Chapter Twenty Four

"So now what do we do?" Jackie said to her daughter and Jack. "Do we go look for him?"

"I have a feeling he's light years away from us now," Jack said grimly.

"So we move on, try to find a way out of here?" Rose said.

"I haven't been here for very long but I get the feeling a way out of here is miles and miles away from us," Jack said. "At least it looked that way when we transmatted down here."

"Great, so we're stuck here," Jackie said, throwing up her hands.

Just then, there was an enormous flash. The three of them turned to see the Doctor. He was standing behind them, wearing Callisto's outfit. He was holding his hand on his stomach and looked slightly pale. He looked at them and noticed the confused looks on their faces.

"Things have changed," he said to them. "I'm the Doctor now. That bastard made me regenerate and I was pulled back into my body."

"Doctor?" Rose said, walking over to him and looking him over. "Oh God, are you alright?"

"Not exactly," the Doctor said as Jackie and Jack came over to him.

Before they could ask what was wrong, the Doctor let out a small burp and regenerative energy streamed out of his mouth. Rose paled at the sight of it.

"Oh God, not again," she said, shaking her head. "We're gonna get Sycorax now?"

"No, I don't think so," the Doctor said, shaking his head. "At least I hope not. But I'm still cooking and I'm not at full strength and Callisto challenged me to a battle to the death outside the entrance."

"Here?" Jack said. "So we go outside and watch you battle to the death?"

"When you're ill…again," Jackie said.

"It's not as bad as last time. I think I can manage, just some leftover energy, is all," the Doctor said, holding up his hand. "Follow me everyone, we have to get up to the surface before Callisto does something else."

He walked confidently to the door and everyone gasped when he missed it slightly and hit the wall just beside the doorway.

"Sorry. Early days, steering's a bit off," he said, staggering back.

"Why do I get the feeling that making him regenerate was part of Callisto's plan to gain an advantage over him in battle?" Jack said as the Doctor course corrected and walked through the door.


By the time they emerged, the day was nearly over and the sun was just above the horizon. Callisto was standing by the hole, waiting impatiently for them. The TARDIS was one hundred feet behind him on a small hill.

"So, you finally made it, eh?" Callisto said, "I was getting worried."

"You bastard! You took Ianto's body!" Jack snarled at him.

He started to run toward Callisto but the Doctor grabbed his arm and stopped him.

"Jack, no, this is my fight," the Doctor said to him. "Guard Rose and Jackie."

"Don't hurt Ianto in all this," Jack said tersely to the Doctor.

"I'll do everything in my power not to, I promise," the Doctor said, patting his arm.

Jack glowered at Callisto for a moment before he reluctantly moved back and stood with Rose and Jackie. The Doctor made sure he wasn't going to attack before he turned his attention back to Callisto.

"Well? What do we do now? Boxing, blasters, face slapping?" he said to Callisto

"How about hand to hand combat, make it an even fight," Callisto said.

"Fair enough. Jack, take Rose and Jackie and stand away from us," the Doctor said over his shoulder.

Rose lingered a moment, locking eyes with the Doctor. Jack tapped her on the shoulder and beckoned to her when she looked his way. Rose glanced again at the Doctor and he smiled lovingly at her before she turned and followed her mother and Jack to a large hill about fifty feet away. When they were out of harm's way, the Doctor turned his attention back to Callisto.

"Well…" he said to Callisto. "Have a go at me then."

Callisto held his arms up in a fighting stance but the Doctor noticed he was hesitating and sizing up his opponent.

"Well, come on, mate," the Doctor said, sensing Callisto's hesitation. "You weakened me when you made me regenerate, you know. So what are you waiting for? Hit me!"

Callisto hesitated for a few more moments before he finally lunged forward, his fist drawn back and ready to hit the Doctor's face. The Doctor jerked backwards and let his enemy go right by him. The momentum propelled Callisto past him and the Doctor responded by kicking him hard in the derriere, sending him sprawling to the ground. Callisto tried to get up quickly but he wasn't used to Ianto's body so the Doctor managed to punch him in the stomach as he was getting up. Callisto grunted and the Doctor hit him again, sending him back to the ground. The Doctor stepped back and let him get to his feet. Callisto held his aching jaw and glared at him.

"Come on, you can do better than this," the Doctor said as he stood about ten feet away from him. "I thought you were this big, bad body stealing bloke who could terrorize people with his magical skills. Or…are you just a body stealing bully who can't do anything other than steal bodies? Maybe that's why you kept up the game playing? Because you're useless at hand to hand combat?"

Callisto took a swing at him but the Doctor ducked and stepped out of his way.

"See, you made a grave error when you killed my last body," the Doctor said as he walked around him. "You thought that would weaken me but actually, it made me stronger and more unpredictable. Ask Rose. She was there the last time I regenerated."

Callisto glanced at Rose. Rose nodded and smirked.

"You though if I was newly born, I'd be weakened but this time, I recovered quickly and now I'm in a young, strong, new body that hasn't been weakened by time or stress. And you're in a new body that you still haven't figured out how to control. So who is at a disadvantage now, mate?"

He saw Callisto's hand going into Ianto's pocket and guessed what he was about to do. He ran towards Callisto and brought his hand up and closed it, intending to punch him. Callisto took his hand out of the pocket and brought it up to block the blow. The Doctor smirked and changed tactics at the last second, grabbing Callisto's wrist and jerking it behind his body while he went behind his body and grabbed his neck.

"Figured you'd try to cheat," the Doctor said in his ear while he tightened his hold on both the wrist and neck. "I didn't get to be this old by being a fool, Callisto. Surrender now and leave Ianto's body!"

There was a shudder and Ianto's eyes bulged for a moment. Then he relaxed and Ianto gasped at the Doctor's chokehold.

"It's me, he's gone, could you let go please? You're hurting me," Ianto gasped.

"Sorry," the Doctor said, releasing his grip slightly but still keeping his hands where they were.

"No, really, it's me," Ianto said as Jack, Jackie and Rose slowly walked towards them. "He left and went somewhere."

"Where?" the Doctor said.

"Dunno, but I felt him leave," Ianto said.

"Are you lot alright? You're not possessed?" the Doctor said when the other three came up to him and Ianto.

They glanced at each other and shook their heads.

"Then he's gone, into the air, I suppose," the Doctor said. "He's not in me. Unless, he found something else to possess."

"Are you going to let go of Ianto now?" Jack said to the Doctor.

"Are you sure you're Ianto?" the Doctor said. "You're not pretending so I'll let go?"

"Yan, sing him our bedtime song," Jack said to Ianto.

"No," Ianto said.

"Come on, prove to the Doctor you are who you say you are," Jack said. "Sing the song so he'll let go."

Ianto sighed heavily before he half sang/half muttered…

"The daytime now is over, the moon is in the sky. I'm feeling really sleepy so it's time for beddy bye, it's time for beddy bye."

"Okay, second verse now," Jack said while Rose giggled at Ianto's red face.

"I'm Ianto Jones, trust me! Don't make me sing the second verse!" Ianto said, annoyed.

"Okay, I'll trust you," the Doctor said.

Ianto breathed a sigh of relief when he let him go.

"Thank you," he said to the Doctor as he stepped away from him.

"Now, come on, Yan. Sing the second verse about how I cuddle and coo as I hold you tight," Jack said.

The Doctor grinned and Rose giggled when Ianto's face grew even redder. Jack gave him a playful punch on Ianto's arm before putting his arm around him.

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