?

Log in

 
 
05 October 2008 @ 09:00 pm
Episode Three: Through the Cracked Glass  
Episoode Three: Through the Cracked Glass

Disclaimer: Set after season four in the parallel universe. These characters do not belong to us.
Author's Note: A huge debt of gratitude to jjtaylor for her extensive beta skills, and for coming up with this brilliant idea. Also to anabelwumpkins for her support.

***

The Void was open.

A large white sphere stood where once was Torchwood Tower. The sphere was growing. Electricity crackled over the expanding surface as people, cars, buildings, rivers were absorbed into its increasing mass. Rose stared at it out of the back window of a Torchwood SUV which was racing Northwest away from London. The siren was doing little good at clearing a path, as panic had gripped the area and everyone was on the road heading away from London, from the all-consuming void.

"Look out!" cried Jackie. Rose whipped around to see the SUV careening towards a stopped lane of traffic. Her dad was driving too fast to stop, so he swerved onto the grassy median and continued driving as fast as he could. The trip was far bumpier now, and he worried about what this was doing to the axles. "Eyes on the road!" Jackie told Pete. "Never you mind that thing back there."

Rose returned her attention to the Void Sphere, her teeth now rattling in her head. She watched another skyscraperget swallowed up into it. That building was... how far from Torchwood Tower? 10 kilometers? She shook her head. Geography was never her thing, but what she was seeing scared her. She couldn't be sure, but as far as she could tell, it was getting bigger faster. She wondered if they would even make it to Torchwood Two.

"There goes my favorite bar," Rose said, spinning to look at the Doctor, seated behind her dad. "I think it's getting faster; it's sure not slowing down."

"It's never going to," said the Doctor.

"Oh my god," said Jackie, eyes now riveted to the side view mirror. "Oh my god."

The Doctor had piles of electronic equipment on his lap, in between them, on the floor. He was hopelessly tangled in many wires and was working as fast as he could building... something. He turned to her and shook his head; there wasn't enough time to reach Torchwood Two. Rose felt all the air leave her lungs. She was brought out of her shock as her head slammed against the car window. "Ow! Watch it!" she cried, rubbing her scalp.

Car accidents had blocked the motorway and more and more vehicles were joining the Torchwood SUV on the grassy median. Now they were swerving around natural objects and panicking drivers. Jackie had covered her face with her hands and seemed to be muttering to herself.

"Stop the car," asked the Doctor quietly.

"Where am I going?" asked Pete, concentrating on the 'road' and trying not to think about what was behind them.

"Just stop the car," said the Doctor, twisting three wires together. Pete hit the brakes. The Doctor's head bounced off the back of Pete's seat.

"Oy!" said the Doctor, rubbing his forehead.

"Sorry," muttered Pete.

The Doctor extricated himself from his machinery, and nearly fell getting out of the SUV. Pete popped the hood and they heard the Doctor yelp in pain before he came darting back with the car battery, shifting it from hand to hand as if it were a hot potato. He dropped it on the ground next to his open door and attached wires to it. He looked at a meter. "Not enough!" He looked around hopefully, and then stepped in front of an oncoming car.

The driver slammed on the breaks and the card slid to a stop in front of the Doctor in a cloud of dirt and gravel. The Doctor waved "Mighty obliged to ya!" he said, then ran forward and popped open the car's hood.

"Hey!" cried the driver, opening his door and stepping out. Pete ran interception on the driver while the Doctor removed this vehicle's battery. As Pete and the driver argued, the Doctor hooked the second battery up to some wires, and rechecking his meter, seemed pleased. Rose had by this time disentangled herself from the cables strewn all over the back seat and run around to the Doctor's side. He handed her what looked like a cross between a telescope and a gun. "You point this at me. At my head. Once you pull that trigger you do not let go. The world is about to end, and this is our only way to warn ourselves. It's too late for us, but we can help ourselves. Our past selves."

Rose blinked as this sunk into her head.

"We-- we're not gonna make it?" she asked. The Doctor didn't answer her as he seemed too focused on making last minute adjustments to his device. "Doctor!"

He raised his head and met her eyes. She saw a sadness in them... and had a brief memory of him, the old him... well, the old-old him, with light burning beneath his skin, telling her she'd never see his daft old face again. She shook the memory out of her mind and unconsciously took a step backwards.

Seeing her, finally seeing her, the Doctor paused. "I'm sorry," he said. "There's nothing I can do."

Rose looked down at the ground for a moment, trying to force the tears back which filled her eyes. After defying death so many times they were finally caught unawares with no escape. And she had just found him... Rose swallowed and looked back into his eyes. "Is there anything I can do?"

"I need to monitor the void while talking to my past self," he said, handing the device to her. "I know you will feel it coming up behind you, but just focus on me."

Rose laughed. "End of the world? There is no one else I'd rather look at." She tucked a stray hair behind her ear. "Alright, let's do this."

Rose took the device and bit her lip. "I believe in you," they both said simultaneously. Rose pulled the trigger.

***

12 hours earlier.

The Doctor sat across from Rose in the cafeteria. They had their traditional corner table, and as usual most people gave them wide berth. Rose had not yet figured out if it was a sign of respect for their station in the Torchwood Institute or because of their... otherness. She wondered if others could tell they did not belong here. She had actually managed a social life here, but te Doctor's return changed everything. Were they scared of him? Or did they sense how much he did not belong, both here in Torchwood and here in this universe. The Doctor himself always seemed to feel wrong, as if this universe were a too tight shirt, with that tag in the back that no matter what you did irritated the back of your neck. He never said as much, but she could tell in the little ways he twitched his shoulders, the way his eyes shifted suspiciously, like there was a... not a fear, but a worry behind them that she was not accustomed to.

"I miss avocados," the Doctor was saying, waving his sandwich, dissatisfied. "We really need to make avocados flourish in this world."

"How would we make an avocado?" she asked.

"Well that's just the thing. You can't just make an avocado, especially in a wrong universe. The wrong universe. For avocados. Not in this universe."

She hated it when she caught him referring to this universe as the wrong universe. He did it frequently, always catching and correcting himself (usually more gracefully than this) and she worried what it might mean for him. This was, after all, their universe.

"We should just get one. Once we have a real one, I'll bet we can totally get it to prosper here."

Rose paused. She hoped he didn't mean what he seemed to be implying. Rose had to quickly chew and swallow to register her shock with him.

"Are you joking? We cannot go punching through the void for an avocado."

"No, of course not. But if we could find a good reason to travel--"

This scared Rose. If he wanted to go tearing through the void back to their original universe... did that mean he wasn't happy here? Was all of this too much? Would this never work? So many fears ran through her mind that she almost missed a light flashing through the Doctor's eyes. She slowly tensed herself as she noticed the Doctor's face change.

The Doctor froze with a far away look in his eyes, chip half way to his mouth. There was something... not quite right about his expression. He shuddered, jerked, now holding his temples, the forgotten falling to the ground.

"I don't know," he said.

"Don't know, don't know what? Doctor, is something wrong?" Rose's heart started thumping in her chest. There was a duality to his voice and a strangeness in his eyes that told her everything was about to go horribly wrong. No! She had just found him! But her training kicked in and she scanned the room. So many people. She needed to think about their safety as well as understand what was happening with the Doctor. She started to reach out for his hand.

"I will be." He didn't react to her taking his hand. He looked not at her but over her left shoulder, his eyes focusing on empty space.

"You will be what?" she dodged into his field of vision. "Doctor, you are not making any sense. What is the problem?"

He inhaled, longer than she thought possible, and his eyes fixed on her. The he spoke, with that duality to his voice again, as if he were speaking over his own words, with his own voice.

"The void is open. The void is open and it will consume this universe unless we stop it in the next five hours. After that, the tear will be too large and will consume this universe. It has already happened and it will happen again unless we do something about it. Right now."

***

The Doctor hugged himself and shivered. Rose leaned across the table and touched his arm. "Doctor?" she asked. His face snapped up. A fire burned in his eyes. His mouth slid into a sneer. "Rose," he said simply. Rose knew one thing instantly.

This was not the Doctor.

She braced both feet on the edge of the table and kicked hard. The table pinned the Doctor against the wall as she rolled backward out of the chair and yelled "Evacuate!" People scattered to the exits faster than Rose had expected. As if they had been on edge and expecting this. She ran across the room and slammed her palm on the intercom, yelling "Code Alpha One!" before jumping out the door and bolting it behind her. The building shuddered as all external entrances were sealed and then deadlocked. She looked into the cafeteria and watched as the sun seem to set while giant metal plates rolled down the length of the windows, whirred into placed and then shuddered as the deadlocks activated. The emergency lighting blinked on, doing little more than increasing the shadows.

The Doctor staggered away from the table and stood up in the center of the now abandoned cafeteria. He spun around in and laughed, throwing his arms wide. "All this for me?" he cried.

Rose reached over and activated the intercom into the darkened room.

"Doctor?"

He turned and faced her. He walked slowly towards the door and looked through the glass window at her.

"Hello Rose," he said. "Aren't you the clever girl? What gave it away, was it my charming smile?"

"You know my name, so you have access to his memories," Rose replied, swallowing the repulsion she was experiencing watching some one else use his body. "You know that we are here to help people like you, that we will aid you in any way that is within our power. "

"Ah, well how wonderfully generous. Well then if you wouldn't mind just destroying this universe, I'll be able to pop out of the body of your dear Doctor and be on my way."

Rose almost rolled her eyes at this. Then she paused. Was the universe in danger because of this creature? Or was this a separate issue? No. The two had to be related. She just needed to figure this out. Must keep him talking. "Why would you want to destroy the universe? Destroying the universe would be destroying yourself."

"Oh dear, dear Rose; this universe squeezes on me and mine like a grape underneath an elephant. You've traveled through all of time and space in another universe. You know what it means to be confined in someplace small when you have tasted the Infinite. You must. I know he does."

Rose tried not to show any reaction, but she felt as if the wind had been knocked out of her. It was preying on one of her biggest fears, that this relationship, that this universe, wasn't working for them. She wanted to work out how much of this was true, what kind of access this creature had to the Doctor.

"Oh, you know his life is less than it once was, but have no idea of the loss that sings through his soul. It's more of a scream than a song. He hates this universe, he hates this world, he hates this life, and he hates you for confining him to it. He would never say it, but I know you must have seen the loss in his eyes. A fleeting glimpse as you discuss what to have for dinner. A hesitation before he walks out the door to go to yet another day at the same job. You've seen it happening haven't you? Saving the world is not a mission for him any more. It's a job."

Rose knew the creature was trying to push her buttons. The thing was, it was succeeding. It was as if the creature knew not only the inner workings of the Doctor, but also her own, and what it would need to cause her to start second guessing everything. But this is not important, Rose said to herself. What would the Doctor do if their roles were reversed? He'd be glib, he'd keep the creature talking. He'd be reckless said a part of her mind. No. This creature is trying to sow these seeds of doubt. Don't let it succeed.

"How did you find the Doctor?"

The Doctor had lowered himself from sight but continued to talk. "You must have known something like this would come. You've feared it since the day you returned to this world. What would happen if the goodness inside the Doctor was not enough? What if something went wrong? What if your love was not enough? Why else would you have installed these protocols against this very day? Why else would you keep this information so cleverly from the Doctor himself, the one person who could most accurately tell you how to prepare for someone with his abilities?"

Was the creature accessing the Doctor's worries or was it speaking for itself? Rose started to feel the walls of confidence she had constructed for herself in this new life beginning to crumble. I'm becoming the sidekick again, she worried.

Rose heard grinding and ripping noises from where he was. He was doing something to the wall. Tearing wires out perhaps? Something probably from the electronics of the security system on that side. It wouldn't help him. These doors, while not deadlocked, were resistant to probably anything except a sonic screwdriver.

He stood back up into view holding a fork with several wires wrapped around it, wires leading into the wall. "He would definitely have been able to tell you how easy it would be to open this door." He tapped the fork at a certain spot on the door and the first bolt shot back.

Rose took a step back, uncertain what to do. She could gas the room, but did not want to risk actually injuring the Doctor.

The Doctor tapped the door again, another bolt slid back. "Oh dear Rose, so uncertain. How about this: I'll tell you what to do." He tapped the door again and the third bolt shot back.

"Run," he said.


***

Rose ran. She paused to grab a wristphone out of a locker as she passed it and arrived at the stairs. All the elevators would be out of commission because of the lockdown. She punched her access code into the panel and entered the stairwell. Up or down? She needed to stay with the Doctor, but ahead of him. Where would he go? Where would anyone go who wanted to destroy the universe. Up or down?

Research and Development, she decided, and started heading down.

"Jake, are you there?"

Rose ran down the stairs three at a time. She briefly wondered what would happen to the Doctor, or the universe, if she sprained her ankle. The Doctor wouldn't let that stop him and neither will I. She briefly worried about comparing her abilities to that of someone who is not fully human. Is it his human half that allowed this to happen? Are proper Time Lords possess-able? She shook her doubts about the Doctor out of her head as her wristphone chirped at her.

"Rose? What's going on? Who activated the defenses?"

"Jake, the Doctor has been taken, but I will deal with that. Just before he left he said the void was going to open and that within five hours it would be past the point of no return."

There was a long pause. Rose briefly wondered if Jake had heard her. The silence was either proof that he had or that he hadn't. She was raising the wristphone to her face when his voice returned.

"No, that's not possible. We've been careful. We have tiny little surgical punctures through the void, the remnants of your journeys, but there's no lasting damage. They should heal up on their own."

"Jake," she began, then thought over her words carefully before continuing "I really don't understand this, but I believe the Doctor and I need you to believe me. Look into it, fix it. I need to find and fix the Doctor."

"But--" Rose cut off the link. Great, she thought. What else can go wrong? She heard a door bang open many levels above her. Don't ever think that again, she told herself.

***

"Rose..."

His voice echoed down the stairwell to her. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end as she heard echoes of affection in his voice. Was there a war waging inside of his mind? Or was the creature taunting her? She comforted herself that at least she had chosen correctly, he was heading toward R&D. Well, either that or he was focused on her. She shivered at this thought. If it wasn't personal she needed to make it personal. If the creature was actively trying to destroy the universe she needed to interrupt that mission. Maybe there was enough of the Doctor's feelings to refocus it's priorities on her? And then what do I do?

"Rose..."

There was definitely an "otherness" to his voice, a hollowness... as if a part of the void were within him. The creature is of the void or from the void, thought Rose. Maybe that's the key?

She reached the bottom of the stairwell and entered the labs. She triple bolted the doors behind her and for good measure pushed a filing cabinet against the door. As she stepped away the bolts immediately started springing back, unlocking. He should have been at least three minutes behind her. She quickly evaluated the room as she thought of what to do next.

It seems everyone evacuated when Alpha One had been declared. Good. But they were going to hate her for this. She ran from console to console activating security switches and emergency protocols. She had very little time to secure as much as possible. She paused by a rack of experimental weapons. This was the part of R&D the Doctor hated the most and therefore knew the least amount. The one time he had been down here he glanced at this corner with disgust, and that had ruined his mood for the entire day. She almost considered taking one for her own protection, but then shook her head and moved on. It hasn't come to that yet. She still hadn't decided if she could eliminate the Doctor, if needed.

Computers hummed as data files were transferred to a more secure location. This room had always seemed one of the safest places on Earth to Rose. 10 floors underground in the Torchwood tower, which itself was probably the mightiest stronghold on Earth, whose sole mission was the protection of the planet. Here were arraigned the most advanced and deadliest devices they had created/accumulated/appropriated. And now she was here, barely ahead of an unknown alien invader, and it was her job to protect this room. Oh what a difference a day makes she said to herself, trying out the Doctor's glibness. She didn't like it.

She ran to the other side of the labs, where another set of stairs climbed the opposite corner of the building. There was a control panel here. She keyed in her personal code. The file cabinet was inching as the door was being forced open. The Doctor's arm and then head squeezed into the room.

"Hello, Rose," he said. "Enjoying this?"

"This doesn't have to go this way," Rose responded. "Just let me help you get back to where you came from. We can find ways to coexist rather than obliterating each other."

"But Rose dear, you are not even aware of us. It is not you who would ever do the obliterating." He continued speaking while trying to press himself into the room. Rose realized that the conversation was not really slowing him down. It was time for her to do the unthinkable.

Rose turned to the key pad. "Burn" she said into the security intercom. Immediately systems around the room either shut down or immediately started spinning up. Panels dropped from the ceiling exposing cylanders of gas and nozzles which were starting to spark into flames. Rose had enough time to register the Doctor's look of surprise before she dove through the door. The rooms behind her nearly exploded. She hoped that she gave the Doctor enough time to escape that inferno. She also hoped it would give him pause and slow him down a bit. Maybe know he would realize she was willing to sacrifice everything, herself and the Doctor to prevent him from injuring this universe. She also wondered if that were actually true.

***

Rose was running back up the building. This was much harder than running down stairs. She almost wished she exercised more. Hell, she thought, she must be one of the universe's experts at running from baddies. Just another day at the job, she tried to convince herself. Her wristphone pinged, nearly scaring the hell out of her.

"Please tell me you have some good news, Jake" Rose said into the microphone.

"I found it, Rose, he was right." Rose felt a huge flood of relief wash over her. She started to dare hope this was all going to turn out alright. "You see the punctures that we've been making--"

Rose heard a distant thud from another part of the building. She didn't even want to guess what that might have been. One of the bulkheads, perhaps? No, don't worry about it.

"Honestly Jake, I just need you to take care of it on your own. I'm a little preoccupied dealing with the Doctor right now. Please just tell me you can fix it." There was a long pause.

"I'm not sure. See, what I've been trying to tell you is our precision punctures through the void? Well, we did them all here in Torchwood, but because the Earth is moving through space these punctures are spread out through a line, a seam if you will. Or a perforation. Yeah, that might be a more accurate description--"

"Jake!"

"Right, sorry. Well, there seem to be energies linking them together, forming one long ragged line in this universe, and if I'm right, the line is going to rip open."

Rose thought this over. She ran up yet another flight of stairs and reached a control panel. She logged in and began checking on the Doctor's progress. She began a scan of the building, starting in the flight of stairs she had last seen him in. If all personnel had made it to the survival bunkers, then she should find him fairly quickly.

"What can we do, Jake?"

Jake sighed. "Well, that's just it, there's nothing we can do it. It's a big ragged tear in the universe. We've been spinning away from it over time, and have not the technology to get back. And I think our only hope is to close it before it opens. I think once it's opened there's nothing that can be done." He paused. "I think we're hosed."

The Doctor was still several floors below her, about five and it looked like he was working his way up still. Good, he was alive. She had slowed him a bit and worried about what damage she may have caused his body.

"Jake, just keep working on it. The Doctor would not have warned us if there was nothing we could do about it. Torchwood must be the answer."

---------------------------------

Rose raced up the stairs. With the Deadlock seals activated the Doctor could not leave the building, but he could still do a lot of damage to both Torchwood and this universe with the equipment contained in this building. With R&D now ashes the next likely place for him to go would be the command center. On the top floor. He would either be heading there, or his focus was now on her as an obstacle to his goal. Either way she needed to keep moving, and up was the only direction to go in now. She wondered if the Doctor would make his way across to her if he could. She needed to stay above him. As she rounded the flight she noticed the door ahead of her started to open. There was no way it could be him, but--

She shoved it back closed and dived up another flight of stairs. She heard a familiar "Oomph." It had been him. How had he gotten ahead of her? It had only been five minutes since she last checked his location. She was lucky she caught him off guard. She slapped a button and lasers filled the stairwell. The Doctor sauntered out onto his landing and looked up at her. "I'm going to kill you," he said, nonchalantly.

"Okay," said Rose, simply.

He squinted at her, like he was trying to read her thoughts. "You want to lure me into the Prison." A part of her withered. That was exactly what her next plan was. How was she goign to stay ahead of someone who was smarter than she was? She couldn't even think of what the Doctor would do in this situation, as this creature seemed to have access to his thoughts.

"Yes." She tried truthfulness, not knowing whether it was smart or not.

"Its not going to happen."

"Okay." She leaned against the wall and felt the security panel behind her hand. She tried to discretely open up the panel.

"Really."

"Okay."

He smiled. As his eyes his eyes started to drift to her hands which were behind her back she asked "Is the Doctor still alive?"

"Yes. Unless you mortally injure this body. Tell you what, you stop trying to seal the void, and I guarantee you and the Doctor safe passage to another universe."

Rose's eyes widened at this. Not only did he just reveal he was unwilling to injure the Doctor himself, but he just admitted she had some power in this series of events. There was the possibility of resealing the void. Was the information she needed in the Doctor's head? If only she could get through to him-- and she sensed more than saw the Doctor's body tensing. He was distracting her, and she was letting him. She hit the voice command button on the security panel.

"Lasers descend 28 through 1!" she cried, turning and running. Red beams cut across the staircase and started moving towards the Doctor. He laughed and dived back through his door. She paused, hoped she was waiting long enough, and then used the panel in the next ignite that floor. That should push the Doctor back into the far staircase. She tried to remember what was on that floor. It was one she had never visited before. She hoped it was nothing important.

***

Her wristphone bleeped again. "You were right!" Jake exclaimed.

"Jake, give me the short version, things are not going swimmingly right now." There was yet a thud from somewhere in the building. She didn't want to think of what the Doctor may be doing to cause that. She forced herself to focus on the conversation at hand.

"Okay, well, you said Torchwood was the answer. It is! We are still connected to the energy of the last puncture. We're splaying it out behind us as we move through space. So if we send the right signal down that circuit..."

She tensed with hope. "Is that something you can do?"

Yet another pause. "Well, no. I have a guess of what the signal should be, but not what frequency. We really need the Doctor."

"Well we don't have him, so you'll just have to work this out on your own."

"No, we can't. This is not a case of me whining and you encouraging me. This is huge. There are over 8 billion frequencies which could be the trigger, but it would take my entire lifetime to attempt half of them. And some of the wrong ones could tear the perforation further."

Rose sighed. "Fine. Leave him to me."

"But--" Rose cut him off. Her job just got a lot more complicated and she needed no distractions right now. She was relieved that one of her options was now off the table She could not kill the Doctor even if she had to. Killing him or letting him achieve his goals, both would destroy the universe. She needed to incapacitate him somehow, and remove the creature from his body. With enough time to save the universe. She didn't have a plan, but she had a couple of flights lift before the prison level to come up with one. She turned to ascend the stairs and bumped right into the Doctor's chest.

***

The Doctor grabbed her when suddenly... there was a flash of light and the Doctor stopped dead in his tracks. Rose caught a glimpse of a ghost like creature tearing out of his bought, tendrils clutching at it's old host as it slowly faded out of existence. The Doctor's whole body posture changed. There was a brief confusion in his eyes as he took in his surroundings. His shoulders tensed and relaxed. He shifted from one foot to the other as if testing out a new suit. Rose instantly knew this was her man.

"Oh, Doctor!" cried Rose, hugging him.

"No, wait, what? Yes!" he cried realizing exactly where he was. He grabbed Rose's wristphone and tapped for the lab. "Jake, is that you? Hello?" Very nice Doctor voice!

Jake's voice came fearfully, hesitantly from the watch "Er, um..."

"It's okay," Rose chimed in. "It's him, the real him."

"Jake, listen carefully, I've got very little time. I'm not free yet, it's just I've pulled the creature five minutes into the future. Or, I will have done if you can get the displacer into the prison area within four minutes."

"Will have what it?" asked Jake. "I don't--"

"Jake!" interjected Rose. "Just do it!" She cut off the communicator. "Jail cell?" she asked, holding out her hand.

***

"--and so I'll use the displacer to pull something from the past into the present. In this case I'll be pulling the Void Creature from five minutes ago into the present" finished the Doctor. "Not the best solution, but not too bad considering the equipment at my disposal." His eyes got a far-away look, and Rose suspected he was thinking of the Tardis.

They made it to the prison floor at the same time as Jake. He tossed the displacer over to the Doctor, shouting "45 seconds!" The Doctor nodded and made some quick adjustments to the device. "Alright," he said turning to the two of them. "World is going to end. I sent a message to myself from the future to warn us of this. But a void creature rode the signal into my body. Now he's trying to prevent us from stopping the imminent opening of the void." He stepped backwards into the cell. "I'm going to use the displacer to pull the creature out of the past and into the present." Jake suddenly got a look of understanding, and took a half step back from the Doctor. "That gave us this five minute opportunity. Jake, I need the coordinates of the all the punctures as well as the distance between them and the times of each excursion through the void. Rose, I need you to come up with a way of banishing this creature back to the void."

"Can't we just keep pulling it into the future? or into someone else?" Jake asked.

"No, the creature will shield itself next time. And it's already temporally bonded to me. This is, er was, our one window of opportunity." An alarm on Jake's wristphone was ringing.

The Doctor tossed the displacer to Rose. "Rose, I need you to shoot me now. If we don't do this, then it won't have happened and this timestream will sever itself from reality and dissipate."

Rose gave him a smile. It was meant to cheer him up but it felt too forced. "Good luck," she said. Rose felt a sinking feeling. Seeing the Doctor back to his old self had given her so much hope, and now she was right back where he left her. Well, at least he was locked up in a cell this time.

"And you." The Doctor's expression shared her own worry.

She pressed the button on the displacer and saw a shimmering ghost shimmer into existence and she shuddered as she saw its tendrils sink into the Doctor. The Doctor's body shivered as the creature resumed dominance. The color of the ghost reminded Rose of the Void as she had seen it on several other occasions. A whiteness that was more the absensce of everything rather than the presence of anything. If the creature was more of the Void, rather than from the Void... She suddenly had an idea.

"I need the dimensional cannon."

***

The creature in the Doctor's body paced the cell like a hungry panther.

"This is it? This is your grand plan?" He spun around the cell, arms outstretched. "Lock me up?!" He laughed. The sound gave Rose the chills. He hopped up and down with glee. "You're even more mad than he is." He was pointing at his own head. "The Doctor is your one and only hope of saving this entire universe and you've locked him in a cell with me! All I have to do now is wait! Or better yet, dash my own brains out against the wall. Then you'd be screwed."

"So would you. If your host body dies before your claimed by the void, you'll die too." She wasn't actually sure if this was correct, but she said it because it felt right.

His eyes narrowed. "The Doctor has a hard time thinking of you as anything but a glorified shop girl." Rose knew he was lying, knew it was to hurt her, and it worked. Her hand clenched into a fist. "But you have actually grown to be a proper little sidekick after all, haven't you?" Ouch.

Rose heard the gears in the freight elevator start up. Someone was coming down from a higher floor.

The Doctor heard it too. "Sounds like someone is coming down to rescue you. They even think you need to be saved from someone trapped in a cell." He smiled. "They're right."

The Doctor pressed his ear to the glass, made several tentative taps around its surface, leaned back, smiled, and flat palmed the the glass at the place he last tapped. The glass shook, increasing to a high pitched vibration. Rose took a tentative step back from the cell. The glass suddenly shattered.

This was happening faster than Rose hoped. She moved over to the control center for the cell block.

The Doctor stepped out of his cell onto the grating surrounding the cells. His smile grew. "Time for our final reunion" he said.

"I'm sorry, Doctor" she whispered to herself, and pulled the lever closest to her. The Doctor's eyes followed her hand and his eyes grew wide. "No--" his body froze as thousands of volts coursed through it, holding him into place.

"The Doctor may know more about the void than any being in this universe," Rose said calmly as the elevator dinged behind her. "But no one has traveled through it as much as I have. I know this is going to hurt like hell," the elevator doors opened revealing the dimensional cannon "and I'm glad." She turned to see Jake standing next to the cannon, finger on the activate button. She nodded and stepped aside.

Jake hit the button and white energy poured out of the cannon, slamming into the Doctor. Rose saw exactly what she hoped, the creature was pushed immediately out of the Doctor's body. It hung, suspended behind him for a moment, then it's tendrils lashed out and grasped the Doctor. Rose leaned forward, trying not to touche the grating, and grabbed his hand, holding him in place with all her strength. They screamed together as the creature sheared off of and dissipate into the air. The gun spun down and Jake raced forward, turning off the electricity.

Rose crawled to the Doctor, who's eyes were closed. She put a hand on his chest and was glad to feel him breathing. His eyes fluttered open. "Jake, have we found the location of all the void nodes?"

"We believe so, yeah." Jake handed him a data pad.

The Doctor started to get up and groaned with pain and exhaustion. He looked at the pad and closed his eyes for a long moment. "Frequency of alpha 8.4638 out to do the trick." He laid back down and closed his eyes. He smiled and tightened his grip on Rose's hand. "Thank you."

***

They were once again seated in the cafeteria. They had even more of the room to themselves than usual. Many people had done unsubtle u-turns back out of the cafeteria upons seeing them in their corner.

"You said a lot of mean things when you were possessed." Rose pushed the chips around the plate with her fork. She was finding it difficult to look him in the eyes.

"That wasn't me," the Doctor tried to reassure her. "That was just some unfortunate creature trying to hurt you."

"But the creature had access to all of your memories. And that doesn't mean that what he said wasn't true."

The Doctor lowered his eyes. Then, as if realizing he had done that, he immediately raised them again and looked her in the eyes. "Rose Tyler, nothing in this or any other universe can tear us apart now. We are the stuff of legends! We are..." here he took her hand. "We are a team. The Doctor and Rose. I would be nothing without you!"

Rose wondered if he intentionally was hinting that the reciprocal was true. She took his hand. "A team. Forever," she said. "Nothing can come between us."

And they sat there, lying to each other, and finishing their meal.
Tags:
 
 
Current Mood: creative
Current Music: Hot Fuzz
 
 
 
kate!: dw: rose alonegreendreaming on October 16th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
First off, I'm so sorry it took me so long to get a chance to read this, but WOW. I love it!

Rose took the device and bit her lip. "I believe in you," they both said simultaneously. Rose pulled the trigger.

Oh, my heart! This is a fantastic setup. I loved all the callbacks to "The Parting of the Ways" -- "daft old face" and all that.

This was not the Doctor.

She braced both feet on the edge of the table and kicked hard.


*That's* my girl.

"Oh dear Rose, so uncertain. How about this: I'll tell you what to do." He tapped the door again and the third bolt shot back.

"Run," he said.


*shivers*

And they sat there, lying to each other, and finishing their meal.

That is a killer last line.

Well done, my friend! I really enjoyed this -- it's a great story, genuinely suspenseful and dramatic, with real emotional resonance too. Fantastic.
i brought my harmonica: roseinkjunket on October 22nd, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
Ok, so I finally got to read this. Love!

Such great Who-voice throughout! I love all the bits of humor -

Many people had done unsubtle u-turns back out of the cafeteria upons seeing them in their corner.

The possessed Doctor was creepy and believable; the story was so active; all those scenes popped! Fleeing the city in the beginning, the lockdown in the cafeteria, the chase, the 5 minute window - great suspense and a ton of fun. And yes, totally ditto to Green above - the moments where Rose and the Doctor connect are fabulous and spot-on.

Write MOOOOOAAAAR! ::grabby hands::

Edited at 2008-10-22 02:54 am (UTC)