Chapter Twenty

The Doctor attached the chains to his fake captives, making sure that Rose and Jack were first in the queue. He wanted to end this as quickly as possible and spare the others the humiliation of being bid on. James came by to check on them and told them that a crowd was gathering around the stage.

"He's there, Doctor. That man who stole your body," James said. "He's at the back of the crowd."

"Good, I knew he couldn't resist watching," the Doctor said. "In that case, Rose will go first, then Jack if necessary. I just need him to watch long enough for me to grab him."

"How will you grab him?" Rose said.

"The force field cage. I'll try to lure him close enough to the stage to activate it," the Doctor said. "That's why we need to do this. At least keep it going long enough for me to entice him to the front. Rose…"

"I'll put on a show then," Rose said.

"No, you're not a pole dancer," the Doctor said.

Rose shook her head.

"No, I mean…"

Rose fell to her knees and begged the Doctor for mercy briefly before getting up.

"That's what I mean," Rose said. "The scared captive bit."

"Good, that's what I wanna see then. Make it look real. Resist, yeah? You're in danger of being sold. Got that, Jack?"

"Got it," Jack said.

"Right. James, thanks for the warning. Go ahead and mingle with the crowd."

"Got it," James said before hurrying away.

"Right," the Doctor said to everyone. "Like I said, Rose and Jack will hopefully be the only ones to get up on the stage but the rest of you need to act like this is real, yeah? Show me a little pizzazz people, make me proud of your acting skills!"

He smiled when everyone chuckled.

"Right, let's go, my slaves. It's showtime!" he said to them.


It was a short distance to the concrete stage but the captives wailed and cried out and made a show of resisting all the way to it. Even Jack was getting into the act, even though Rose had never known him to beg or wail or act like a cowered slave. The Doctor yelled at them and occasionally slapped them on the head, taking care to do it so it didn't hurt but it looked convincing. He also jerked on Rose's chain, again so it didn't hurt her but enough to convince everyone he was Jarvik leading in slaves for bidding. He stopped them by the stage. There was a large iron ring by the steps for the chains. He had used a small metal clamp on the chains to link them together. He took off the one that linked Jack's chain to Rose's and held Rose's chain in one hand while he used the clamp to link Jack's chain to the iron ring. Then he leaned in to Rose's face.

"Ready, my hearts?" he whispered.

"Ready, Doctor."

"Then act your arse off, my slave," he whispered back.

"Anything for you, Master," Rose said softly.

The Doctor chuckled and jerked on the chain.

"Get up there, you bitch!" he said, forcing himself to say that to his lover as he went up the steps.

Rose grasped the chain with both hands and pretended to resist as they went up the stairs. The buyers were leering and hollering rude things while she went up onto the stage and the Doctor forced his anger down and the impulse to hit some of them for the crude things they were saying. He took her to the post and pulled out another clamp from his pocket. He clamped her chain to the post and turned to the crowd while Rose acted afraid and begged him to let her go. He looked over the crowd and just as James said, Callisto was standing at the back, enjoying every moment of this. He noticed James was standing at the front and James nodded at him when their eyes met.

"Right, you lot!" the Doctor said, imitating Jarvik's voice. "How much for this beauty here? Look at her, look at how beautiful she is? She'll warm your bed, I guarantee it!"

"No, please don't do this!" Rose yelled as the men began to bid.

The Doctor had his back to her but she noticed him stiffen for a moment when she said that. She knew it was making him uncomfortable doing this but he kept up the act while people bid credits on her. She caught Callisto's eye and he smirked at her, which made her loath him all the more. It was surreal seeing the Doctor's body at the back while the real Doctor stood on the stage, taking bids from everyone. She found Ianto in the crowd and he was trying to outbid everyone as fast as he could. She continued to beg for mercy and fight the chain but Callisto stayed at the back and wouldn't move up. Rose knew the Doctor would have to do something else to tempt him up to the front. But while she was thinking that, she suddenly had an idea.

"Hey!" she yelled to Callisto, "why aren't you bidding on me? Don't you want me?"

The crowd fell silent momentarily and turned their heads to see who Rose was yelling at. The Doctor looked over his shoulder at her.

"Tempting him up to the front," Rose said softly.

The Doctor nodded and turned his head back around. Callisto narrowed his eyes and backed up slightly when the crowd looked right at him.

"Yeah, you. Why aren't you bidding? Aren't I worth it?" Rose yelled at Callisto.

"Maybe he's trying to steal her from us once we bid on her," Ianto yelled.

"Yeah, that's right, he's trying to take me away from you," Rose said.

The crowd began to mutter angrily as Callisto backed away from them.

"Why don't you come up front, mate, where we can keep an eye on you?" one of the men said.

"Yeah, the girl's right," another man said. "You're just standing at the back and not saying anything. Going to nick our prize once we're finished bidding on her?"

To the Doctor's delight, several men at the back seized him and compelled him to go up front. Others in the crowd helped out and a minute later, Callisto was standing right at the front within the reach of the force field cage.

"You fucking git, muzzle the bitch!" Callisto growled at the Doctor as he pointed to Rose.

"I'm busy at the moment," the Doctor said. "I'm trying to conduct an auction. No one's gonna bite ya, mate. Stand there."

Callisto glowered at him but the Doctor hid a smile as he turned his attention back to the bidders. But then suddenly Callisto tried to run back through the crowd. And now the crowd, which suspected the flight was due to him being found out, became even more hostile. Then suddenly, Callisto whipped out a laser blaster and the crowd began to disperse when he shot a couple of the men beside him dead. He turned around and pointed a blaster at the Doctor.

"I know who you are, Doctor. I can see inside your mind and I know this is a disguise," Callisto said.

"Give me back my body!" the Doctor growled.

He started to jump down from the stage but Callisto aimed his blaster at Rose's stomach. Rose screamed when he shot her and the Doctor roared with rage as he turned and fled. Ianto and James tried to grab him but they quickly ducked when Callisto turned and fired at them. He then tried to shoot the Doctor. The Doctor hit the floor of the stage and watched while Callisto ran away before he went to Rose.

"Sorry," Rose murmured as she lay there.

"No, it's alright, we'll get him," the Doctor said as Ianto and James leapt up onto the stage and ran to her.

Jack unclamped his chain and unclamped Lucy's chain from his. Lucy and the other captives undid their clamps while Jack leapt up onto the stage and ran to Rose.

"It's not lethal," the Doctor said to him as he knelt down. "It was a diversion so he could get away. But she needs medical attention. Help me get her and everyone else back to the TARDIS."

Jack nodded. He gathered Rose in his arms and he and the Doctor sprinted towards the stables while James and Ianto helped the other captives free themselves.

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