Chapter Five

The Doctor stood inside the now empty hotel room, staring at it in shock. Even since he landed on Pete's World, things had gone from bad to worse. He wasn't even a citizen of this universe and yet something seemed to be targeting him, attacking not only him but also his friends. As he stepped further into the room, his nose breathed in the slight hint of an energy exchange and he realized that his friends had been transmatted. He wondered why he hadn't smelt the same thing on the beach and then surmised that the strong wind and mist and spray from the ocean masked the smell from his keen senses. He walked over to the bed and examined it while he listened to Rose explaining the situation to Pete over her mobile. He could see a slight indentation from where Jackie had been sitting. He sniffed the air and caught the same transmit scent hovering over the bed. He sighed deeply. Jackie wasn't his favorite person in the world but she didn't deserve to be kidnapped and imprisoned and possibly tortured. Neither did John, even though he was still upset with what he did on the Crucible, he knew that it had been done with the best of intentions which was why he had been willing to leave him with Rose.

He turned to Rose who was now visibly upset while she spoke to Pete over the phone. She glanced at him and he gave her a reassuring smile before walking over to her. Rose nodded at something, told Pete that they would wait for him and ended the phone call.

"He's nearly here," Rose said to the Doctor as she put the mobile back in her pocket. "Probably a few more hours but…what do we do about Mum and John?"

"They've been transmatted somewhere," the Doctor said. "Other than that, I don't know where they've gone. I could try to trace it but I need to find something that will do that since the TARDIS isn't here. I s'pose I could go to…"

He grimaced.

"Torchwood with you," he continued. "Use my perception filter and follow you. I'm sure they'd have something that could help us…although, by the time we got there the energy trace would have dissipated."

"Maybe someone will try to contact you," Rose said.

"I hope so because I have no real way of finding the TARDIS or Jackie, Donna and John."

Rose jerked her head around when she heard the lift door opening and several excited voices coming from it. Several men stepped out with the hotel clerk. The clerk pointed to Rose and said something in Norwegian. Rose frowned in confusion for a moment then her eyes widened when the men pulled digital cameras out of their pockets and ran towards her.

"Miss, you are with the Doctor, yeah?" One of them yelled with a heavy accent.

Rose gasped and ran inside. She slammed the door shut and locked it just as they reached her. She turned to the Doctor while the men pounded on the door and demanded to be let inside. He gave her a pointed look and showed her a modified TARDIS key hanging around his neck.

"They found me out," he said softly to her. "I heard that one bloke tell them that he's seen you with me. That's what he was saying to them before they ran over here. "

"What do we do?" Rose said, trying to ignore the pounding and cries of the men to open the door.

"Open it. Tell them something to draw them away from here. I'll stand in the corner and stay still and with luck, they won't notice me."

Rose nodded. The Doctor walked to the far side of the room and leaned back against the back wall. He put his hands in his trouser pockets and nodded to Rose. Rose turned her attention towards the door, afraid what the men would do to her since they were in such a frenzy. Trusting that the Doctor could help her if they tried anything, Rose steeled herself and opened the door.

"STOP IT!" she yelled, deciding to try a shock tactic.

It worked. The men fell silent at her sudden outburst and the angry look on her face. Then the man who called to her earlier stepped forward.

"Miss, we are journalists. My name is Sven. We heard that the Doctor was here and that he was staying in this hotel. The man at the front desk said you know him, is this so?"

Rose noticed the desk clerk standing behind the journalists. She fought the urge to lunge forward and punch him as he peered inside the room for a glimpse of the Doctor. She wanted to tell these men she didn't know the Doctor, except she knew the clerk would say otherwise. She noticed that no one seemed to notice the Doctor and the fact that he was in the room watching her gave her an extra bit of courage. She squared her shoulders and calmly looked them in the eyes.

"Yes, I know him," she said to them.

She was taken aback when the men all yelled out questions and started taking her photo.

"NO, STOP! STOP IT!" Rose yelled at them as she held her hand up to her face. "YOU LOT STOP THIS OR I SHUT THE DOOR!"

The men stopped taking her photo but they still yelled out their questions in heavily accented English. Because of the accents, it took a moment for Rose to figure out what they were asking. She pointed to Sven and told him she would take his question first. The others shut up and listened intently.

"What is he like?" Sven said as the others leaned in to listen to Rose.

"He's wonderful," Rose said truthfully. "He's one of the greatest people I've ever known."

"Is he really an alien?" another man asked her.

Rose hesitated on that, wanting to say no in order to protect her lover from these frenzied men. She decided that perhaps honesty was the best policy since she figured if she said no, that would only invite more scrutiny.

"Yes, he is," she said to them.

"Are you an alien?" Sven asked.


"Do you have sex with him?" a journalist asked.

Rose's eyes widened at the brazen question. She imagined the Doctor standing behind her, holding back a snigger while he watched.

"No," she lied. "I'm his friend."

"Are you the leader as well as his friend?" Sven asked.

Rose frowned.

"Leader of what?" she said.

"You are the…"

Sven fell silent for a moment, thinking, and then asked the other men something in Norwegian. There was a bit of a conversation between them before Sven turned back to Rose.

"Sorry, my English is not perfect," Sven said to Rose. "I was trying to find the right word. I believe it is called…disciple?"

"What?" Rose said. "Disciple of what?"

"Of him, the Doctor," Sven said.

"I'm not his disciple," Rose said incensed.

"According to the book, he gathers people together from all over the universe and they join him," Sven said.

"Yeah, we travel with him and see time and space," Rose said.

"And you worship him as well?" another man asked.

Rose stared at him in shock. The Doctor hadn't gone into much detail about what was in the book so this was what the book was hinting at?"

"Wait, he's not a god," Rose said, holding up her hands. "He's a man who travels through time and space and sometimes he brings people along with him. It doesn't mean we worship him."

"But he saves people," Sven said.

"Yeah. Still doesn't mean he's a god," Rose said. "He believes in standing up for what's right and fighting injustice Wait. Do you lot think he's a god then?"

She could tell by the uneasy looks on the men's faces and shifting of their feet what the answer was.

"He has saved humans many times over," Sven said.

"Yes but that doesn't make him a god," Rose said. "He loves Earth, it's one of his favorite planets."

The men looked pleased with that and Rose wondered if that only strengthened their view of him being a god. She wished she could turn to look at the Doctor. She imagined him having a bemused look on his face right now.

"Where is he right now, Miss?" Sven said.

"He's…outside. Walking around the city," Rose said.

"Where?" Sven said.

"I…don't know. I don't know your city that well so I can't tell you where he's gone. I suppose you should just go look for him."

She hoped to God that she was convincing enough with her lies. After hearing what happened to John in the bookshop, the last thing she wanted was for these men to overwhelm her and the Doctor and possibly injure them both. She signed when the men didn't move.

"Look around the room, is he in here?" she said, deciding to test the Doctor's explanation of the perception filter.

She finally turned and caught the Doctor's eye. He was still leaning against the wall and just as expected, he was wearing an amused expression on his face. The men came into the room and Rose held her breath while they looked around. She noticed the Sven and the others did look at the Doctor but to her relief, their eyes swept past him without noticing he was there. After two minutes of looking, the men turned, dejected, and Rose let out a long sigh through her nose when they finally left the room. Once the clerk was gone, she shut the door and quickly locked it.

"You mean you're not my disciple then?"

Rose turned and eyed the Doctor when he said that. The Doctor grinned and winked and walked towards her.

"Told ya. The perception filter works," he said smugly.

"Good thing since they looked like they would tear you to bits," Rose said.

"Nah, they'd just fall to the ground before me, slobbering and drooling with everlasting admiration," the Doctor said, putting his arms around her. "You were stellar. I have to use you as my press agent now."

"That's what was in the book? That you were a god?" Rose said.

"No. That's what the humans decided. The book described some of my adventures and said that I'd saved the Earth numerous times but I suppose everyone took it to meant I was….well….if not God, then a god."

"So…it's like saying that aliens built the pyramids," Rose said. "Like that Stargate film where the ancient Egyptian gods were aliens. That's why they think that?"

"Probably. Not that aliens haven't visited and had a hand in human civilization but most of them were here to help not to be worshipped. That's you lot and your primitive minds thinking that up."

"And now you're next," Rose said.

"Seems so. And I have a feeling that little group is just the start of it. But it's not just them apparently."

"It's worldwide," Rose said with a sinking feeling. "So nowhere is safe. You'd be mobbed everywhere you went. You'd have to wear that filter thing 24/7 now."

The Doctor let go of her and walked to the window in the middle of the back wall. Rose followed him as the Doctor stopped and looked out, his hands behind his back. Rose came up beside him and put her hand on his shoulder while she watched him.

"Penny for your thoughts," she said softly.

"I'm thinking about temptation," he said, glancing at her.

"How'd ya mean? What sort of temptation?"

"The temptation to use this whole…god thing as a way to improve humanity," he said as he watched people going about their business down below. "If I have this much power and influence now, imagine what I could do with it."

"Rule the Earth?" Rose said tentatively. "Doctor, that's not you. You wouldn't do that."

"I wasn't talking about ruling the Earth," the Doctor said as he gazed out the window. "I was thinking more along the lines of coming out from behind the scenes and working with the leaders of the world to advance humanity to the next level. I do that anyway, you know, just not in an official capacity."

"Yeah but this lot want to make you a god, they'd never settle for you just being an advisor. You'd have all these humans bowing and scraping at your feet."

"And that is the downside of the temptation," the Doctor said, looking at her. "The temptation to assert my will over humanity and rule them."

"You wouldn't do that," Rose insisted.

"You were there when Mister Fitch offered me something similar to that. It took Sarah Jane's intervention to snap me out of imagining what I could do if I were given that much power. That's why I had to take the TARDIS out of you, because you were beginning to think yourself a god. That's why I can never do what you did that day. I' m not human but that doesn't mean I'm not susceptible to temptation. Sometimes it takes a tremendous force of will for me to not interfere more than I do. I help out when I can but I still have to let humanity make mistakes and decide their destiny. I can't be your god, Rose, and I don't want to be. I love humankind, flaws and all. The last thing I want is a bunch of mindless puppets falling to their faces in front of me and doing whatever I want them to do, especially since I don't have all the answers in the first place."

"But that's what someone is doing. They're making you into a god."

"Or they're at least influencing people into thinking that. But why? Why does someone want to make a god out of me?"

Rose wished she had an answer for that. For the moment, she was content to hold the Doctor and stand with him while he laid his chin on the top of her head and rubbed her back while he stared out the window.

Back                         Home                              Doctor Who Main Page                          Next

Your Name or Alias:      Your E-mail (optional):

Please type your review below. Only positive reviews and constructive criticism will be posted.