'm a doctor of almost anything and everything." His eyes narrowed as he studied Torchwood's medical officer. There was something off, something not right . . . The Doctor stepped closer, tried to examine Owen's time stream—and found it was difficult to sense the human's future. Besides that, no human should be that pale, not unless they were . . . "You should be lying in a coffin right now," he told Owen flatly.
"I've tried that. Several times." Owen's mouth twisted in a sad imitation of a smile. "I can't die, and yet I'm dead. How ironic is that?"
Only one way as to how that could have happened flared in the Doctor's mind. He turned to Jack and snarled, "What did you do, Jack? What the hell did you do?" The others jumped at his sudden anger, but he didn't care.
"I didn't—" Jack started to protest.
"The Resurrection Glove, Jack!"
Captain Jack's jaw tightened. "I didn't do anything. Owen was killed during a mission; we used the glove to bring him back for a few minutes so we could pay our respects; and something went wrong. It's not my fault."
The Doctor scoffed derisively. "'If it's alien, it's ours', right? That's your motto."
"Not anymore. And I had nothing to do with the Battle of Canary Wharf, Doctor. Or weren't you paying attention when we last met?"
He could sense everyone else watching him, could sense them backing away, but the Doctor had eyes only for Jack. And Rose, of course—his precious Rose. "I was, but as you may recall, we also had to deal with another renegade Time Lord at the time."
Rose flinched at that. "You said there weren't any Time Lords left, that you were the only one who survived the Time War. You said you'd sense it if there were others."
His mouth twitched. "Not if they'd turned themselves human—which this one did. And he wasn't one of the nice ones, Rose."
"And what happened to him?" she asked, voice wary and maybe just a little scared—of him, perhaps?
"He's dead. I burned his body." He said it matter-of-factly, like it didn't really upset him that he was now truly the last of the Time Lords. "The universe is better off without him."
Jack's eyes narrowed. "Funny, I seem to remember you sobbing over his body and begging him to regenerate."
"That was then. This is now." His hand found Rose's, and he tightly intertwined his fingers with hers. Every instinct he had was screaming at him to get out of here and to take Rose with him. They'd been here long enough, and he was not looking forward to being held captive, studied, and possibly tortured.
It was only a matter of time before Jack's team realized he was Torchwood's number one enemy, and he wanted to be long gone before then. And while he was fairly certain Jack was shagging Ianto, he didn't like the look of Owen much—even if the human was the walking dead.
"I hate to interrupt," Owen said suddenly, doing just that, "but will someone tell us what the bloody hell is going on here?"
"Jack told you. I'm the Doctor and this is Rose."
"That doesn't tell us much."
"I'd prefer to keep it that way. I'm not overly fond of you lot, in case you hadn't noticed."
"We'd noticed," Owen said dryly.
Toshinko suddenly asked, "Are you alien?"
"Rose is human."
"But you're not?"
"Yes, I'm not. And really, don't you lot even check your records? You should have guns pointed at me by now—not that I'm complaining."
"You were at Canary Wharf, yes?"
"We both were. And the whole reason that battle took place was because your organization was stupid enough to widen a hole in the fabric of reality and allow Cybermen from a parallel universe—and Daleks—through the Void. Naturally, I had to fix everything. Humans! You can never leave well enough alone, can you? Always have to muck something up, and someone almost always dies in the process—all in the name of progress or duty or for queen and country." He barked out a harsh, disdainful laugh that died in an instant. "Sometimes I wonder why I like your species so much."
Then, taking them all by surprise, he wheeled around and started heading for stairs that went to a lower level, taking Rose with him. "Let's see what's down here, shall we?"
Jack was the only member of the Cardiff team who followed them down.
Rose stopped dead when she saw the Weevil. "What the hell is that?"
"It's a Weevil," Jack explained. "There's a whole group of them running loose around Cardiff, and we make it our job to catch as many of them as we can. They're nocturnal, mostly; are time sensitive; and usually hang around in the sewers and underbelly of the city. We actually had to shut down an underground fight club that was pitting humans against Weevils."
Sudden anger blazed in the Doctor's eyes. "They were what?" he snarled.
The Weevil, the one Jack's team had named Margaret, backed up in the cell.
"Doctor, relax," Jack said quickly. "We closed it down months ago."
A memory flashed, and suspicion dawned. "When I came here to refuel with Martha and you hitched a joyride on the outside of the TARDIS, I'd noticed the Rift had been active. That was you lot, wasn't it?"
Jack's blue eyes went ice-cold. "I tried to stop it, to stop Owen. You weren't there, Doctor, so don't even try to make it sound like you're better than us. You come and go, leave the rest of us to clean up after you and handle what comes next." A facial muscle twitched. "You have no idea what we've had to deal with."
"Careful, Jack. You're starting to sound like Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister."
"That was you, then."
If Jack was surprised, he didn't show it. "I'd suspected as much."
"I brought down her entire government in just six words. Imagine what I could do to what remains of your Torchwood Institute."
Jack's gaze went twenty degrees colder. "No one should have that much power."
A small, warm, human hand slipped into his; then a feminine voice with a London accent said softly, "Doctor, don't. Please. You don't have to do anything. The ones who were responsible are already dead. You heard Jack—him and his team had nothing to do with the Cybermen and the Daleks. He said he's changed Torchwood, and I believe him. What about you, Doctor? Answer me this time: What are you changing into?"
For a long moment, he said nothing. In his mind's eye he could see her grip on the handle slipping, could hear her horrified scream and his own anguished cries as she fell toward the rippling hole between universes. He could see her standing on a beach, the wind whipping at her blonde hair, tears in her eyes as her voice broke when she confessed that she loved him . . . and then nothing. The connection had faded before he could say three simple words.
Give me a reason to believe that you're gone, a female voice sang in his head. I see your shadow, so I know they're all wrong. Moonlight on the soft brown earth, it leads me to where you lay.
"They took you away from me," he reminded her in a low voice so Jack wouldn't hear. But now I'm taking you home.
"Let it go, Doctor." Her soft voice was reassuring, soothing, cut through the red haze clouding his vision. Still, he wanted himself and Rose out of there—and for good reason. Jack may have traveled with him, may have reformed Torchwood; but he was still working for the organization that had been responsible for the Doctor losing his lover, was still working for the enemy. And yes, okay, he didn't want to take any chances of Jack making his move on Rose.
I will stay forever here with you, my love. The softly spoken words you gave me—even in death, our love goes on.
Some say I'm crazy for my love, oh my love. But no bonds can hold me from your side, oh my love. They don't know you can't leave me. They don't hear you singing to me. . . . It was odd how well that song fit his mental state both now and during his months—years—spent grieving losing her to the Void and Pete's World.
"No." It came out as a growl.
Jack stepped forward warily, slowly, as if the Time Lord were a trapped animal. (In a way, maybe he was.) "Doctor, I think you and Rose need to leave. Now."
"Fine by me." The Doctor wheeled around, still keeping Rose close to him, and headed back the way they'd came.
He didn't bother looking back to see if the immortal human was following. The Time Lord was just happy to be away from the freak.
Until Rose stopped in her tracks and looked back at Jack, that is. She asked the ex-con, "Jack, what happened to you?"
"What, he didn't tell you?" Jack's blue eyes slid past Rose to the Doctor; he jerked his chin in the Time Lord's direction. His American drawl held a hint of surprise and a load of cynicism.
"No. He said you were a living fixed point, that it wasn't his place to tell me."
"Did he now." The surprise was gone, replaced with an edge of steel. Jack's gaze clouded with suspicion as he stared at the Doctor. "Funny, he's the one who explained everything to me. And trust me, Rose, you don't want to know."
She bristled, and the Doctor's hearts swelled with pride. "Why not?"
"Because it's yourfault I'm like this."
Rose blinked, flinched back, and her back hit the Doctor's front. "What? I don't reme—"
"Bad Wolf," the Doctor said suddenly, bringing up his right hand to rest it on her shoulder. He felt her tense, heard the rapid tattoo of her heart. If he shifted his fingers to the left a little, he would be able to feel the throbbing of her pulse, of blood rushing through her veins.
He had so many plans that would cause her blood to run faster as he made her come undone. Once they were back on the TARDIS . . .
"The last thing I remember on the Game Station was death by extermination." Jack's voice pulled the Doctor out of his thoughts. "Then I was alive and hearing the TARDIS dematerializing. He deliberately left me there." Those blue eyes hardened for a second. "But I still had my Vortex manipulator, so I used it to bring me back to Cardiff—only I overshot, landed in the 19th century, and my manipulator shorted out. And yes, I'm over a hundred years old and should be dead—sometimes I wish I were. It'd spare you the details; I got the message after the first fifty or so times: I'm the man who can never die."
Rose paled; the Doctor could feel the sudden clamminess in her skin, could smell her horror. "I didn't know—"
"It wasn't your fault, Rose," the Doctor reassured her, beginning to massage the tension out of her neck and shoulders. "You couldn't control it—and it wasn't you, it was Bad Wolf."
Except it had been her, he remembered. Rose Tyler was the Bad Wolf; there was no separating the two.
There had been a reason he hadn't told her the full truth about Bad Wolf. This was it. (One of them, anyway.)
He'd also deliberately kept her away from Jack after regeneration, telling her that the human was busy rebuilding the Earth—that the Doctor didn't want to trouble him. Would Rose remember that?
Apparently not, given she was slowly relaxing, leaning into his touch.
The Doctor's eyes flicked up from Rose's head, met Captain Jack's blue ones, found the Torchwood leader's gaze unreadable—for a human. She's mine, he told Jack silently, almost daring him to make a move.
Jack took the hint and nodded slightly. "Look, Rose, I'm sorry. Forget I said anything. Like the Doctor said, it wasn't really—" He broke off, sighed. "I know you can't reverse it, but I forgive you." He shifted his weight from one foot to the other, suddenly looking uncomfortable. "You better leave now. If the others realize who you are . . ."
He didn't need to finish the sentence; both the Doctor and Rose knew full well what could happen. The Doctor nodded tersely to show he understood; then he turned Rose around and walked with her back out into the main part of the Hub . . .
. . . Only to find four different guns being pointed in his direction.
Almost instantly both the Doctor and Rose stuck their hands up in the air.
Jack appeared beside them, took in the situation, and barked at his team, "Put the guns away!"
"Jack—," Owen started to protest.
With a great show of reluctance, his team holstered their weapons.
"Thanks," the Doctor said, lowering his hands and strolling over to where Toshinko was sitting. "Tosh, isn't it?"
"Yes," she said warily.
"You look familiar. Haven't we met before?"
"Um, I don't—"
"Yeah, we have," he said decisively, suddenly remembering. "You were looking after that mutated pig from that spaceship crash that wrecked Big Ben a few years ago. Well, I say 'looking after', more like preparing to do an autopsy."
"I had a leather jacket, black hair, blue eyes, and a Northern accent at the time, but that was me, honest. Now, then what do we have here?" Hs moved over; studied the computer screen; and then started typing in commands, his fingers flying over the keyboard. Finished, he stepped away. "There you go." Pleased with himself, he wandered over to inspect the Rift. He would have two, maybe three minutes at most to get himself and Rose out, but they would make it.
The others wouldn't be so lucky.
"Doctor," Jack said, a warning note in his voice, "what are you doing?"
"Nothing," he said innocently, knowing it was a lie.
Get Rose, get Rose, getRosegetRosegetRose . . . The thought pounded through his skull. Keep her safe, away from Torchwood. . .
Jack would be the only one to survive. The Doctor could feel Torchwood Three's timeline being rewritten, could sense what was coming would be so much worse without the Cardiff team there to intervene and stop it.
He didn't care.
Turning abruptly away from the computer and the Rift, he again made his over to Rose, took her hand in his. Leaning in close, he whispered one word:
Intelligent, questioning golden-brown eyes met his.
"TARDIS. Go. Now. I'll catch up."
He could read the unspoken question in her eyes—What are you going to do?—but she remained silent and started heading for the main entrance and exit.
There were maybe two minutes and forty-five seconds left.
Causally, almost cheerfully, the Doctor waved a hand at Jack's team and turned to leave. "See you later, Jack. Nice meeting you lot." He reached the exit, looked back. "Oh, and if there was one thing you really shouldn't have done, it was letting me use your computer." He hissed in a breath, almost looked upset. "Sorry," the Doctor said insincerely.
"Doctor!" Jack's voice stopped him. "What did you—? Why are you—? I thought—"
"I'm the winner, Jack. I've always been the winner."
Guns were suddenly aimed in his direction, and the Doctor smiled tightly, darkly. "So, that makes me the villain, right?" He received no answer. "Fine! Well then, are you still the heroes—if you die?" Then he was gone, haring away after Rose, sonicking the wheel-like door shut behind him. He caught up to Rose easily, his hand finding hers without conscious thought. Taking her hand, touching her, hugging her was second nature for this body, helped him get his Rose Tyler fix.
They made it inside the TARDIS with twenty seconds to spare; he started the dematerialization process, took them out into deep space.
Back in Cardiff, the dam burst.
Captain Jack Harkness was the only member of the team to survive. But then again, he would be. After all, he was the man who could never die.
Rose disappeared into the meandering corridors of the TARDIS as soon as she could. She didn't really care where she ended up; she just knew she wanted to avoid the library, the swimming pool, the kitchen, her room . . . especially her room.
I can't escape the twisted way you think of me. I feel you in my dreams and I don't sleep. I don't sleep!
Had she dreamt about him last night? She couldn't remember.
Rose stopped suddenly outside a room she'd never seen before—at least, she was fairly certain she hadn't. The door was slightly ajar enough for her to see the inside was pitch black.
Perfect. With a quick glance around to check the Doctor was nowhere in sight, she slipped inside and shut the door, locking it behind her.
Don't look back. Undress in the dark and hide from you, all of you. . . .
Slowly, feeling her way with her hands held out in front of her, Rose made her way across the room until she felt what seemed to be a wall. Turning her back on it, she slid down the wall until she was sitting on the floor, her knees drawn up and her forearms resting on same so her hands dangled out in open air.
Song lyrics ran through her head; she sang softly, "You'll never know the way your words have haunted me. I can't believe you'd ask these things of me. You don't know me—now or ever. . . ."
Rose wasn't sure how long she stayed like that, but after a while she thought she heard footsteps walking down the hallway. The footsteps stopped right outside the door; second later, the all-too-familiar sound of the sonic screwdriver reached her ears.
Terror clutched at her heart, sent cold tingling down her back and along her peripheral nervous system. Not again. Not again . . . She still hadn't recovered from what he'd done to her, wasn't sure if she ever would or if she could ever forgive him. Mentally she couldn't, but physically . . .
Light spilled into the room as the door slowly opened; Rose scrambled to the side, out of sight. Then there was darkness again as the door shut behind him, trapping her in with someone she didn't recognize anymore.
Even though she couldn't see him, she could sense him moving closer. Rose found herself wondering just how well he could see in the dark, because he was making his way toward her with surprising speed. She shied away when she sensed him in front of her, turned her head to avoid looking at him.
"Rose." His voice was low, held a slight Scottish burr . . . and surprisingly gentle. It was also coming from somewhere close to her head, so he must have crouched down to be at her level. Long, slender fingers reached out, cupped her cheek for a moment before sliding down her neck, shoulder, arm to take her hand. "Talk to me. Please."
Suspicion flared. He was up to something, she just knew it. But what? Scowling, she slipped her hand out of his. "What did you do to them, Doctor—Jack's team?"
He didn't answer her question as much as avoid it altogether. "Jack survived, if it's any consolation. You know, when you were talking to him, I couldn't stop looking at your mouth."
She blinked, dumbfounded. "What?" What does that have to do with anything?
"Well, it's a very beautiful mouth." Was he trying to assure her? "And I was thinking . . ." She could almost hear, almost see, his smirk. ". . . I've come in that mouth."
Her stomach abruptly plummeted out from under her. She couldn't believe he'd just said that. But when had they . . .?
Then she remembered a dream from last night, and nausea hit full force. In her head she heard again: I can't escape the twisted way you think of me. I feel you in my dreams and I don't sleep. I. Don't. Sleep! What came out of her mouth instead was, "I can't believe you just said that."
Her eyes had adjusted to the dark by now, and she thought she saw his mouth twitch in a ghost of a smile. No. No . . . Rose was sick with fear all over again: her mouth ran dry; her heartbeat increased; her palms felt clammy; her stomach shot up to its normal location and turned over.
"It's not the first time, is it?" the Doctor said softly; she started, was halfway up from the floor before she realized what she was doing.
She couldn't let him near her . . .
Rose could just make out his lean shape in the dark as he, too, straightened. A moment later, his hands were on her shoulders, his head was resting on top of hers, and her back was once again to the wall.
No . . . A low sound reached her ears, a half-moan of dread and fear, and dimly she realized it was coming from her.
"Ssshhh." Soft lips pressed briefly against her forehead, brushed against her cheeks. Cool hands ghosted down her arms, eased under her shirt to rest on the skin of her waist; she couldn't stop herself from trembling in dreaded anticipation. "I don't want to hurt you, Rose." Somehow, her shirt drifted to the floor. "Save me." He trailed light kisses along her collarbone. "Say you belong to me, my precious queen," he said, more groan than words.
She should be fighting him, should be shoving him off her, but she was paralyzed. She couldn't move. And oh, how she wanted to scream. Wake up in a dream. Frozen fear. All your hands on me. I can't scream. I can't scream!
"There's nowhere to run." The words were a caress over the swell of her breasts. Then suddenly, before she could do anything to react, she was in his arms and he was carrying her bridal style out the dark room, into the hallway, and into the room she now recognized as his own.
Oh god, no . . . NO!
Now she struggled, pushing against him as he laid her down on his bed, a scream caught in her throat.
He gripped her wrists tightly, held them over her head as he straddled her. "Don't fight me," he hissed, but his eyes were heated as they raked over her half-naked form.
Panting with fear, she bucked up off the mattress, but she didn't have enough leverage to dislodge him. And the instant her hips came into contact with his, she recoiled back.
His hold on her hands was gentler now, if only for the sake of him dipping his head to her neck, taking a moment to breathe in her scent before kissing the pale skin. Rose twisted beneath him, stilled at his low moan. "Don't scream, my love," she heard him rasp, breath surprisingly warm on her chilled flesh.
He released her then, his hands coming to her shoulders and then her back to unclasp her bra. It landed somewhere on the floor; she couldn't check where.
And as he continued to explore her upper body in ways he hadn't before, as he coaxed her body to respond to him, Rose found herself wishing he would just get it over with.
As he'd pointed out earlier, there was nowhere to run.
The Doctor smirked to himself as he pressed feather-light kisses to the toned planes of Rose's abdominal region, trailed his left hand possessively over her womb.
He'd lied to her earlier, in more ways than one. She was ovulating—he could smell it, taste it. If he wanted . . . No, not yet. Once he regained Rose's trust, her . . . affections, then maybe.
Right now, however, he was wearing far too much clothing. That problem had to be corrected immediately.
It was. In quick succession, he discarded her of her pants, socks, and knickers; personally, he could care less where her articles of clothing ended up in the room. If he had his way, Rose wouldn't be wearing much of anything for the next few days anyway.
The tip of his tongue flicked out, licked his lips as his gaze devoured her. Rose shrank back under his scrutiny, her legs closed to him.
"Don't hide from me, Rose." It came out quietly—a warning—as he crawled back onto the bed. "Never from me." He eased his hands up the insides of her calves and thighs, parting her legs. "You remember when you asked me what it was I wanted from you?" the Doctor said conversationally. He barely waited for her confirmation before continuing, "Well, I lied. I want everything." Tired of foreplay, he thrust into her; a low groan of pleasure rose in his throat as he buried himself to the hilt.
Then skin on his back suddenly flared with a stinging sensation; the Doctor felt blood well up in the scratches, trickle down his back. Surprised, he hissed in a breath and withdrew slightly. Pain, however soon mingled with pleasure—and he found he wanted more.
"Again," he ground out, voice several shades of ragged. He shifted his hips for a better angle, started and found a rhythm that worked for him—not too slow, not too fast, yet he had to remind himself not to be too hard right now: he wanted to please Rose as well.
Her nails dug into his pectorals, his latissimus dorsi, his serratus major; orange-red blood dripped down onto the bedsheets, onto pale pink skin. He shuddered with the effort of trying to remain composed—but at the sight of her golden-brown eyes turned dark and glassy, the mingled scents of sweat, sex, and blood, his control snapped.
Snatches of Gallifreyan reached his ears; he didn't stop to mentally translate what he was saying—not that it mattered: it was the one language the TARDIS wouldn't translate. When he wasn't rambling on in his native tongue, he pressed hot, bruising kisses to her skin.
At least Rose wasn't fighting him; no, she'd given up, given in, a while ago. (He suspected she was getting some sort of pleasure out of rendering him bloody like this, but that was neither here nor there.)
The tightening at the base of his spine warned him that he was close, so close. Just a few more strokes and . . .
He bit down on her right shoulder, near where her neck joined her collarbone, as his release broke over him in waves. As the last of it subsided, he rasped his tongue over the mark he'd made.
Mine. You belong to me now, Rose.
He slipped out of her, then rolled onto his side and threw an arm over her body. She stilled, went rigid as he nuzzled her cheek, softly kissed the top of her head. "How long are you going to stay with me?" he asked her—that same question he'd asked her so long ago.
This time, there was no answer.
I can't save your life,
Though nothing I bleed for is more tormenting.
I'm losing my mind
And you just stand there and stare as my world divides.
You belong to me,
My snow white queen.
There's nowhere to run, so let's just get it over.
Soon I know you'll see
You're just like me.
Don't scream anymore, my love,
'Cause all I want is you.
All I want is you.
All I want is you.
All I want is you.
Guest Review Answers
Guest: Sorry. Well, not really, but Ten is not going to become any better. As for why Torchwood Three had to die . . . Ten's state of mind at that point was pretty much (1) revenge for Canary Wharf, (2) losing Rose to the parallel universe, and (3) "If I can't have her, no one will." And he wanted to hopefully get rid of Owen and Jack—though I'm not really sure how even a Time Lord could kill Jack permanently.
Eva: Um, no. Just . . . no. I can write homicide, I can write sexual assault as long as it's not too graphic, but I just cannot bring myself to write suicide. That seriously triggers me and I just would not feel comfortable writing it.