Chapter Four

The fighters dispersed and Rose watched while the Doctor and Jack gave her loving glances before they headed towards the front of the stage. The raptors had dispersed as well but they were patrolling the area, keeping watch.

"Rose, come with me."

Rose turned to see the Gamemaster was beckoning to her. Rose backed away, unsure of his intentions.

"You're in no danger, I swear it," the Gamemaster said. "I want you to come into my tent. I have something to show you."

Rose gave him a wary look but she told the Doctor she would find out what was going on so she gathered her courage and walked towards him.

"I mean you no harm," the Gamemaster said in a gentle tone of voice.

"Who are you?" Rose asked.

"Come with me and I'll show you," the Gamemaster said.

Rose was shocked by that. She figured the Gamemaster would just repeat he was the Gamemaster and that was it. Instead he took her hand and walked with her towards the front of the stage. Rose looked around and noticed the Doctor and Jack were standing by the entrance of a tent off to her left. They were watching the Gamemaster intently while they walked down wooden steps to the ground. He led her around the stage to his tent. They went inside and Rose looked around. There was a king sized bed with a wooden headboard. Beside that was a little table with a few books on top of it and a small battery powered lamp. On the other side of the tent was a long wooden table that had food and drink on it. Next to that was a wooden high back chair. The Gamemaster asked Rose to sit in it and she took one last look at the tent flap before going to sit in the chair. The Gamemaster stepped in between her and the entrance.

"What I'm about to show you is between the two of us," he said to her.

"But I don't know you," Rose said.

"Yes, you do."

Rose watched while the man took down his cowl and took off his mask. She frowned when she saw his face and didn't recognize it.

"Still don't know ya," she said to him.

The man chuckled.

"Yes, you do. You just haven't seen me like this," he said to her. "But I've known you since the moment I took your hand in the basement at Henrick's and told you to run with me."

Rose's eyes bulged.

"Doctor?" she said.

"Yes, Rose, I'm the eleventh Doctor," he said, kneeling down in front of her.

He then told her a few more things that only he and Rose would know just to make sure she knew it was him. When he finished and asked if she believed him, she nodded.

"Why are you doing this though? You're making yourself go through this fight to the death thing? And fighting Jack? Why?" Rose said.

"Because I know I'll win it," Eleven said. "I'm living proof that I survive and besides, Jack can't die so he's safe."

"But what is this?" Rose said.

"This is an attempt to get rid of some dangerous criminals and tyrants," Eleven said. "The rest of the fighters are hardened criminals and despots that need to be eliminated."

"So you're making them fight to the death? That's not like you," Rose said. "You wouldn't kill anyone unless you had to."

"Which is why most of the combatants will do the killing," Eleven said.

"But…why not imprison them?" Rose said. "Why are you letting them kill each other?"

"Because they're too dangerous to keep alive," Eleven said, his eyes pleading with her for understanding. "Most of them have escaped prison before and they're a threat to the universe. For the safety of everyone, I have to do this."

"And you're disguising yourself so the other Doctor doesn't know it's you?" Rose said.

"Yes. Because he would object to this and because he can't know what his future self looks like."

"Then why are you letting me see you?" Rose said.

Eleven sighed.

"Because I want you to trust me. You weren't supposed to be here. I made a mistake when I summoned my other self here. I took an earlier version. I was trying to take him when he was traveling alone."

"Alone? What happens to me then?" Rose said, panicking.

"I can't tell you," Eleven said, getting up and cupping her face with his hands. "But you don't die so don't be afraid, yeah?"

Rose wondered what would happen to her that she would leave the Doctor but she knew he'd never say so she nodded. Eleven kissed her forehead.

"I want you safe," he whispered as he put his forehead against hers. "This is no place for you. The other combatants are far too dangerous. You'd never survive. Stay with me and when this is finished, you can go with the Doctor and Jack. Okay?"

Rose nodded. Eleven kissed her cheek and then tentatively put his lips on her mouth. Rose kissed him back and sighed when she opened her mouth and let him snog her. They snogged for a few minutes and Eleven grinned when he stopped and gazed at her.

"Good. I take it that means you trust me," he said teasingly. "There is nothing to fear here, my love. The raptors are all under my command and I won't let anyone hurt you."

Rose's mind reeled from hearing him call her "My love". He had never said that to her before. She looked at him and smiled, thinking he was still handsome and still had a boyish face.

"I suppose this explains how you were able to bring the Doctor and Jack here," Rose said softly while she took his hands.

"Naturally. Who else would know how to track the TARDIS and bring it here?" Eleven said. "And know where Jack was at."

"He's not happy you brought him here," Rose said.

Eleven snorted and Rose giggled.

"Jack isn't happy unless I'm in bed with him. That's what he really wants," Eleven said. "I brought him here because I figured at some point my other self and him will team up. He can't die so he can stop his whinging and be a man."

Rose chuckled at that. She closed her eyes when Eleven kissed her forehead and began to caress her face.

"Doctor," she murmured.

"I missed you so much, Rose," Eleven said softly as his right hand trailed down her neck to her shoulder. "I'm glad I made a mistake. I've wanted to see you for so long. You must go back to him when this is over but for the moment, be with me please?"

In response, her lips caught his and kissed them. Eleven deepened the kiss and smiled when they broke apart after thirty seconds.

"You mustn't tell anyone who I am, this is just between us," he said to her. "My other self and Jack can't know who I am."

"Timelines?" Rose said.

"Yes," Eleven said. "I heard what you said to him so just pretend you're doing what you said and investigating. No one will be the wiser."

"But what if your other self tries to stop you?" Rose said.

"You can tell him I'm not a threat. Just don't reveal who I am while doing it but you can vouch for me, can't you?"

Rose nodded and Eleven grinned.

"My beautiful Rose. The only woman I ever truly loved and here you are again, at my side."

Rose felt tears come to her eyes and Eleven put his hand against her cheek.

"What is it? What's wrong?" he said worriedly.

"You never said that to me before. You never told me you loved me," Rose said.

"Things…occurred that made me see what a mistake it was not to do that," Eleven said. "I realized that some things must be said before it's too late."

He noticed Rose's fear and put his arms around her. Rose hugged him back tightly.

"I wish I could tell you. I know you want to know but I can't," Eleven said while he held her. "I told you that you don't die so I hope that eases some of your fears…and we part as lovers so it's not some stupid argument or something like that."

"Good," Rose said, wiping her eyes.

Eleven kissed her lips again and checked his watch.

"Well, about forty five minutes left. Do you want some food, drink? Rest?" he said, pointing to the bed.

Rose looked at the food and drink on the table.

"Maybe a bit of food," she said. "I'm not really tired."

"Help yourself," Eleven said. "I need to go check on the tents and check on my raptors so relax and make yourself at home."

Rose watched while he put the skull mask back on and put the cowl back over his head. He ran his hand down her cheek and Rose held it there briefly, whispering to him that she loved him. She was thrilled when he whispered he loved her in return and she let go of his hand and watched him with love in her heart while he left the tent.

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