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Triggers for physical/sexual abuse.
Chapter Eight: Rescue
“But you have a plan, right?” a red head asked.
I cocked my head at her. “Donna?” The one before I wiped her memories, I judged by her lack of spontaneous incineration.
She started coming forward for a hug, but I moved away abruptly, walking back up the sidewalk. “Right. Enough. Let’s go.”
“A plan?” Rose asked.
“Save you. That’s about all I’ve—oh, wait a moment.” Freezing, I peered into her eyes curiously, grinning, but quickly snatched it away shaking my head. “No, no, too dangerous.”
“Doctor, I have fought Daleks beside you,” she said, grabbing my arm to make me wait. “I’m pretty much accustomed to danger.”
I studied her for a moment, glancing behind me at the large group of companion doppelgangers that followed us, and sighed. “Fine. You’ve been kidnapped by a time lord and my duplicate,” I told her, ignoring her surprise. “If you can cause a distraction, it will buy me enough time to rescue Rose—er, you.”
“Distraction. I can do that.”
I turned to face the others, nodding somberly as I met each of their eyes. “The Master wanted chaos—he wanted to cause a paradox. What he didn’t count on was that chaos working against him.” I smiled at all of them, “Because he created multiples of the most brilliant minds in the universe. All of you, come with me.”
I started running up the sidewalk, all of them hesitating for a moment except Rose, whose hand I grabbed. When they all caught up, Jack jogged up to my side. “Where are we going?” he said, panting slightly.
“10 Downing Street,” I shot, grinning again.
“And why are we running?” Rose asked.
“More dramatic!” I laughed, picking up speed.
When we grew closer to 10 Downing Street, I noticed a market stand for parties. I grabbed a mask, fitting the elastic band roughly over Rose’s head. She tilted the masquerade mask up from her face with a grimace. “Disguise?”
“Guessed it. C’mon!”
We cut through an alley, the rest of our group besides Jack moving further up the sidewalk to use a different alley. We started to split up a few blocks back, not wanting to draw attention with the huge crowd. Some would use the front entrance, while others would use the sides. Jack and Rose before the Bay would use the back, climbing through a window.
I planned to walk through the front door, since I looked exactly like the mayor. We learned from a news cast that his press conference began in less than fifteen minutes, granting me the perfect window.
“All right, you guys know what to do,” I told them as we came to a crossroads in the alley. I took Rose by the shoulders. “Don’t get caught.”
“Never,” she said, smiling.
Still unsatisfied, I turned to Jack, who winked. I nodded at them and took off down the other alley.
Getting past the guards was easy enough. Donna Noble and Teenaged Amy should be in the basement right now, shutting off the valves leading to the gas emitters in the conference room—if we were doing this again, I was saving everyone I could.
I went upstairs, to the mayor’s quarters, and took out my sonic screwdriver. I stopped myself. No sonicking.
Tentatively, I raised my fist and rapped on the door. After a moment, she answered, only cracking it open a sliver. She licked her lips, opening it the rest of the way and allowing me inside.
I walked in and shut the door behind us, showing her the screwdriver. “I’m the real Doctor, Rose.”
She nodded. “I’m not going anywhere. Really.”
“Rose, I’m the only one who has a sonic screwdriver. You know that.”
“My Doctor has all of the same memories as the other one,” she recited numbly. “He could easily make—”
“Rose, forgive me,” I begged, reaching out and placing my hands on either side of her face. I closed my eyes, delving deep into her mind. I passed the clusters of gold and blue, seeking the epicenter of her brain, and swallowed. This is the only way, I told her. Do you feel me?
Doctor, she murmured. She latched on to me unexpectedly, but not in the body—in my mind. I reeled, head spinning.
Rose, no, I warned gently. You have to let go.
I can’t, she whispered, and I heard her breathing grow labored outside our minds. Doctor, do something. I need something. What is it?
Anguished, I said, Me. You want me. It’s the danger of entering this far into your mind.
Doesn’t feel dangerous.
Rose, you have to let go. I don’t know how you managed to latch on to my mind, but you have to—
I’m the girl who absorbed the vortex, she whispered. And you are my Doctor.
Rose, I can’t, I sent back, licking my lips outside my mind. You have to let go.
Doctor… I felt the gold clusters extend tendrils of energy toward the epicenter and gulped.
We’ll be forever joined at the mind, Rose. This about this.
The tendrils paused, surprising me. You don’t want it, she said simply, the tendrils pulling back.
Shocked at the wave of emotion that invaded me from her mind, I shook my head. Rose, that’s not… Grief. So much grief. How could she believe that I didn’t want…
I embraced her mind, the blue tendrils extending toward the epicenter and dragging everything that was her into my being.
She gasped. Doctor.
If you want this, Rose Tyler, embrace it now, I instructed huskily, a new emotion overpowering me. I knew she sensed it and I probed her mind, searching for fear.
I found none.
She embraced me fully, her gold tendrils snaking toward the epicenter. They met in a white hot explosion that broke us from each other’s minds. We staggered on our feet, meeting each other’s eyes.
“Rose?” She blinked, glancing upwards.
“I hear an echo,” she whispered. I hear an echo.
You’ll learn how to block it, I told her, smiling when she blinked again.
“Rose Tyler,” my voice said from behind us. I turned and saw my duplicate standing there with Rose in tow, her masquerade mask in hand.
The Master came from a door across the room.
“So difficult to find a bathroom in this place,” I said, backing away with Rose’s hand in mine.
“I know, right?” Jack said, wrapping an arm around the duplicate’s shoulders and surprising him.
Martha and Teenaged Amy stood behind the Master, aiming a screwdriver at his back. “We’ve been here before, Master. Or did you forget?” Martha tossed, pressing the button.
The Master turned on her, but immediately began writing at warp speed.
I stepped forward. “Stop!”
Martha smirked at me. “It won’t kill him, remember?”
She let off the button and the Master’s clothes fell in a heap on the floor.
A severely aged version of him crawled out from beneath it.