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Triggers for physical/sexual abuse.
Chapter Three: Wardrobe
She grabbed my arm again, and I rounded on her with annoyance. She released me and retreated a couple steps. “Doctor, please. If you go in there, then I have to go, too. And I really don’t want to.”
“You used my name,” I said, approaching her. “Why are you using my name?”
She rubbed her neck, looking away. “I dunno. I dunno why. It just came out. Can we go, please?”
“Rose,” I murmured softly, reaching out and grasping her shoulders. She shook. “Oh, no. Rose…”
“I’m fine,” she said, still not looking at me. “No need to—”
Stepping forward, I enveloped her in another hug. Rose needed lots of hugs. “Rose, you used my name.” I kissed the crown of her head. “And you did it because you were scared. Of me, Rose. You were scared of me.”
“I’m not scared,” she said weakly.
I tightened my hold around her shoulders.
“John, get out!” Rose’s voice came from the hall. I lifted my head and saw that we stood in someone’s bedroom.
“Well, this is different,” I mused grimly. Rose shook violently, peering around me at the bed.
I began to turn to see what she stared at, but she roughly turned me back around. “Don’t. Please, just don’t.” She stared at my chest, not lifting her eyes to mine.
“Rose?” I heard something fall against the wall in the hall, a male speaking in a low voice.
She swallowed. “We should leave. Now. Please.”
“Your other self can’t see you. There’s only one way out, Rose.” I opened a wooden wardrobe nearby and guided her inside.
She shook her head, but remained silent, closing her eyes and resignedly walking into the wardrobe. I followed her inside and shut the door softly behind us. Light filtered in through an ornamental ventilation window. I saw my duplicate embracing Rose, kissing her, and moving towards the bed. He fell atop her when they reached it, still kissing her.
“Get off of me!” she shouted, her mascara running. She pushed him away, sitting upright on the bed and gaping at him. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Breathe, Rose,” I whispered, finding her hand and grasping it in the dark.
“It’s been three months since he left, Rose,” my other self explained quietly, perching on the edge of the bed. Rose stared at the bedspread.
“Yeah, I know,” she said, tracing a design on the comforter. “I know, but I…I just don’t want…”
“Me?” my duplicate finished simply, leaning to the side to meet her eye.
Rose clasped her hands tightly on her lap. “It’s not that, John. I just…it’s weird. And confusing. I just…” My duplicate waited patiently for her to finish. “I just need time,” she said, meeting his eye at last.
“Don’t call me John,” he said quietly, considering.
“What?” Rose returned, furrowing her brow.
“You’re confused,” John said, crawling up to her on the bed and gripping her shoulders. He smiled at her. “If you call me Doctor, then you won’t be as confused. I want you to think of me as you think of him.”
“I-I can’t do that,” she said, looking away with a nervous laugh. “I mean you’re—”
“Rose,” my duplicate said, throwing her back against the covers. “Rose, it wasn’t a suggestion.”
“I’m getting real tired of your mood swings, you know that?” she snapped, forcing herself up on her elbows with a scowl. “Come back tomorrow when you’ve cooled down.”
My duplicate pinned her wrists down over her head, glaring at her. “And I’m getting real tired of your snide attitude, Rose Tyler.” She struggled to free her hands.
“Hey,” she said, wriggling. “Let go, John!”
“I told you,” he snarled, centimeters from her face, “to call me Doctor.” He dipped his face to the crook of her neck and she squirmed, throwing her head side to side.
“John! Stop it!” She bucked, trying to throw him off of her, but it only made it easier for him to force his way between her legs. She stopped moving abruptly, wide eyed. “John…don’t…”
He lifted up slightly, meeting her eye but not releasing his hold on her wrists. “Stop calling me John,” he whispered, kissing her briefly on the lips. He tightened one hand around both her wrists to free up a hand, reaching down and gliding it up her leg.
“Stop,” she breathed, staring at him with wide eyes. She started struggling again when his hand went beneath the hem of her black cocktail dress. “John! Stop it! Right now!”
“You’ve dreamt of this so many times, haven’t you?” he purred, dipping his head to glide the tip of his nose along the side of her neck. “Don’t act so embarrassed. I’m your Doctor, Rose Tyler.”
“You. Are not. Him!” she shouted, bucking and squirming. “Get off of me!”
“I won’t, Rose,” he told her, pressing his mouth over her neck and sucking.
Rose released my hand, crouching down in the wardrobe and clutching either side of her head. Her breathing sounded loud, uneven, labored; I crouched down beside her, bringing her close to me and squeezing my eyes shut.
“I can stop it,” I whispered, hoping she would ask me to do it. I only wanted permission, someone else to make the call to tear a hole in time and space. I wanted to end all of this, take all this away from her.
“The Doctor would!” the other Rose shouted suddenly. “The other Doctor would stop!”
In the wardrobe, my Rose stifled a choked sob, turning to me and burying her face in my chest.
“I am the Doctor. I have all his memories, Rose,” my duplicate assured. “I even think like him. How many times do you think he thought of doing this, hm?”
“The Doctor…wouldn’t…” She gasped suddenly, making my duplicate moan.
“It’s surprising, isn’t it?” he said, words thick with grotesque pleasure. “Time Lords…are very different from the human men you’re used to. I may not be full Time Lord, but I still have…certain aspects…”
Rose grew silent in my arms, her shoulders lax. I reached up for the handle to the wardrobe, fully intent on killing my duplicate.