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Triggers for physical/sexual abuse.
Chapter Six: World Gone Small
I stared at the Master, conflicted and confused. Snapping out of it, I reached behind me to place a hand on Rose’s arm, pointing at the Master. “But you died in my arms! You refused to regenerate. This—”
“—is impossible!” my duplicate finished in unison with me, his voice mocking. “Come now, Doctor. You’re the one who’s always saying not impossible, only unlikely. Aren’t you?”
“But how?” I demanded, following Rose when she retreated a step. When I lightly squeezed her arm, she decided to stand beside me.
My duplicate winked at Rose, making her shudder. My nostrils flared.
“All your knowledge, is my knowledge,” John began, smirking when he noticed my anger. “When I disappeared earlier, the readings gave off a familiar energy, didn’t it?” He lifted his wrist, flashing me a teleport.
“He’s been able to teleport for months,” Rose whispered.
“I know,” I reminded her. For this reason, Rose never tried to escape him.
“Yes, of course you know,” my tenth incarnation said, stepping out of the TARDIS. “I’ve been on the TARDIS the entire time. You two are awfully cozy together, what with all the shared minds and hugging and whatnot.”
“Priming,” the Master told my duplicate, walking off.
“Ah, look, we’ve bored him,” I said, sucking on my teeth. “Out of curiosity—”
“The teleport is faster than the car you drove to the TARDIS,” he said exasperatedly. “Are you sure you’re really a genius?”
“Likewise,” I returned airily. “The Master—”
“Never died. I took him directly from the end of the universe.”
I paled. “You know as well as I do—”
“That time will be rewritten and that I’ve altered a fixed point in time?” he recited, rolling his eyes. He grinned at me suddenly, eyes alight with excitement. “Oh, yes, I know.”
“Time will stop! All of history will occur at the same time!”
“Sounds interesting,” my duplicate murmured, nodding. “How do you know so much about it, though, hm?”
I glared at him. “It won’t last long,” I growled, ignoring his question. “History will happen all at once, but then it will all stop. Time will die, John.”
The TARDIS engine started, and my duplicate scowled. “Don’t call me John.” He snapped his fingers and Rose appeared at his side. He grabbed her.
“Let her go!” I shouted. Like that would actually work. I clenched my fists as Rose struggled against him.
“You forgot all your training,” he told her, inclining his head to her ear. I did a reading where Rose once stood next to me, then turned to find her wearing a similar wristband to my duplicate’s. When had he placed that on her? In the TARDIS? “I heard every word you said about your mean old Doctor, Rose Tyler. Tsk, tsk, what a gossip.”
He bit her ear. Hard. And she cried out with pain.
“No!” I charged forward and fell back to the pavement, a force field barring my entry. Raising my eyes to his, still sprawled on the ground, I grew desperate. “Let her go, John. I’ll spare your life,” I promised.
“Number one rule: The Doctor lies,” my duplicate laughed. “And I told you not to call me John.” He moved quietly back into the TARDIS with Rose in tow.
“Doctor!” she called, wide-eyed over his shoulder. She beat on his back, fighting with everything she could muster.
I watched her go with the worst pain in my chest I ever experienced. “I’ll find you!” I shouted, the doors closing on her tear-streaked face. “I’ll find you, Rose!”
Abruptly, my duplicate laughed, turning to me. “One more thing! You are most vulnerable when engaged with another person’s mind, aren’t you?”
I frowned, and he flashed me his wrist, pointing at mine. Lifting my arm, I saw a blue wristband with a pearly receptor in the center. I tried to pull it off, but—well, that would have been too easy.
“Don’t get your hopes up,” my duplicate joked, “it’s not a teleport. I’m not as arrogant as you, wanting to bring the enemy on board.”
“Then what is it?” I asked, unable to help myself.
Predictably, he grinned. “Oh, I’m so glad you asked.” He snapped his fingers and Rose paled, blinking at me. “Your gallant rescue should be a bit more fun now.”
He turned to Rose, winking again, “I’ll say I’m the real Doctor, and then he’ll say that he is, and you will just stay right where you’re supposed to, won’t you?”
The doors closed, engines starting, and I sonicked the force field fruitlessly. I knew it wouldn’t work, but I needed to at least try something. The red TARDIS faded again and again, vanishing entirely within seconds.
I withdrew the mirror from my pocket, almost certain I knew the purpose of the blue wristband. My reflection proved me correct. I stared back at my tenth incarnation’s face, the perception filter programmed to turn me into a doppelganger for Rose’s worst nightmare.
I threw the mirror to the ground, shattering it. My temper, I warned myself.
A moment later, I kicked a nearby trash bin. Sod my temper! My duplicate again ensnared Rose, free to do whatever he pleased with her. Free to…again…
I released a low guttural shout, grasping the bin with both hands and knocking it over.
“I know that face. Calm down,” a soft, familiar voice instructed. Facing her she smirked knowingly at me. “Hello, Sweetie.”
“River,” I whispered, licking my lips nervously.
She pointed above and I glanced up to see pterodactyls, flying cars materializing on glass highways.
It was happening.
“How is it every time I see you,” River began coyly, striding up to me, “the universe is nearly ending?”
“Not now, River,” I tossed irritably, pacing. I broke from the pace and started down the sidewalk, brainstorming. The posters I first saw here advertised my duplicate for mayor—same as when the Master initially tried this.
So, following that logic, Rose and the enemy hid in plain sight—at 10 Downing Street.
“Where are you going?” River asked, following close behind. I stayed silent, and she grabbed my arm. I jerked away, continuing forward. “You can’t just rush in like this. As much as you want to believe it, Doctor, you are not immortal.”
“Neither is Rose,” I grumbled, but halted when a woman with a veil stood in my path.
“Or the Master,” the woman said, lifting the thin material from her face. Martha raised her eyebrows at me. “Looks like the world’s gone small again, Doctor.”