Chapter Sixteen

The Doctor watched Rose while she slept. The bruises were fading now and he was determined to keep any new bruises from marring her skin. While he gazed on her, his mind drifted back to their conversation about allowing her to continue with this timeline. The temptation kept pestering him and he had to battle against his urge to put time back in its proper order. He didn't know what would happen to her if he disabled the paradox machine but if she stayed with him, perhaps that would be a sign that she was meant to travel with him again.

Except she would have two years' worth of memories of living with the Master and suffering his abuse, he thought to himself. Then again, I could always take some of those memories out. Blimey, I wish there was an easy answer to all this.

Rose stirred and opened her eyes. The Doctor watched her lovingly while she stared up at him. She reached up and stroked the sparse snow white hairs on the back of his head.

"How long was I sleeping?" she asked.

"Probably about an hour, not long," the Doctor said.

"You need hair," Rose said.

"I realize that. I need a lot of things at the moment."

"Adult nappie?"

"No, not that," the Doctor said dryly while she giggled. "I still have control of my bladder, thank heavens."

Rose stared at his eyes and thought it weird that they were still so youthful looking when he was so old now. It hurt her to think he was once a young man and was now reduced to this. But when she looked at his eyes, she could still see the young residing within.

"We'll have to keep moving, won't we?" she said as she stroked his hair.

"Yes. The Master will order a search when he returns. We need to be as far away from here as we can be when that happens. We can't stay near the escape pod."

"But how do we escape?" Rose said.

"I'll think of something…we both will," he said, rubbing her back. "But what about making you young again? How do we do that?"

"I've been thinking about that and I think I have a solution. The Master used Professor Lazurus's technology to age me. The Lab is here in London and I know where it is. I can use the original machine to make myself young again."

"Do you want to go tonight?"

"Yes, after dark, just in case," the Doctor said. "It's not far from here. I have my sonic and with a little jiggery pokery, I can modify it so I can turn back to my old self safely."

Rose was happy to hear that. She hated that he was so old and wasn't able to defend himself as well as he could have if he was young. She continued to stroke his hair in silence while the Doctor watched. Then she leaned in and kissed his lips. The Doctor returned the kiss and they snogged for about twenty minutes before they were interrupted by a knock at the door. The Doctor jerked his head around and slowly sat up on the side of the bed.

"Stay here, keep still," he said softly.

"Be careful," Rose said just as softly.

The Doctor nodded. He walked to the door and looked through the peephole while Rose watched nervously.

"Hmm, it's a child, a little girl," the Doctor said to Rose. "I think she'll mean us no harm."

He opened the door and smiled warmly at a little girl standing in front of the door. She was about four foot with black hair that was separated into braided pigtails. She was wearing a slightly stained purple t-shirt and faded jeans. She looked up at the Doctor with inquisitive green eyes.

"Hi," she said.

"Hello," the Doctor said, kneeling down. "How are you?"

"Fine," the girl said shyly.

"What's your name?" the Doctor asked.


"I'm the Doctor and this is Rose," the Doctor said while Rose waved hello from the bed.

"You're new," Cynthia said.

"Yes, we are. We just got here."

"Daddy wants to know if you'd like some food and supplies."

"Well, we might need a bit but we need to leave here soon so not too much."

"I'll tell him," Cynthia said.

The Doctor rose up and leaned out the doorway, watching while Cynthia ran down the hallway to the door at the end of the hall. She opened the door and went inside. The Doctor leaned back in and closed the door.

"She lives at the end of the corridor with her father," the Doctor said to Rose.

"So others live here as well," Rose said.

"I'm sure the Toclafane destroyed a lot of houses, probably a lot of people are now dispossessed and looking for shelter. And this is a nice shelter, all in all. Comfy bed, telly, roof over your head. Probably a lot of people live here in secret."

"Then we should leave so we don't endanger them," Rose said.

"I agree. But first we try Lazlabs tonight and then rest. We can leave early in the morning. I want to make sure you're rested and an hour's sleep isn't enough. So go ahead and rest a few hours more and I'll wake you and…"

There was a knock on the door. The Doctor walked to it, opened it up and smiled at Cynthia. She came into the room carrying a large box. She put it on the chest of drawers beside the TV and waved shyly to the Doctor on the way back out. The Doctor thanked her, shut the door and walked to the box. He opened it while Rose got up from the bed and joined him. They opened the box and looked inside. They saw several canned goods, biscuits, some candy and a few towels and toiletry items.

"That was nice of her," Rose said.

"Yes. I have a feeling they don't have much but they were kind enough to share what they have and…"

There was another knock on the door. The Doctor opened it and Cynthia walked in with a hotplate and a pot. She put them beside the box and waved goodbye. Rose put her hand on her shoulder.

"Wait, how old are you?"

"Five," Cynthia said.

"And you're living with your dad?"

Cynthia nodded. The Doctor bent down beside her.

"What about your mum?" he asked.

"Mum died. The ball monsters killed her."

Rose's heart hurt and she knelt down and hugged Cynthia.

"The Doctor is working out a way to fix everything, Cynthia, I promise," Rose said to her.

Cynthia turned and looked at the Doctor and he put his hand on her head.

"You're very brave, Cynthia," he said.

Cynthia smiled and quickly kissed his cheek. She waved goodbye before walking out and closing the door.

"Oh God, the poor girl. Damn Harry to Hell, I hope he gets what's coming to him," Rose growled as she and the Doctor stood up.

"I will take care of him, Rose. Don't worry about him. He'll pay for what he's done here. But I hope when the paradox machine is destroyed, the Toclafane will land up back in the year 100 trillion and none of this will never happen and Cynthia will have her mum back."


Rose slept for a couple of hours before the Doctor roused her from her slumber. Rose opened her eyes and looked up at him as he stood over her. His eyes were loving as he gazed at her, so unlike her husband who showed only lust in his eyes on the good days. The Doctor wasn't like the Master. He was gentle and kind and respectful of her. She never had to worry about him waking her up and forcing her into sex because he had a hard on. The Doctor truly cared for her and that made her love him even more deeply.

She sat up and stretched before she sat on the side of the bed.

"Are you ready to go?" she asked.

"Yes. Are you?"

"Ready when you are," she said, standing up.

The Doctor passed her a chocolate chip biscuit and she munched on it, savoring the taste of it. Even food tasted better when she was with the Doctor. She could understand how she fell head over heels in love with him the first time around. Even in his advanced age, she still thought him handsome. She made sure to use the toilet before they went outside and so did the Doctor. Once they were ready, the Doctor locked the door with the sonic and they walked to the lift.

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