Chapter One

The Doctor sprinted up the steep hill, trying to put some distance between himself and Rose. They had landed on a distant planet, intending to explore the terrain but they were captured by some humans who took them back to their city. There they were separated, the humans took his sonic so he couldn't use it and now the Doctor found himself in some sort of survival reality show. Rose had been brainwashed into being his assassin after they put a brainwashing collar around her neck. So far, the Doctor hadn't seen any other combatants so he assumed it was just him and Rose. He knew what he was capable of; he knew he could snap her neck in a heartbeat and have done with it or knock her out and take the blaster they gave her. But he knew she wasn't in control of herself and he didn't want to hurt her needlessly so he decided to run until he could think of a strategy to get the upper hand without hurting the woman he loved.

He reached the top of the hill and found a cave nestled in between some trees. He ducked his head in and found it was empty and shallow. He considered abandoning it and moving on but then he had an idea and slipped inside. He waited at the back of the cave and watched through the opening while Rose came up the hill. She paused and looked around before spying the cave. The Doctor pressed himself up against the back of it while Rose slowly walked towards it, her blaster in front of her, pointing at the entrance. She came to the entrance and froze when she saw the Doctor. The Doctor waited for her to fire the blaster but she didn't. In fact, he noticed her lowering it a bit and that gave him hope.

"Hello, Rose," he said to her.

"I must kill you," Rose said in a flat, toneless voice.

"Then do it," the Doctor said, betting on his companion's love and loyalty for him.

Rose stood there, the blaster pointed at him but she didn't fire and didn't move from the entrance. The Doctor leaned up against the wall, waiting for her to make a move.

"I must kill you," she repeated.

"Then do it," the Doctor repeated.

He waited and smiled when he saw the indecision on her face. He knew she was battling against the hypnotic suggestion. He could see her struggle and knew she was fighting the collar.

"You killed my family," Rose said, "in the Time War."

"So…that's the suggestion they gave you, eh?" the Doctor said. "You weren't alive during the Time War, Rose. Jackie was probably a preteen or teenager when it happened. And you're from Earth. Think! Remember who you are."

"You killed my family. You must die!" Rose said.

"Kill me then, I'm unarmed. I'm just standing here so kill me," the Doctor said with a shrug.

Rose's hand was trembling and he knew she was fighting it. He decided to push his luck and started walking towards her. Rose stiffened and aimed the blaster at him and the Doctor stopped and waited but she still didn't fire and now her expression was strained and her hands were trembling badly. The Doctor reached out and touched her face, intending to stroke it but Rose stepped back.

"You know who I am," he said softly to her, noting that she only stepped back a couple of paces but didn't run. "That's why you can't kill me. I'm unarmed, I'm standing here without fighting you but you can't do it, can you?"

"You must die," Rose said in a flat tone of voice.

The Doctor began to sing softly to her, sing her a familiar song in Gallifreyan. A song he sang to her one night while she was having nightmares. He climbed in beside her and held her while he sang. When she asked what it meant, he told her the story of two starcrossed lovers who couldn't be together and in despair, the woman jumped off a cliff. When the man heard about it, he did the same thing and because the chasm below the cliff was so deep, the lovers were never found and their bodies ended up together at the bottom of the chasm. Rose joked that it was a morbid song to be singing to someone with a nightmare but she often asked to hear the song after that. Now he could see her eyes misting over and when she touched her face this time, she didn't flinch or move back.

"See, you know deep inside who I really am," he said as he stroked her cheek.

He sang softly to her and realized that his singing was keeping her calm and allowing him to get closer. She still held the blaster up but he was able to keep moving past it and he pulled it away from her while he continued to sing. He stroked her cheek as he put the blaster into his pocket. Rose's mouth was opening and closing but no sound was coming out and he knew she was trying to speak to him. He figured she was trying to tell her to help him or call his name.

"It's okay, I'm here," he said softly. "I'll get you out of this somehow. You trust me, don't you?"

Again, the straining and the opening and closing of the mouth. The Doctor sang the song as he leaned in to look at the collar. There was a tiny lock. He needed a key but it looked simple enough to crack. He rubbed Rose's back while he continued to sing.

"That's it, just relax and keep calm," he murmured to her as he fingered the lock.

He decided to try something else. He suddenly went around her and strolled calmly out of the cave. He glanced over his shoulder and noticed Rose was following but he noticed she looked lost, like she was confused and unsure what to do except follow him. The Doctor led her to the edge of the hill and looked down at the rocky, tree lined ground. He looked at Rose who had come up behind him and stopped.

"Push me, I'll probably hit a rock or tree or break my neck on the way down," he said to her.

He waited but again, Rose was resisting the mind control. He put his hand against her cheek but she didn't resist that either.

"You're confused, aren't you?" he murmured as he stroked her cheek. "You can't kill me and that's your primary order. You don't know what to do so you're following me."


"Yes?" the Doctor said when she trailed off.


"Fight it, Rose. I know you can do it," the Doctor said.

Rose's face tightened and the Doctor knew she was trying to fight the mind control. He began to urge her to fight harder, hoping that would be enough to break the grip over her mind.


He brightened when Rose managed to say his name. He was about to say something to her to urge her further when suddenly a bright light surrounded them and they both vanished into thin air.

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