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FANFIC: Doppleganger...PG-13 Part 24-29/36

Chapter Twenty-Four

“I am going to kill you…again.” Martha said to the Doctor as they sloshed through the swamp.

She grimaced as she felt the mud squishing between her toes.

“Oh God, and I thought the sewer was bad.” She moaned.

“Not far now.” The Doctor said trying to keep his patience.

He glanced over at Rose and saw that the strain of walking through the swamp was taking its toll on her. He tightened his arm around her to prevent her from going under.

“Not far now.” He repeated gently to her.

Rose nodded.

“I’m tired.” She said softly.

“I know you are, Rose. Just hold on, we’re about there.”

He was so preoccupied with Rose; he failed to notice the ripple in the water behind them.

“There.” He said pointing to the opposite side. “We’ve made it.”

And not a Gilgoth in sight. He thought to himself.

“Doctor?”

The Doctor looked over at Rose.

“Yes?”

“Did…Did your foot just touch my leg?”

“No.”

Rose frowned in confusion.

“Something just touched my leg.” She said.

The Doctor’s eyes widened as he felt his hearts stop.

“Rose, Martha, move now!” he ordered.

“Doctor, what is it?” Martha asked.

“No time to explain, just go!”

He grabbed them both and hurried towards land. He jerked his head around when he heard Rose gasp.

“Doctor!” she yelled. “There’s something around my leg! I can feel---“

She screamed as her leg was suddenly jerked backward and she was dragged underwater.

“ROSE!” the Doctor screamed.

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The alternate Doctor jerked his head around when he heard the Doctor scream.

“So there you are, my dimwitted double.” He said. “Thanks for the scream, that was ever so helpful.”

Turning, he quickly changed direction and headed towards his prey.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

The Doctor thrust his hands into the water frantically searching for Rose. He gritted his teeth when he couldn’t find her.

“Martha! Get to shore!” he said to her. “I’m going under to look for Rose!”

“Doctor---“

“Don’t argue! Just go!” the Doctor said angrily.

Martha nodded. She made her way towards land while the Doctor quickly submerged.

The Doctor looked around him trying to make out Rose’s body in the murky water. He slowly swam under the water praying that he wasn’t too late. Just then, he spotted her. His hearts sank when he saw she was wrapped in the tentacle of the squid-like Gilgoth. He swam faster and when he reached Rose, he grabbed hold of the tentacle and tried to pull Rose free. He felt the Gilgoth pull the tentacle towards itself and looking ahead he could just make out the beak-like mouth that opened and shut hungrily as Rose slowly went feet first towards it. Grabbing onto the tentacle, he quickly thrust his foot out and kicked the beak. He heard the beast give out a faint roar and his eyes widened when he saw another tentacle wrap around his foot. He glanced over at Rose, saw she was unconscious and knew he only had seconds left to act. Reaching into his jacket, he found his sonic screwdriver. Aiming it at the Gilgoth, he turned it on and was relieved when the Gilgoth let out a pained roar and loosened his hold on Rose. Keeping the screwdriver trained on it, he pulled Rose away with his other hand and gave the Gilgoth another swift kick as it swam away from the screwdriver. Grasping Rose tightly he planted his feet on the bottom and burst up towards the surface.

“Doctor!”

The Doctor turned his head. Through the water dripping in his eyes, he could make out Martha crouching on the bank. He made his way towards her making sure to keep Rose’s head above the water. Martha waded out to meet him and grabbed Rose from his arms. She dragged her onto the shore and checked for a pulse as the Doctor came up beside her. Finding none, she opened Rose’s mouth and began doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

“Come on, Rose. Come on.” The Doctor said softly. “Don’t die on me now.”

He breathed a sigh of relief when he heard Rose gurgle and saw her spitting water out of her mouth.

“Thank Rassilon.” He murmured.

He squeezed Martha’s shoulder and smiled his thanks to her. She scooted back as the Doctor leaned over, gathered Rose in his arms and held her close to him.

“Doc…tor?” Rose said weakly.

“It’s me, Rose.” He whispered. “You’re safe now.”

He brushed away strands of wet hair and smiled down at her when she slowly opened her eyes and looked up at him.

“Hey.” She said.

“Hey.” The Doctor replied.

Rose drew in a breath. The Doctor drew her towards him and closed his eyes as he pressed his cheek to hers.

“My Rosebud.” He whispered.

He kissed and nuzzled her cheek as she hugged him tightly. Putting his cheek back against hers, he opened his eyes and frowned when he noticed Martha was turned away from them again. He sighed angrily.

“Right, this has got to stop and it will stop now.” He muttered to himself.

He gathered Rose into his arms and stood up.

“Come on, Martha. We need to get going.” He said.

Martha turned her head and he saw the unshed tears in her eyes. She quickly composed herself and stood up.

“Ready when you are.” She said with a smile.

The Doctor stared at her for a moment. Without a word, he walked past her into the woods. Martha let out a sigh and followed behind them.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“Aha!”

Martha stopped behind the Doctor when he stopped short.

“Aha, what?” she asked.

The Doctor gestured to some boulders in front of them.

“These’ll do. We need to sit and rest and dry ourselves off. This huge boulder here has enough room for all of us to sit on.” He said.

He walked over to some small boulders and carefully climbed on them up to the largest boulder. Martha started to follow him.

“Not yet, Martha. I need to talk to you for a moment in private. Stay down there.” He said.

Martha shrugged. She watched as the Doctor reached the huge boulder and laid Rose gently on top of it. He knelt down beside her and stroked her hair when he heard her groan.

“Doctor?” she said opening her eyes.

“Shhhh, it’s alright, Rose. I’m just laying you here so you can rest.” He said tenderly. “Try to sleep for a bit.”

Rose reached up and laid her hand against his cheek.

“Lay here with me.” She said.

The Doctor smiled.

“In a minute. I need to talk to Martha first.”

He leaned over and kissed her on the lips.

“I’m not going far, I promise.” He said. “Just close your eyes and rest.”

“I love you, Doctor.”

“I love you too, my Rose.”

He gave her one more kiss before standing up. While Rose closed her eyes, he walked back down the boulders.

“Right, come with me. I don’t want Rose to hear.” He said taking hold of Martha’s arm.

“Doctor? What’s wrong?”

“It’s time you and I had a little talk, Martha Jones.”


 

Chapter Twenty-Five

The Doctor led Martha several meters away from the boulder and stopped. He glanced back once over his shoulder to check on Rose. Satisfied, she was resting comfortably, he turned his attention back to Martha.

“Now, I need to talk to you one on one, Martha, because I did make you my companion and I want a few things straightened out before we go any further.”

“What things?” Martha asked.

“I want the jealousy stopped.” The Doctor said. “And I want it stopped right now.”

“Doctor, I…I’m not jealous.”

The Doctor sighed.

“Don’t give me that, Martha. I told you before I’m not blind. I can see the way you turn away from Rose and me. I’ve caught the rolled eyes and the snide tone whenever you mention her. You’re still jealous of her.”

He folded his arms over his chest.

“So, now I want absolute honesty from you. Whatever you have to say, say it, because I want this pettiness ended before it spins out of control. Because I’m pretty certain that when we get out of this mess, Rose will want to travel with me and if you are going to have a problem with that, then I will drop you off at your flat. I will not tolerate disharmony in my TARDIS, Martha. I will not allow backstabbing or catfights or any other childish behavior. I deal with enough crap on a day-to-day basis without it being brought inside my home. So, here’s your chance to vent, Martha. I’m listening. And don’t hold anything back. Trust me; I can handle whatever you have to say.”

He leaned his head forward and stared at her waiting for her to respond.

“Well…” he said when Martha remained silent.

Martha sighed.

“Alright, yes, I am jealous of Rose, okay?” she finally said.

“Why?”

Martha was taken aback.

“Why?”

“Yes, why? Why does my relationship with Rose bother you so much?”

Martha bit her lip. She averted her eyes and stared at the ground as the Doctor’s eyes bored into her.

“Well, out with it!”

“I just…I just…”

“You just wish Rose was still in the other universe so you can have me free and clear, is that it? You wish I would never have found her because all these fantasies you’ve had about you and me as a couple have been shattered, is that what you’re trying to say?”

Martha squared her shoulders.

“Alright, yes, I…do wish she had stayed in the other universe, if you want the truth.” She said.

The Doctor sighed and leaned back against a tree.

“When did it start?” he asked.

Martha frowned.

“When did what start?”

“This crush, when did it start? “ he said

“I…I guess when we shared the bed that night.” Martha said hesitantly.

“Rassilon, I knew I should have slept on the floor.” The Doctor muttered as he ran his hand along the back of his head. “Look, there was only one bed and after what you had told me in the TARDIS about not being interested in me, I figured it was okay if I shared it because I really didn’t feel like sleeping on the hard floor.”

He sighed.

“And I suppose my mentioning Rose pissed you off.” He added.

“Yes, it did.”

“Why?”

Martha was silent.

“Why? I wanna know. You didn’t even know her then, so I don’t understand how you could have been so jealous of her.”

He leaned in.

“I know this might come as a shock, but I did have a life before I met you.” He said. “I have had many companions before you and most likely I will have many companions after you. Now, I have had many female companions and contrary to what you might think, I did not fall in love with all of them. I have cared for them just like I care for you and I considered them close friends as I consider you a close friend. But, I do not fall head over heels in love with every woman that walks into my TARDIS.”

“Then what makes Rose so different?” Martha said. “Why did you fall in love with her?”

The Doctor leaned back up. He looked up at Rose and smiled when he noticed her sleeping peacefully. He looked back at Martha.

“Truthfully, I really couldn’t tell you why I fell in love with her. I know that when I first met her, I wasn’t looking to fall in love with her. I just did.”

He stared at Rose as he thought.

“I think it was because after the Time War, I was devastated. My planet and people had been destroyed and I figured there wasn’t much point in going on. My friends and family were dead and I was by myself and I really didn’t care if I lived or died.”

He smiled.

“Then, Rose came into my life and I saw that there were some things in the universe still worth fighting for. She pulled me out of the darkness and helped me become the man I had once been and I was grateful for that; still grateful in fact, and I slowly fell in love with her and then she fell in love with me and suddenly I came to realize that she was my whole universe and I couldn’t bear the thought of being without her.”

He looked at Martha.

“Now, if things had been different and it had been you I had met instead of Rose, would I have fallen in love with you? I don’t know. If the Time War never happened, would I have still fallen in love with Rose? I don’t know that either. The fact is it happened and whether or not you are happy she is back, I am ecstatic and I don’t want to lose her again. Which leaves you in a very sticky situation, can you be an adult and travel with me as a friend and let me have my relationship with Rose? Or will you continue to act childishly and hate Rose because she’s guilty of the crime of getting to me first and make me force you to drop you off? Because, like I said, I will not hesitate to do that if this is going to become a problem. So, what is your decision?”

“I want to travel with you.”

“So, can you let go of these fantasies? Because I can tell you now, that’s all they ever will be. I will never love you or anyone else the way I love Rose and nothing or no one will ever change that. So, can you do that?”

Martha nodded.

The Doctor smiled.

“Good. I just want to get that out of the way, okay? Because I want us all to be friends.”

Martha nodded.

“Me too.”

“Good.”

He sighed.

“I’m sorry I had to do that, but I wanted things taken care of this instant. Rose has done nothing to you, Martha. She is a very sweet woman and the two of you have a lot in common. If you would just stop thinking of her as the other woman and get to know her you could see it.”

“I…I have gotten to know her and I do like her. It’s just that I still have feelings for you and it’ll take some time for me to let go of them.”

The Doctor nodded.

“I understand, Martha, believe me. I’m glad you are willing to see Rose as a friend and not competition and if you are willing to let our relationship be platonic, then I will be happy to have you as a companion. Deal?”

“Deal.”

The Doctor smiled.

“Good.” He said. “Now, that that’s out of the way, I’m wanting to rest and you should too. We have to get our strength back before my evil twin rears his ugly head.”

The alternate Doctor watched quietly through the trees and smiled when he saw the Doctor and Martha walk back towards the boulders.

“Too late, Doctor. I’m already here.” He whispered as he watched them climb the boulders. “So, rest while you can because soon I will destroy you.”


 

Chapter Twenty-Six

The Doctor smiled at Rose as he lay beside her on the boulder. She had stirred only once when he scooted up beside her. He calmed her fears and Rose went back to sleep. The Doctor laid his arm behind his head and lay on his back. He glanced over at Martha who was lying on the other side of him.

“You okay?” he asked her.

“Yeah, it’s not too comfortable up here though.” Martha replied.

“We’ll be back in the TARDIS soon.”

Martha looked at him.

“Yeah?”

The Doctor looked at her.

“Yes.” He said confidently.

“How do you know for sure?” Martha asked.

“Because…I’m the better man. He’s nothing like me. He relies on his laser blaster, while I use my mind as my weapon.”

“He can shoot you, but you’ll still have the moral high ground?”

The Doctor glanced over at Rose who was giggling softly.

“That’s right.” He said grinning at her. “I will.”

“Another private joke you two have?” Martha asked.

“Yup.” The Doctor replied.

He leaned over to kiss her, hesitated a moment and then pressed his lips to hers. Leaning up, he glanced at Martha and noticed she was staring at the sky. He looked at her face and couldn’t detect any jealously He mentally shrugged.

I love Rose and I have the right to kiss her if I want. He thought.

He looked back at Rose and smiled when he saw the sparkle in her eyes.

Oh my Rose, thank Rassilon, you found a way back to me. He thought. Even if the circumstances are a bit unusual.

He stroked Rose’s side as he watched her fall back to sleep. He waited until she was snoring softly before he carefully rose to his feet.

“Where are you going?” Martha said softly.

He looked at her.

“I’m going to do a bit of reconnaissance and make sure we’re still alone.” He whispered.

“Doctor.” Martha said nervously.

“It’ll be alright, Martha. I won’t go far. I need to do this in case my double is nearby.” He said.

He glanced back at Rose and looked at her.

“I need you to take care of Rose and look after her. If she wakes up, tell her where I am. Can you do that?”

Martha nodded.

The Doctor smiled and put his hand on her shoulder as he reached inside his jacket and brought out his sonic screwdriver.

“Here.” He said handing it to her. “Just in case something happens while I’m gone.”

“What about you? What if you run into your other self? Won’t you need this?”

 

The Doctor shook his head.

“I’ll be alright; I have other ways to defend myself. You need it more than me, especially since Rose is still weak. Remember, it won’t kill him, but you can use it to bring down tree limbs, rocks, anything that will delay him from getting to the two of you until I can get back.”

Martha nodded. She took the sonic screwdriver from him and put it in her pocket. The Doctor gave Rose one last look before he rose and walked down the boulders. Martha sat back and watched him walk across the clearing into the trees.

“I hope you know what you’re doing, Doctor.” She muttered.

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Martha sighed. It had been almost fifteen minutes and still no sign of the Doctor. She considered calling to him, but decided against it. She didn’t want to draw any attention to herself and Rose with the Doctor’s double looking for them.

As she stared at the trees, she noticed Rose moving. She looked down and saw she was waking up.

“Doctor?” she said sleepily.

“It’s alright, Rose. The Doctor’s gone to check out the area and make sure we’re safe. He’ll be back soon.” She said.

Rose looked at her.

“How long has he been gone?” she asked.

“Um…’bout ten, fifteen minutes I think.”

Rose looked over at the trees for a moment. She groaned as she slowly sat up.

“Rose, you don’t have to get up now. I’m sure the Doctor will be back any moment.” Martha said.

“No, I need to sit up. My back hurts from laying on this bleeding rock.” ‘

Rose rubbed her back as she stared out at the trees.

“I wish the two of you would just move on. I’m slowing you down.” She said.

She sighed.

“Maybe it would have been better if I had stayed in the other dimension, then you guys wouldn’t have gotten into this mess.” She whispered.

Martha felt a twinge of guilt knowing that she had thought the same thing at one point.

“Don’t say that, Rose.” She said.

“Why not? It’s true. I’m the reason you’re in this mess.” Rose said looking at her. “I’m sure you and the Doctor were doing fine until I showed up.”

Martha bit her lip.

“No, that’s not true.” She said choosing her words carefully. “The Doctor…he missed you, Rose. He was so depressed and lonely and it was because you weren’t here. He’s so glad you’re here now and I know everything that has happened is worth it. You aren’t a burden, Rose. To him…or to me. Please quit thinking of yourself that way.”

Rose stared at her.

“I heard what you and the Doctor said awhile ago.” She said. “The Doctor thought I was asleep, but I wasn’t.”

Martha averted her eyes.

“The Doctor shouldn’t have done that to you.”

Martha looked at her.

“What?”

“The Doctor shouldn’t have done that.” Rose repeated.

“But…he’s right. I am jealous of you. I mean, I was…I mean, I’m trying not to be…”

“Why didn’t you tell him what I said about understanding all of it?” Rose asked. “Because I do. I told you that.”

“I don’t know. It just came out of the blue, so I guess I didn’t think of that.” Martha admitted.

“I’ll tell him then. When he gets back.”

“No, its okay, Rose. I’m not interested in the Doctor anymore, okay? The Doctor’s right. It’s a crush and that’s all it ever will be. I’m not gonna spend the rest of my life pining for a man I can’t have. He loves you and I accept that. Just let the matter drop. I want to be friends with you and travel with the Doctor. That’s all I wanna do.”

Rose nodded.

“I’d love for you to travel with us.” She said. “And I’d love to have you as a friend.”

Martha smiled.

“Me too. And hopefully someday I’ll find someone who loves me just as much as the Doctor loves you.”

“I hope so.” Rose said.

They looked over when they saw the Doctor emerge from the woods.

“Well, someone’s awake.” He said walking over to the boulders.

Rose smiled at him as she watched him climb up to them.

“Yeah, I feel a lot better.” She said.

“Good, because it’s time to move.” The Doctor said, reaching for her hand.

“You found something?” Martha asked.

“Yeah, I found him. My double was nearby. He was hiding in the trees watching us. I saw him, and made a noise to distract him. He followed me for awhile and then I gave him the slip and came back here. We have to get going before he realizes what’s happened.”

Martha jumped to her feet while the Doctor helped Rose up. They hurried down the boulders.

“Follow me. I’ll see if I can find us a safer place to hide.” The Doctor said.

He gathered Rose up in his arms and hurried off into the woods with Martha following behind him.

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(Ten minutes later…)

The Doctor emerged from the woods and walked towards the boulders.

“Martha, Rose, everything seems to be okay. I have some more pulava berries for you. I know you don’t like the taste, but you need to eat and…”

He paused and his eyes widened when he noticed there was no one on the boulder.

“Martha? Rose?” he cried out. “Martha! Rose! Where are you?”

He looked all around him

“No, no, no, don’t tell me they went running off without telling me or…”

He paused and his eyes widened as a horrible thought occurred to him.

“No! They can’t have gone off with…”

His hearts beating out of his chest, he ran off into the woods praying to Rassilon that he wasn’t too late.


 

Chapter Twenty-Seven

“So, Doctor,” Martha said as he followed him and Rose. “Are we just going to walk until we get lucky and find a hiding place or are you going to think of a proper plan eventually?”

“Patience, Martha, just follow me and everything will be alright.”

“Yeah.” Martha muttered.

She walked along behind the Doctor staring at Rose who was lying in his arms with her head on his right shoulder. She didn’t know about Rose, but she had this nagging feeling that something wasn’t right. She speeded up slightly and stared at the Doctor’s face.

He doesn’t have the scar. She thought And he has both his eyes.

She stared at his right eye.

Although…something about his right eye…it looks odd. She thought. It couldn’t be him…or could it?

She thought back over the Doctor’s words.

“Doctor.” She said.

“Hmm?”

“You said that in order to lure your double away, you had to make a noise to get his attention, yeah?”

“Yup.”

“What did you do then, because I didn’t hear your voice in the woods.”

Rose stared at Martha for a moment, and then leaned her head up.

“Yeah, I didn’t hear you either.” She said.

The Doctor looked at them.

“Well, I didn’t make a loud noise.” He said. “Just loud enough to get his attention.”

Martha slowly stuck her hand in her pocket and wrapped it around the end of the sonic screwdriver.

“You also didn’t seem to be that panicked when you walked back towards us. That seems kinda strange if you were in a big hurry to get us out of there.” Martha added.

The Doctor looked at Martha and Rose who were now giving him suspicious looks. He stopped.

“What are you saying? That I’m not your Doctor?” he asked.

“That’s exactly what I’m saying.” Martha said.

The Doctor scoffed.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Martha. If I were the other Doctor, I would have a scar and a missing eye. Do I have a scar and a missing eye?”

“I don’t see any scar, but there is something off about your right eye.” Martha said. “It looks unnatural.”

“Martha, you’re imagining things. I am the Doctor. THE Doctor from this reality. I am not…Rose, what are you doing?”

“Let me down.” Rose said squirming out of his grasp.

“Rose, you’re still weak. Let me carry you, my love.” The Doctor said soothingly.

“Let me down!” Rose said forcefully.

“Rose…”

“Now!”

The Doctor sighed as he sat her feet on the ground.

“Happy now?” he said angrily.

He threw his hands up.

“You two are being ridiculous.” He said. “I am not an imposter. Rassilon, you’re being irrational. My double has you so spooked, that you don’t even trust your own eyes anymore.”

“Oh, I trust my eyes alright.” Martha muttered.

The Doctor sighed.

“Rose, you know me. I love you, Rose. More than anything. If I wanted to kill you, I would have done it by now. I would never hurt you. Never! Please, tell her I’m the real Doctor!”

He grasped her hands.

“Please, Rose, talk sense to her! Tell her I’m the real deal!”

Rose stared at the Doctor. She wanted to believe him. Wanted to believe it was their Doctor and not the double. As she stared at him though, her eyes drifted up to his forehead and she suddenly noticed an odd crease above his right eye. It was a tiny crease that would be hard to see from far away, but up close Rose noticed that it stood out on his forehead. She kept calm and forced a smile onto her face.

“Of course you’re our Doctor.” She said softly.

Martha’s mouth dropped open as the Doctor grinned from ear to ear.

“Rose---” she said.

“No, Martha, he is our real Doctor. I’ve traveled with him longer than you and I think I can tell the real one from the fake.”

Martha gritted her teeth. She tightened her grip on the screwdriver as Rose wrapped her arms around the Doctor.

“I’m sorry I doubted you, my Doctor. Please forgive me.” Rose cooed as she ran her hands down the back of his head.

“That’s okay, my beloved, I understand.” The Doctor replied. “After all that’s happened, I can hardly blame you two for thinking I’m an imposter.”

“No, you’re not. You’re the real deal.” Rose said running her hands around to his cheeks.

Martha glared angrily at Rose. She slowly brought the screwdriver out of her pocket and held it at her side waiting for the right opportunity to use it.

“I love you so much, Doctor.” Rose said softly. “I always will.”

“And I will always love you too, Rose.” He replied.

Rose smiled as her hands moved up to his temples. She began to massage them as she stared into his eyes.

“Can I ask you a question though, my love?” she said.

“Anything, Rose. You can ask me anything.” He replied.

“Good. What’s the Band-Aid for?”

The Doctor frowned.

“I’m sorry?”

The Band-Aid.”

“What Band-Aid?”

“The one on your forehead!”

The Doctor gasped as Rose grabbed the edge of the flesh colored strip just visible below the makeup. She jerked down hard revealing the scar beneath it.

“Oh! So that’s what the Band-Aid’s for!” Rose crowed.

The alternate Doctor gritted his teeth.

“You little fool! I’ll make you both suffer for that!” he said.

Rose gasped and ducked when a laser beam shot out of the alternate Doctor’s cybernetic eye hitting a nearby tree.

“Rose! Get out of the way!” Martha screamed.

Rose rolled out of the way as Martha brought the sonic screwdriver up and aimed it at a limb above the alternate Doctor’s head. She turned it on and grinned when she heard a loud crack. She dove out of the way as the limb fell on the alternate Doctor’s head, stunning him.”

“RUN, ROSE!” Martha screamed.

Rose turned left and ran into the trees. Martha started to follow. She let out a gasp when she felt the alternate Doctor grab her ankle.

“Oh, no you don’t!” he said between gritted teeth. “You won’t get away that easily!”

“Wanna bet?”

Martha kicked the alternate Doctor hard in the face. He let out a grunt and loosened her grip on her ankle. Martha ran to the right as the Doctor tried to push the limb off of him.

“Run, little ape, I’ll find you! I’ll kill you both!”

He scrambled to his feet and looked off to the left.

“Starting with the weaker one.” He said with a smirk.

He took off after Rose while Martha ran blindly in the other direction. She looked back behind her hoping the alternate Doctor wasn’t following and gasped when she slammed into something. She turned and her eyes widened for a moment in terror when she saw the Doctor standing in front of her. Blindly, she fought him.

“Martha, Martha, it’s me, honestly!” he said trying to restrain her.

Through her panic, she noticed that there was no scar on his forehead. She calmed herself and took air into her lungs.

“What happened? Where’s Rose?” the Doctor asked.

“She…ran the other way….We….thought it was you at first, but it was the other Doctor. He had this…flesh colored Band-Aid or something like it covering his scar and he did something to his eye to make it look normal and he looked just like you.”

“That’s what I was afraid of. Where is he now?”

“I thought he was behind me, but I think he went the other way…after Rose.”

The Doctor narrowed his eyes and balled up his fist.

“Lead the way, Martha. It’s time me and my double had it out!”

Martha nodded. Taking the Doctor’s hand, they ran back the other way.


 

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Rose ran as fast as she could through the forest. Her legs ached and her lungs felt like they were on fire, but she pressed on knowing that if she was caught, she would die a painful death. With every step she felt more and more of her strength ebbing away and she fought the urge to lay down and go to sleep. She ran on praying that her Doctor wasn’t far behind.

“ROOOOOOOOSE!”

Rose looked back when she heard the alternate Doctor calling to her in a sickly sweet voice.

“ROSE, WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FROM ME? I THOUGHT YOU LOVED ME! DON’T GO, MY LOVE!”

“Aw, bite me!” Rose muttered as she forced herself to run faster.

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“ROOOOOOOOOOOOOSE, COME BACK!”

The Doctor and Martha put on a burst of speed when they heard the alternate Doctor call out.

“ROSE, I LOVE YOU!”

“Blimey, my double has a big mouth.” The Doctor muttered.

He paused a moment and glanced over at Martha who was giving him a pointed look.

“Don’t even say it.” He said to her.

Martha shrugged. They put on another burst of speed as they tore through the woods.

“Do you have a plan?” Martha asked.

“In the works.”

“That’s what I figured.”

The Doctor pointed off to his right.

“Go that way and try to head him off if you can. Thanks to his need to scare the shit outta Rose, you should be able to determine his location.”

Martha nodded. The Doctor threw her the sonic screwdriver.

“Good luck!” he said.

“You too.”

The Doctor nodded. He sped up as Martha changed direction and ran out of view.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Rose couldn’t take it anymore; she dropped to her knees and gasped in air as her heart pounded out of her chest.

“I’m sorry, Doctor. I can’t go on.” She said to herself.

She lowered her head for a moment and then raised it.

“No, I have to go on. The Doctor wouldn’t want me to give up.” She said.

Panting, she looked around her and quickly crawled behind some trees. Lying on her stomach, she calmed herself as she peered around the trunk. She watched the alternate Doctor run past her and breathed a sigh of relief.

“Thank God.” She said.

Her eyes widened when she saw her Doctor running past her.

“Doctor!” she said in a loud whisper.

The Doctor stopped short and looked in her direction. A relieved look came over his face as he walked over to her.

“Rose. There you are. Been looking for ya.” He teased.

Rose rolled her eyes and smiled at him. He knelt down beside her and laid his hand on her back.

“Are you okay? Did he hurt you?” he asked as he looked her over.

“No, I’m okay. He doesn’t know I’m here. He ran past me after I hid. I just couldn’t run anymore.”

The Doctor nodded.

“Hang on, I’ll get you to safety before he comes back.” He said.

“Afraid you’re too late for that.”

The Doctor looked over his shoulder as his double stepped through the trees. The Doctor stood up and positioned himself in front of Rose.

“I have a request before this goes any further.” The Doctor said.

The alternate Doctor raised his eyebrow.

“Really? What?”

“I’ll fight you, but I don’t want Rose in the middle of it. Let me move her to safety and then we can have it out.”

“You really think I’m gonna buy that?”

“I’m a man of my word. Rose has nothing to do with this and---“

“On the contrary, Rose is just as guilty as you and your other pet. All of you have been more trouble than your worth. I want to see all of you suffer.”

The Doctor balled up his fists.

“You’ll never get past me. I won’t let you hurt them.” He said.

The alternate Doctor snickered.

“Rassilon, you get more and more pathetic every minute. Why do you care for them so much? They’re just a couple of lowly apes.”

“They’re far more than that.”

“So, you would risk your life for them?”

“Willingly.”

“Rassilon, I’m beginning to think getting rid of you will be a mercy killing since you seem to be completely deluded. But if you want to waste your remaining lives on a couple of flea-bitten mongrels, who am I to refuse?”

The alternate Doctor smirked as he readied himself to fight.

“Well, let’s get this over with.”

“Not till Rose is safe.”

The alternate Doctor sighed and threw up his hands.

“Fine, do what you need to do! I’m sick of hearing that ape’s name. I’m sure she won’t want to watch you die before her anyway.”

He narrowed his eye.

“But I’m warning you, if this is a trick and you’re planning to run back to your TARDIS, I will come after you and your pets and I won’t stop until you’re all lying dead at my feet.”

“Oh trust me; I have no intention of letting you run rampant in this universe or any other. I’ll be back!” the Doctor replied.

The alternate Doctor leaned back against a tree. He rolled his eye when the Doctor leaned down and gathered Rose in his arms.

“Come on, Rose, you don’t need to see this.” He said tenderly.

He glared at the alternate Doctor as he stood up. The alternate Doctor smirked back.

“Go on, take Fluffy someplace and get back here before I change my mind.”

The Doctor narrowed his eyes.

“I’ll be back.” He said.

Holding Rose close to him, he carried her away as the alternate Doctor let out a wolf whistle.

“Don’t get too distracted, my double, and shag her brains out on the way to her safe place. I know how hard it’ll probably be to keep it in your pants holding her in your arms like that!” he called out to him.

The Doctor gritted his teeth trying to keep his temper as the alternate Doctor called out “Whoooooooooo” and “Kissy kissy!” behind him.

“Keep talking, you stupid git. I’ll shut your gob soon enough.” He muttered.

“Doctor?”

The Doctor looked over at Rose and his face softened.

“Yes, Rose?”

Rose smiled.

“Kick the sod’s arse.” She said.

The Doctor grinned.

“With pleasure.” He replied.

He kissed her lips and carried her through the woods. He walked until he reached the boulders. Climbing them, he laid her back down on the big boulder and stroked her hair.

“Doctor, please be careful.” Rose said.

“I will. I have two people depending on me, you know.”

He leaned down and kissed her on the lips. Leaning back up, he smiled lovingly at her.

“And, Doctor, one other thing.”

“Hmmmm?”

“Don’t come back in a different body either!”

The Doctor raised his eyebrow.

“What if the next life is even cuter than this one?” he teased.

“I don’t see how that would be possible.”

The Doctor grinned and gave her one last kiss.

“Stay here, no running off to save me, okay?” he said to her.

“I’m so tired, I can barely get up, let alone save you.” She said.

“Good, because I’m gonna need all my wits for this battle without worrying about you on top of it. Just rest and I’ll be back in…oh…five minutes.”

“Okay, five minutes. If you aren’t back, I’m crawling after you.” Rose replied.

The Doctor chuckled. He stroked her cheek and then stood up. Rose smiled at him as he walked down the boulder.

“I love you, Doctor.” She said to him.

“I love you too, my little ape.”

He glanced back and saw that Rose was giving him a look of death.

“Kidding, just kidding.” He said.

Rose giggled softly and blew him a kiss. He smiled and hopped off the last boulder.

“Right! Time to get this show on the road!” he said as he headed back into the woods.


 

Chapter Twenty-Nine

The alternate Doctor smirked when he saw the Doctor emerging from the trees.

“So, the Time Lord does have some brains left in his skull, after all.” He said.

“I told you I’d be back.” The Doctor replied. “I want this finished here and now.”

“And is little Fluffy safe and sound?”

The Doctor gritted his teeth.

“Yes.” He said trying to keep calm.

“Well, what about Spot then? I can’t help noticing that your other pet has disappeared into thin air. Is she with Rose…or are you using your little ape in an ambush against me? Because if that’s what you’re doing, I wouldn’t recommend it.”

“Martha is with Rose.” The Doctor replied.

“Good, it’ll make it that much easier to find them after I get through with you. Of course, it might take some time to get through all of your lives before you finally die. But, I have nothing better to do at the moment.”

“I want to make you an offer.”

The alternate Doctor threw up his hands.

“Now what? You want to take your pets off the planet before you’ll fight me?”

“I don’t want to fight you.”

The alternate Doctor paused.

“What?” he said not sure if he heard him right.

“I want to make you an offer.”

The Doctor gave him a skeptical look.

“And the offer is?”

“Surrender---“

The Doctor snorted.

“Yeah, some offer. I think I’ll pass, thanks.”

“I wasn’t finished!”

The alternate Doctor leaned back against the tree, folded his arms over his chest and stared at him.

“I’m waiting…” he said after a moment of silence.

“Unlike you, I don’t enjoy killing people.”

“I figured that. Unfortunately for you, I do, so if I were you I’d stop talking and start fighting.”

“No, you’ll listen to me first!”

The alternate Doctor sighed.

“Out with it!” he said angrily. “I’ve already given you more time than I usually do, so you could protect your little apes.”

“If you surrender to me, end this plan of yours, and let me take you back to Gallifrey in your reality; I will go before the High Council and plead for your life so you won’t be executed.”

“And that’s it?” the alternate Doctor said.

The Doctor narrowed his eyes.

“It’ll be a far better fate than the one you’ll have after I get through with you.”

The alternate Doctor snorted.

“Oh yeah, I’m so scared. You are so pathetic, you know that? We are Time Lords, the greatest species in the universe. We are higher than any other life form. All others should be falling to their knees and worshiping us, but not only do you spend your time among these lower life forms, you choose to associate with the stupidest, most brain dead creatures the universe has ever known. And even worse, you fell in love with one of them. You are a disgrace to our kind! You’re nothing more than a weak, sentimental, wishy-washy caricature of me. I’ll be doing this reality a service by killing you.”

“So, your answer to my offer is no?”

“Yeah, my answer to your little offer is no.”

The Doctor shrugged.

“I gave you a chance to end this and walk away, what happens next is your own doing.” He said.

“Oh? And is that how you justify killing others, then? You make these weak little offers you know no one is going to accept and then when they refuse, you can soothe your troubled conscience knowing that you made some kind of offer of mercy to them?”

The Doctor was silent.

“That’s it, isn’t it? That’s what you tell yourself after you’ve taken a life. Well, I warned them and they wouldn’t listen, so I was forced to kill them and it’s all their fault. How many times have you made this offer, Doctor? Ten times, a hundred times, a thousand times? How many people have you killed exactly? Because I’m betting when you get right down to it, you and I are the same.”

“I am nothing like you.”

“Oh really, Doctor?”

“Yes, really! Unlike you, I can show some compassion to other forms of life. The universe is something to be explored and protected, not exploited and ravaged. And as for our kind being feared and worshipped as gods, that way of thinking was why I ran away from Gallifrey in the first place. I got so sick and tired of Time Lords like you thinking they were better than everyone else and passing judgment on other species when they barely got up enough energy to get out of their TARDISes and look at the planets they were supposed to be observing. You keep going on and on about Rose and Martha’s stupidity, but you haven’t seen them in action. They are a credit to their species, and time and again I’ve been amazed by their courage, their intelligence and their ability to bounce back from even the most horrendous situations. I would take their company over yours any day.”

He folded his arms over his chest.

“And as for your question, I have killed many people in my lifetimes and each time I ached knowing that I took a life unnecessarily. The ridiculous offer, as you call it, is my attempt to show some mercy, which is something I rarely get in return. You are a threat to the universe, both mine and your own. There is no way I will let you just walk away and leave you to your own devices. I can understand your wanting to escape execution, so I offered you a chance to avoid vaporization. I’m sorry if you think the offer is lame, but as I said, I will not offer a murderer and a pirate freedom he does not deserve. You refused my proposal, and in doing so you are the one who is responsible for what comes next.”

He balled up his fist.

“As for my being a wishy-washy wimp, I have only this to say.”

He narrowed my eyes.

“They don’t call me the Oncoming Storm for nothing.”

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