Chapter Ten

The Valeyard breathed a sigh of relief when the TARDIS was in the Vortex. HE glanced over at the Doctor and Rose, still pressed together inside the forcefield.

"Well, get on with it, you wanted to have a go at him, there's your chance," he said to Rose with a smirk.

"I should have let you die on the Crucible," the Doctor growled at him.

"Yeah, guess hindsights 20/20, eh?" the Valeyard said with a shrug. "Anyway, now that we are here, what are we going to do with you?"

"Make us have sex for your amusement?" the Doctor snarled.

"Hm, wasn't thinking about that but…intriguing. Nah, boring. I'd rather do a little experiment-ah!" he said as he walked over to the forcefield.

"What sort of experiment," the Doctor said, warily, while Rose watched the Valeyard over her shoulder.

"Ah, the sort of experiement I've been dying to do on Rose but never could because my conscience held me back. Now that the Master has relieved me of that, I need to know something."

"Don't you dare harm her!" the Doctor yelled at him.

"Did you know that you weren't entirely successful in getting rid of the Bad Wolf entity?" the Valeyard said.

"What?" the Doctor said.

"Yes. Apparently, some of it stuck around after you took the TARDIS energy out of her. Or…it was always there to begin with."

"What are you on about?" Rose said, trying not to sound terrified.

"What I'm on about, my darling, is you have something inside you that heals you quickly," the Valeyard said while Rose eyed him warily.

"And how do you know that?" the Doctor said.

"Because one day we were on assignment, tracking an alien and the git fired his blaster and hit Rose in the small of her back. I pulled her shirt up, ready to administer first aid when suddenly this golden glow surrounded the wound and to my utter amazement, the wound closed up and healed itself. Any guess as to what the golden glow looked like, old man? Because it looked very familiar to me."

"So…you're going to find out if this Bad Wolf thing still exists?" the Doctor said. "How? Killing her?"

The Valeyard grinned. Suddenly, he whipped out his dagger and the Doctor gasped when he plunged it into Rose's left side, just under her ribs, as she screamed in pain. The Valeyard withdrew the dagger and stepped back.

"No!" the Doctor said, trying to hold Rose as she stared at him with shock and fear. The Valeyard reached down, grabbed the ball and pulled it back, widening the forcefield. The Doctor lowered Rose to the floor and cradled her in his arms as blood poured from the wound.

"You idiot, what if you're wrong?" the Doctor yelled at the Valeyard.

"Then she dies," the Valeyard said with a shrug.

"Rose, hold on, there must be something that can heal you," the Doctor said, smoothing her hair back away from her face.

Then his eyes darted to the wound when he noticed a golden glow under her shirt. He pulled her shirt up and watched in astonishment as the glow seemed to emanate directly from the stab wound. He heard Rose's labored breathing slow and return to normal as the wound was healed in front of his eyes. He looked up at the Valeyard who had a smug look on his face. When the wound healed, the glow stopped and the Doctor looked at Rose who was now lying calmly in his arms.

"Are you alright?" he asked her.

Rose nodded.

"See, I was right. Now, aren't you the least bit curious about what this Bad Wolf thing really is?" the Valeyard said. "Because it can't be the TARDIS, you took the power out of her. So what is it?"

"You're not killing Rose over and over just so you can find out," the Doctor spat at him.

"Alright then, here's my proposition. Rose is going to be tested in the lab in this TARDIS. Now, do you want to do it or shall I? Because if I do it, Rose will be in tremendous pain."

"What if the two of us leave her alone?" the Doctor said.

"Nope. This is not negotiable. Either you do it or I do. So, which is it?"

"And what do you hope to do once you discovered what it is? Enslave Rose the way you enslaved the Master and that child over there?" the Doctor said, pointing to the Master and Xelok who were standing motionless by the console. "You're going to drain her and get all encompassing power or something like that?"

"I really haven't decided yet. I prefer to take it one step at a time and just see what's within her. Then we'll go from there. So…do you want to run the tests then?"

"I don't have a choice," the Doctor snarled at him.

"No, you do have a choice but if I did it, it wouldn't be pleasant for Rose. After all, I'm filled with blood and anger and revenge, yes? Wouldn't want me taking my anger out on your lovey-dovey there, right?"

"You don't know what you're dealing with, Valeyard," the Doctor growled at him.

"Oh yes, I know, the Oncoming Storm," the Valeyard said, rolling his eyes.

"No, it's not just me. It's him as well," the Doctor said, nodding his chin at the Master.

The Valeyard glanced at the Master and chuckled as he looked back.

"Yeah, so? He's under my control," he said smugly.

"Yeah, right. The most dangerous mind in the universe besides mine and you think you're able to contain it. You're a fool, Valeyard, and your overconfidence will be your undoing."

"And your emotional attachment to Rose will be yours," the Valeyard snarled at him. "See, already you're volunteering to not only be my prisoner but to experiment on her, all in the name of keeping her safe and protected."

"And with that statement, I can see you're underestimating me as well," the Doctor said.

"Yeah, right. Like I haven't thought this all through beforehand? I have ways of keeping you under control, Doctor. Just like I have ways of keeping him controlled as well," the Valeyard said, gesturing to the Master.

The Doctor shook his head.

"You can't be me," he said. "I would never hurt Rose, I would never enslave others, I'm not a megalomaniac."

He gritted his teeth when the Valeyard roared with laughter.

"Okay, do I even have to say this?" he said while the Doctor glowered at him. "First thing, you hurt Rose when you tried to leave her behind when you were on the Gamestation and you hurt her when you shoved her out the door with me. You may not have physically hurt her but emotionally hurt her, that's a far different story, Gramps. As for enslaving people, you have been doing that since you started traveling."

"In what way?" the Doctor barked at him.

"In the way that you get people to idolize you so much that they follow you and do whatever you want and sacrifice themselves in your name. you may not call it slavery but slavery comes in all forms. Rose risked her life and two universes just to get back to you because she can't stand to be without her master."

"Fuck you," Rose muttered which made the Doctor smile.

"As for being a megalomaniac…please, mate, your ego is the size of Jupiter," the Valeyard said with a chuckle. "I mean that's why you broke the law about not interfering, yeah? Because your monster ego said to you, I can make the universe a better place! I am you in so many ways, Doctor, but you just deny it and pretend you're a boy scout. And then there's people like Blondie here who reinforce that and tell you you're a good person as you leave a trail of blood behind you everywhere you go. I did what you do all the time, Doctor. I killed the Daleks who were frankly going to kill everyone else and I GOT PUNISHED FOR IT!" he roared. "You are a hypocrite, old man! You're closer to me than you think you are. It didn't take that long for the Master to awaken me and it wasn't that hard. So please stop lying to me, Rose and yourself. You are me and I am you…Doctor!"

Rose looked up at the Doctor who was now stunned into silence. She turned her attention back to the Valeyard, her expression one of pure hate. The Valeyard grinned and shrugged.

"I tell the truth, darling. That's why he isn't giving me one of his nasty wisecracks in return. Still…enough talk," he said, slapping his hands together. "Let's get down to business, shall we?"

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