Lilly stood still and completely stunned. She was still wearing her camping gear, but she was no longer with her friends on Mount Clearwater. She was standing in a restaurant watching a fictional Rose Tyler and a plastic Mickey having a discussion at one of the tables
"Hello," said a voice. Lilly turned to her left to see who had spoken. It was herself. Lilly was looking at herself. Her double played with the zipper on her jacket while she spoke. "You fell."
"When you were hiking, you fell. You hurt your arm. Probably dislocated something. They say that hurts worse than a broken bone. Not fun."
Lilly stared at this strange woman incredulously. She hugged her arms. She wasn't hurt. But how did she get to the restaurant? When did she leave the camp ground? And why were there fictional characters near by?
"The pain medicine is making you hallucinate."
That made sense, sort of.
"You'll be fine. But you should have fun while you're dreaming," the double smiled nervously as she spoke.
Lilly looked around the room slowly. Could this seriously be a hallucination, a trick of her mind? It seemed so vivid. But there was no way this could be real. It was that seen from "Doctor Who." It was right before the Doctor ripped off Mickey's head. Definitely not real, thought Lilly. But way too real to be a dream.
"Like I said. Drug hallucination. It will seem more real than a dream. You might even incorporate any real pain into your illusion."
"I don't hurt." Lilly was skeptical. She had never had much experience with any kind of drugs. She'd never had surgery, and rarely took aspirin. So, she didn't know if this kind of "drug" hallucination was possible. But she also knew this scene was from a television show, so it could NOT be real. "I'm hallucinating." It was a statement, not a question.
"Yup. Don't worry. You'll be fine in a few hours when the drugs wear off. But you should have some fun while you're here."
Lilly slid off her backpack and set it on the ground. Her pack felt real. It was heavy, and she felt relieved without all that extra weight on her shoulders.
"What do you mean fun?"
"Make sure you get on the TARDIS. Can you imagine how cool this dream... uh... hallucination will be? Getting to see the TARDIS, and all that?" Lilly's double sounded excited, but her body language seemed stressed. Her hands rubbed together, she shifted her weight back and forth between her feet, and bit her bottom lip.
The double glanced over at Rose's and Mickey's table. Lilly followed her gaze. The Doctor was walking towards the couple, determination in each step. Lilly's stomach fluttered. She loved "Doctor Who." It was her favorite SciFi show, and the ninth doctor was her favorite doctor. Ten was good, but nine always seemed more... tough. He wouldn't put up with anyone's crap. Lilly always thought that nine and Rose should have gotten together. She grinned from ear to ear when she saw him. He looked... real. Far too real for any ordinary dream.
Maybe this is why people take drugs, she thought to herself. Wow! Just look at him! The Doctor was offering them the champagne. He was so much more than anything she'd seen on T.V. He was tall, and broad shouldered. His leather jacket was lose, but his tight jeans flattered his physique. Lilly didn't doubt he could appear menacing, if he'd wanted too.
The whole room was so much more than a televisions show. Lilly could smell pizzas and pastas from the kitchen. She could hear the traffic from outside. The colors of the room were less muted. She could feel the irritation of some odd couple arguing quietly a few tables away. There was the noise of a fussy baby in the background. And, Lilly noted, there was no background music to set the mood for an audience. That was weird.
"I'll watch your stuff. When the moment comes, go that way." The double pointed. "Into the kitchen, through the hallway on the right. That's the RIGHT hallway, not the left. And then go through a metal door to get outside. You know the way. Remember the show?"
"Yeah, but not THAT much detail."
"Just do as I said. Get on the TARDIS."
Lilly looked at her double like may be she was crazy. Lilly loved watching the show, but living it was different. There was no way living through that kind of suffering and terror could be fun, even if it was a hallucination.
"Just...just trust me. Nothing bad will happen. It's just a dream. Get on the TARDIS. You won't regret it." The double seemed to hesitate for a moment, while watching Mickey's reaction to the Doctor. "It's almost time. Be ready to run."
Lilly turned back to the scene playing out a few meters away.
"Go!" The double gave Lilly a shove, pulled her hood tightly over her own head and turned to face away from the Doctor.
At the same moment Rose pulled on the fire alarm. Lilly jolted forward into a run. Rose and the Doctor ended up right behind her. Lilly ran like her life depended on it. It felt like her life depended on it. She could hear Mickey crashing around after them, and felt a rush of adrenaline in her legs.
Can I die in real life, if I die during a hallucination? The thought startled Lilly. The trio ran through the kitchen, down the hallway, and out the door. Rose ran towards the gate. The Doctor sauntered towards the TARDIS. Mickey pounded violently at the metal door. And Lilly stood stunned staring at the blue box.
There it was. The imaginary blue box that had kept millions of fans enthralled for nearly half a century. It was bigger than Lilly had expected. She stood about 5' 8" tall. But if she was to stand in the door way, she doubted she could reach the top of the door frame, nor touch both sides of the door frame simultaneously. It seemed silly to think it was bigger on the outside, but it was bigger. Lilly giggled silently to herself. At least it was bigger than she'd expected. The color was more vibrant than it was on the show too. But the lettering on the box was impossible to read. It didn't look like English at all. It looked more like some alien language, not Gallifreyan, but something else.
That's really weird. Maybe written words didn't work during dreams. She'd read that somewhere.
Rose ran into the box and promptly slammed the door.
Oh no! thought Lilly. She turned to look at the metal door that was being methodically demolished. For a split second she forgot that this wasn't real. Fear grabbed her. They're going to leave me! Only a second later Rose ran back out of the time machine to run around the outside of the TARDIS. Lilly didn't hesitate a second time. She ran into the Tardis only a breath before Rose entered again.
"It's going to get us!" Rose almost shouted.
"The assembled hordes of Genghis Kahn couldn't get through that door, and believe me they've tried. Now, shut up a minute." Rose and Lilly looked around at the enormous room, while the Doctor busied himself with Mickey's plastic head.
There was nothing like seeing something in person. Lilly would have compared this experience to the differences between watching a fireworks show on T.V. and watching it actually happen. No high definition in a televison screen can compare to really seeing it. No episode of "Doctor Who" could compare to what she was experiencing now. The coral like structures stretched far higher than Lilly had ever realized. The colors subtly changed throughout the walls. Under the grating they were standing on she could see a whole other room full of wires and lights. There were more hallways leading off from the basement and the main floor. The room smelled of cinnamon, fresh cut wood, and burned wires.
There was something else too. A presence she felt pressing up against the back of her skull. Her body's reaction to it was similar to when someone would walk into a dark room, and could just tell that someone else was standing near by. There was no doubt in her mind that the TARDIS was alive. That had to be her she was feeling. Lilly reminded herself that this was only a hallucinated dream.
She turned to look at Rose. The blond was breathtakingly beautiful. Her features were soft and gentle, but her presence felt almost commanding. No wonder why the Doctor falls for her, thought Lilly.
"See, the arm was too simple," said the Doctor with his back turned towards the girls. He was hooking up wires to the plastic head. "The head is perfect. I can use it to trace the signal back to the original source." He set the head down. "Right. Where do you want to start..." The Doctor had turned around and stopped. He stared at Lilly as if seeing her for the first time. "Who are you!" He looked flustered, and took several slow steps towards Lilly. "How did you get on my ship!"
For several heartbeats Lilly was startled frozen. She didn't know what to say. Here was THE DOCTOR, and he was NOT happy to see her. She was uninvited, and apparently unwanted on his ship. The Doctor was far more intimidating than anything portrayed on the show. His jaw was tight, arms folded, and his eyes were boring right through her. He was angry, she thought. Lilly could feel danger just below the surface coming from the alien. She was... frightened, honestly and truly frightened. Her heart rate increased, and her hands trembled slightly. Would he throw her back outside with Mickey? Would he hurt her? No. This was the Doctor. This wasn't right. Why would she dream that she was not wanted on the TARDIS, after telling herself to get on the TARDIS? Maybe this was a nightmare, not a dream. Lilly finally found her voice.
"Just...there was a monster or alien or something." Wow, that was awful. Those were her first words to the Doctor. How lame was that? She tried to recover. "You said we should hide in here." The Doctor looked at her for a moment, and then relaxed a bit.
"Right then. Guess there was," he nodded slightly as he spoke, "And guess I did." His expressions softened. "What's your name then?"
"Lilly. Lilly Brooks".
"Eh. Looks like I have all flowers today," the Doctor joked to himself. "Nice to meet you Lilly Brooks. I'm the Doctor, and this is Rose Tyler."
Lilly released the breath she'd been holding. She was going to be O.K. It's just a dream, she reminded herself. "Hello," Lilly nodded toward both people.
The Doctor had paused for the usual questions humans had.
"It's inside's bigger than the outside," Rose piped up.
The Doctor grinned. That was the sentence he'd been waiting for. "Yes."
"It's alien," Rose added.
"Are you alien?"
Lilly noticed a brief moment of sadness flicker across his face when he answered. She'd never noticed that in the show before.
"Is that alright?"
"Yeah," Rose answered without any hesitation.
The Doctor looked at Lilly.
"F... Fine," she said hesitantly.
"It's called the TARDIS, this thing. T.A.R.D.I.S. That's time and relative dimension in space.
"It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," Lilly stammered out. And she meant it. She was a whovian after all.
The Doctor smiled at her.
Who could believe that she could dream of something this lovely? When she got home... or rather when she woke up, Lilly decided, she would paint this scene. It was spectacularly perfect. At that moment something in Lilly clicked. She decided she wasn't going to worry anymore. She was going to enjoy this dream for everything it was worth. This was going to be fun.
Rose started to cry. Instinctively Lilly turned and put her arm over Rose's shoulders.
"That's O.K. Culture shock. Happens to the best of us," said the Doctor.
"Are you worried about your friend?" Lilly released Rose.
"Did they kill him? Mickey. Did they kill Mickey? Is he dead?
"Oh. I didn't think of that." The Doctor seemed dumbfounded.
Lilly was going to tell Rose that he was fine, but Rose cut her off. She was angry. "He's my boyfriend! You pulled off his head! They copied him, and you didn't even think!"
"He's fine, Rose," Lilly started to say.
"And now you're just going to let him melt!"
No one seemed to have noticed what Lilly had said, but the Doctor's huge brain catalogued her comment for future reference.
"No no no no no!" the Doctor shouted and jump frantically around the console flipping switches and pulling levers.
He continued to shout, but Lilly stopped listening when the ship shuttered to life. She watched in awe as the room slowly began to fill with tiny ribbons of golden light streaming out and upward from the console. No one else seemed to notice or care about the stunning display. That was different from the show.
The TARDIS stilled. Lilly followed the other two out of the ship. She listened eagerly to their conversation without adding a word.
"If you are alien, how come you sound like your from the north?"
Lilly loved his answer.
"Lot's of planets have a north." The Doctor seemed almost offended.
"What's a police public call box?"
"It's a telephone box from the 1950's." The Doctor unfolded his arms, grinned, and caressed the TARDIS. "It's a disguise."
"O.K." Rose smiled back at him. "And this living plastic. What's it got against us?"
"Nothing. It loves you. You've got such a good planet. Smoke and oil. Toxins and dioxins in the air. Perfect. It's just what the Nestine Consciousness needs. It's food stalk was destroyed in the war, and all it's protein planets rotted. So, Earth- dinner."
"Any way of stoppin' it?"
The Doctor pulled out the vile of poison from his jacket. "Anti-plastic," he said with a grin on his face.
"Can't we make a deal with it?" asked Lilly.
"What?" The Doctor turned his full attention towards her.
"How do you mean?"
She didn't say anything.
"Well, I was just thinkin'," she continued, "If it eats all that nasty stuff- all of our pollution, maybe we could... I don't know... be friends. We give it a place to live. It cleans up after us. If I just lost my planet because of some war, and I was starving... Maybe it would prefer a peaceful coexistence, if it had the option. No anti-plastic." Lilly smiled. She knew what happened in the show, maybe things could be better in her dreams.
"Lilly Brooks," the Doctor smiled. "Very good. I'm impressed. Peaceful solution."
Lilly was amazed at how his praise affected her. She smiled and stood a little taller.
"But no," he said. " If the Nestine Consciousness stays on Earth even without a war, it's plastic nature would overwhelm your planet within a few months. All life would die."
"So," Lilly frowned, "Anti-plastic."
The Doctor nodded. "But first I've got to find it. How can you hide something that big in a city this small?"
Lilly listened while Rose and the Doctor figured out where the transmitter was. It wasn't long before the three of them were running toward it. They were running hard and fast. Rose didn't seem to have any trouble keeping up, but Lilly was already getting a stitch in her side. Lilly was surprised when the Doctor took her hand. Maybe, she thought, he could tell that she was having trouble keeping up. But then he took Rose's hand. Lilly looked over at Rose. She was breathing really heavy now. Maybe Rose was starting to have a hard time running too.
It never seemed that far on the show, but it sure felt like they were running for forever in her dream. Thank goodness the Doctor was helping her out. He didn't even seem winded. She smiled to herself as the trio ran hand in hand toward trouble. When they paused at the bottom of some cement stairs, Lilly bent over. She put her hands on her knees and gasped for air.
"You alright?" the Doctor asked with a look of concern.
"Just not," gasp, "use to," gasp, "running," Lilly answered. She stood up and began to massage the stitch out of her side while walking slowly around the area.
"We weren't even goin' that fast," the Doctor commented with a look of worry.
"Sorry," Lilly added lamely.
"So," Rose distracted the Doctor, "Here's the transmitter. Now what?"
"The consciousness must be somewhere underneath," the Doctor answered.
Rose's eyes met Lilly's, and Rose smiled. Rose did that on purpose, Lilly realized. She'd distracted the Doctor when she noticed how uncomfortable his concerns were making Lilly. Lilly gave Rose a smile of appreciation. They had known each other for less than an hour, and Lilly already felt like she'd found one of her greatest friends. If only she was a real person, Lilly thought with regret. Rose glanced away and started looking for a way the get underneath the transmitter.
"How 'bout down here," she called.
After a few minutes, Lilly found herself climbing down into the underground lair. The Doctor, Rose, and Lilly stood at the top of the landing just before the stairs. Lilly knew how this would work. A whole lot of people were killed on the show. She wouldn't let that happen in her dream.
"The Nestine Consciousness. That's it. Inside the vat. A living plastic creature."
"Well, tip in your anti-plastic, and let's go," said Rose.
"I'm not here to kill it. I have to give it a chance."
"You said peace wouldn't work," Rose argued.
"I have to give it a chance to leave." The Doctor made a step towards the creature, but Lilly stopped him.
"Listen to me," she said with one hand on his arm. "This won't work." Lilly looked the Doctor right in the eyes.
"How do you mean?" The Doctor's expression turned serious.
"You're going to go down there and talk about Shadow Proclamations, invasions, and stuff. But it won't care. It will find your ship, and bring it here. For some reason seeing your ship is going to make it mad. You'll say something about fighting in a war and not being able to save any of them. The store window dummies will grab you. They'll find the anti-plastic. Then that alien plastic is going to get really scared, and start a full invasion. A lot of people will die, while..."
"How do you know about the Shadow Proclamation? What are you? What planet are you from?" The Doctor thumped twice on Lilly's head.
"Not plastic," the Doctor stepped back. "By order of the Shadow Proclamation name yourself!" The Doctor was overpowering.
Lilly suddenly cowered under his gaze. How could he do that to her? It's just a dream, she reminded herself. "I...I'm." Lilly swallowed hard. She couldn't rip her eyes away from his piercing blue stare. "Hu... human. I'm human. From Earth. America. Arizona. Phoenix."
"Humans know nothing about the Shadow Proclamation, or the war." He raised his eyebrows.
Rose stepped back suddenly no longer trusting Lilly. Lilly was instantly hurt at the loss of her trust.
"So, spill it. Now," the Doctor continued. "How do you know about any of it!"
What could she say? How could she possibly explain? Oh, by the way, none of this is real. I'm just having a hallucination. Maybe it wasn't a hallucination. Maybe it was real. That's ridiculous, thought Lilly, but she still didn't have an answer for the very dangerous looking time lord. She hadn't thought this through. She froze.
"Right then. Since I can't have you interfering," the Doctor grabbed Lilly roughly by the wrist, "and I don't have time to figure you out," drug her towards the railing, "you'll have to wait here." The Doctor had his sonic screwdriver in hand. "Take you to the Jadoon when I'm done." He used his sonic screwdriver to bend some of the metal from the railing around her wrist, effectively handcuffing her left hand. "Can't believe I let you on my ship. Let me guess," he scowled at her, "Chlorovork. Here to help the Nestine Consciousness take over the sector. You won't be making a profit on THIS world. Not while I'm around."
Lilly tugged at her wrist, while Rose and the Doctor briskly walked away hand in hand. Lilly was crushed. How could the Doctor praise her for trying to help the Nestine consciousness make peace one moment, and threaten her with Jadoon the next! How could anyone keep up with his moods!
"You can't do this," she called after them, tears already starting to blur her vision.
"Yes, I can," he glanced back from the stairway with Rose following right behind him. "I'm doing it now. See." The arrogant alien was quickly descending the stairs.
"But the room's going to explode! If you leave me here, you'll have killed me!" Lilly shouted angrily, but there was no reply. She pulled hard against the metal. It cut into her skin. She stopped. She watched them heading towards the lower levels. They had left her. She was alone, and she was going to die here. Lilly hung her head, and started to cry. She didn't want to. She tried to hold her tears back, hold her breath in. This wasn't even real. Why was she crying? But she couldn't stop herself.
Lilly felt someone take hold of her restrained hand, and give her a little squeeze. She looked up, but her tears prevented her from seeing who it was. She heard the sonic screwdriver, and blinked her eyes clear.
"Sorry about this." It was the Doctor. His voice was soft. "You were right. I should have listened." He bent the metal away from her.
She was free. Lilly promptly slugged the time lord in the arm as hard as she could. He didn't even flinch.
He raised his eyebrows, and asked, "Feel better?"
Then she noticed his jumper. It wasn't the same one he had been wearing moments before. She turned around and looked through the layers of stairs. There was the Doctor who had just left her moments ago standing in front of the Nestine Consciousness. The Doctor standing next to her had to be from the future. He'd crossed his own time line!
"Paradox!" she barely spoke above a whisper.
The Doctors face showed a flash of surprise at her word. In that moment she turned and ran towards the Nestine Consciousness as fast as she could, leaving the future Doctor behind. Maybe there was still time.
Lilly made it to the landing where the Doctor started struggling against a shop window dummy. There was nothing she could do. It was too late. The Nestine Consciousness was already transmitting. A second later the stairs leading to the exit were crushed under the weight of the ceiling collapsing on them. Lilly ran forward onto the landing to get away from the debris. This was way too real to be a hallucination. She was starting to believe her own dream.
Just a dream. Just a dream. It became a mantra.
The dummy holding the vile of anti-plastic started moving towards Lilly.
"Just leave them!" shouted Mickey.
But Rose didn't listen. In a matter of moments she was swinging towards the Doctor like Tarzan. But, Lilly realized, the second dummy had moved to the wrong spot when it started towards her. The Doctor was about to be dominoed right off the ledge, and it was Lilly's fault. If she had stayed out of the picture, the dummy never would have moved towards her. Rose's swing would have been perfect.
Lilly bolted forward just as Rose nailed the first dummy into the second dummy. The Doctor twisted and shove hard against the second dummy, but he was still hit with enough momentum to push him over the edge. Lilly slid across the floor and reached out for the Doctor. He grabbed her arm as he fell. Lilly heard something in her arm snap. PAIN! HOT SEARING EXCRUCIATING PAIN! She screamed. Lilly screamed like she had never screamed in her whole life.
It wasn't a dream. It wasn't a hallucination. It had to be real. In that moment of pain Lilly just knew it. The Doctor's weight had broken her arm and pulled her halfway over the edge. He was about to let go. He was about to sacrifice himself, so Lilly might not be pulled over with him. But Rose grabbed hold of Lilly's body, and pulled.
"COME ON!" Rose shouted, "CLIMB!"
"Come on," whimpered Lilly. A few breaths later the time lord was back on the landing.
The anti-plastic which had landed in the vat, was quickly dissipating. The Doctor didn't hesitate. He hoisted Lilly into his arms, ignoring her cries of pain, and ran up the only remaining staircase towards the TARDIS. Rose was right behind him. When they reached the time ship, he set Lilly on her feet so he could open the TARDIS doors. She almost fell over. She felt faint, holding her throbbing arm. She leaned heavily against the Doctor's side. He was still supporting her with one arm. Moments later she was lying on the jump seat covered by the Doctor's jacket. He was busy at the console sending them into the vortex. Mickey was crouched and cowering by the doors, and Rose was hanging onto the rail.
"Rose, keep her talkin'," he shouted as he ran down a hallway. "She's going into shock." Rose stood next to Lilly and smiled at her.
Lilly looked up at Rose's face. Lilly didn't try to smile back. This isn't a hallucination, she thought. This isn't a dream. Dreams don't ever hurt like this. This is real. Lilly could feel the panic welling up inside of her. She had never been so scared. She started to hyperventilate.
"You were really brave back there. That was," Rose shook her head. "That was the most incredible thing I've ever seen. Where did you learn to slide like that? Do you play softball?"
Lilly didn't answer.
Rose tried again, remembering Lilly's American accent. "So, wha' are you doing in London?"
Nothing. No answer.
"Were you visiting..."
Lilly just stared blankly, and started to shake. Her whole body trembled. Rose looked up to see the Doctor running back into the console room with a first aid kit.
"Doctor, she just started shakin'"
"It's from all the adrenalin in her system. You humans have this nasty little fight or flight response. Keeps you alive, but the side effects are..." He glanced up at Rose while kneeling down next to Lilly. "How about you? You feelin' alright?"
"Yeah. 'm fine. Mickey's...well, a little shaken, but not hurt. Is she going to be alright?"
Mickey whimpered from across the room, and the Doctor rolled his eyes irritably at him.
He gave Lilly a shot of something pink. "That's for the pain."
Rose noticed Lilly visibly relax. She exhaled.
"Good," said the Doctor to himself. He scanned Lilly with the sonic screwdriver, and then lifted a small blue stone from the first aid kit. "This is for the shock," he explained. "Inhale," the Doctor ordered Lilly.
Lilly sniffed at the rock he held under her nose.
"Good." He watched her, his eyes taking in every reaction.
She stopped hyperventilating. Her breathing returned to normal.
"Good. A little more. That's it. Nice and deep."
Lilly inhaled slowly until the faint sent of fabric softener filled her senses. "That's really gross," she commented with a grimace. The panic left her system. She felt calm. She was alright. Then she remembered she was still upset with the Doctor for not listening to her. At least he'd come back. And he had apologized. That was more than he would do for Captain Jack Harkness. The Doctor smiled and relaxed. Mickey whimpered, again. The Doctor tried to ignore him.
"Feelin' better now are you?" He put the stone back into its pack.
Lilly did feel better. She wasn't hurting, and wasn't panicking. Even the trembling had stopped. Lilly tried to sit up. The Doctor's jacket slid part way off of her.
"Whoa!" The Doctor stopped her, holding her down with his free hand. "You should stay still for a minute. I know you feel better, but you're still hurt."
"The Doctor's right," Rose chimed in. "You got pretty beat up savin' his arse." The look in Rose's eyes had changed back. There was trust there now. And something else too. Admiration.
Lilly smiled. Rose glanced down at Lilly's arm, and Lilly followed her gaze. She was mortified. It looked like her elbow had been bent the wrong way, and her arm had been pulled out of her shoulder socket.
"Nothin' I can't fix. You'll be good as new." The Doctor tried to reassure her with a gentle smile. "Sorry, by the way. I'm sorry that I didn't believe you. I was wrong. I thought... Well, it doesn't matter. I should have listened. Just... in the future... when you give advice, you should include how you know what you're talking about. People will be more likely to believe you."
"It's alright. You already apologized when you let me go." It was only after this second apology though, that she forgave him. He was right. He had no reason to believe her at the time. "And I'm sorry I hit you. I was just so angry... No excuse. Assault is never O.K." Lilly slurred her words, "I'm sorry." She felt strangely relaxed. Lilly should be freaking out right now. She had just discovered that "Doctor Who" was real. She had almost died. She met Rose Tyler. She was in the real TARDIS. She had her arm almost ripped off. But that was all ok. Everything was ok. She felt really, really ok. Why was it O.K.? Lilly's vision started to blur... and dance. This is goooood.
"When was that?" The Doctor looked concerned and surprised. His question helped her focus.
Lilly knew enough from the show to understand that crossing his own time line was a serious violation of some time lord rule, so he needed to fix any paradox he'd created as soon as possible. Wait. Was this a show, or was it real? A look of confusion crossed over Lilly's face. She was having trouble remembering.
"What's the matter?" asked Rose. Mickey whimpered, again. The time lord had had enough.
"Right then. You stay put," he nodded towards Lilly. "Just give me a minute." With incredible speed the Doctor ran around the console flipping switches and pressing buttons. He took them out of the vortex and landed them ten minutes after the life had drained out of the plastic monsters. Lilly blinked at the blurry ribbons of light recoiling back into the time rotor as the TARDIS landed.
Rose's phone beeped to signal she had missed a call, and Mickey bolted from the time ship as fast as he could. Rose followed him out, while calling her mother. The Doctor glanced at Lilly and then shifted his attention towards Rose. Lilly thought she heard the Doctor invite Rose to come with him just as she drifted off into a very deep slumber.
After bringing the time capsule back into the vortex without Rose aboard, the Doctor turn to face Lilly. He leaned against the console, legs crossed at the ankles, arms folded. With an untrusting and serious look he studied the sleeping woman.
Human. Was she human? Some creatures he'd fought in the time war could make themselves appear as almost any humanoid species. Time lord technology could tell the difference, but that technology was now lost in the war. She'd known the future. Humans never became time sensitive enough to predict the future as accurately as she had. Maybe she was a time agent. No, he would have detected cellular damage from using one of those self-destructive vortex manipulators when she stepped onto the TARDIS. She had wanted him to leave the Nestine Consciousness unharmed. Twice, she had tried to manipulate him away from using the anti-plastic. Manipulate. Was that the right word?
Maybe she was just a nice person. She didn't want anyone to get hurt. Huh! When was the last time he had met a "nice" person? Well, there was Rose. And he had known a lot of nice people before the war. Some of them had even been human.
Rose. It would have been nice for her to come with him for a trip or two. She was probably a very nice person. She had to be nice to put up with Mickey. Ugh. Mickey. Nice was so rare these days. Maybe nice wasn't the right word. Caring. Yes. Caring was a good word. At least is was good for English. Splatec. Now, there was a language with good words. Twenty seven different ways to say caring, all with specific connotations. Was Lilly a caring person? Or was she just pretending, so she could get close to his TARDIS?
Should he have let her back onto the capsule? She almost died saving him. Well, she had almost died if she was human. But if she was a Chlorovork or something else only pretending to be human... What would be the point? The war was over. Most chamaeleon species had been stunted back to a reasonable advancement during the battle of Char. The most the Chlorovorks could do now was temporally linear war profiteering. No worse than most humanoids. No one was after his TARDIS.
He was overreacting. He had been a soldier too long. And he was tired. It had been nearly two weeks since he'd slept. Busy fortnight. Lilly was just a mystery, that's all. Right? All of these thoughts and 1.4 million more raced through the time lord's truly spectacular brain, while he had been staring at Lilly.
Just to be sure the Doctor started to replay the days events backwards through his magnificent mind's eye. He was just about to concede his trust to this broken woman in his console room, when he noticed it. There. That was odd. He saw her in his recent past.
Lilly had been standing next to another woman in the pizzeria. They had been watching him as he entered the restaurant. Lilly hadn't taken her eyes off of him, and she grinned when she saw him. The Doctor shuddered. It was like they had been waiting for him, stalking him. The other woman had prompted Lilly to run at the exact moment needed to ensure she could end up on the TARDIS. That would require future knowledge. And to make matters worse, when the Doctor ran past the other woman, she deliberately concealed her identity. This was premeditated, and Lilly had tried to keep it from the Doctor.
If she was keeping secrets from him, he couldn't trust her, not until he knew what she was hiding. Should he kick her off the TARDIS? No. He would set up extra security protocols to protect his ship though. Besides, Lilly could be a danger to others. He would have to keep her close enough to watch her for a bit. This could be just a misunderstanding, he hoped. But he knew even if she was just a time sensitive anomaly to her species, he couldn't let her wonder off uncontrolled. When he had all the facts, then he would take whatever action was needed.
The Doctor looked haunted for a moment. He truly hoped his suspicions were wrong. She seemed so peaceful sleeping on the old sofa, so innocent. And she had help Rose save his life.
The Doctor knew the first aid he'd given Lilly would put her to sleep pretty quickly. But after hearing about his possible crossing of time lines, and analyzing the days events, he wished that she had stayed awake a little longer. He wanted to get this interrogation over with quickly. He had too many questions. Still, it would be easier to treat her injuries while she was sleeping. And he could use some rest before dealing with her.