Chapter Seventeen

After an hour, David returned home carrying a burlap sack filled with food. Susan told the Doctor and Clara to wait in the parlor while she went to welcome him home and explain the situation.

"Do you think Susan will be strong enough to face the Valeyard?" Clara said softly to the Doctor when she left the room.

"Hope so. The TARDIS must think so or she wouldn't have brought us here. Still, I hate to involve her in this. She has enough on her plate as it is."

He shut up when Susan entered the room with David.

"There he is," Susan said, pointing to the Doctor as the Doctor rose to greet them.

"That's your grandfather, the old man who left you behind?" David said to Susan after getting a good look at the Doctor.

"You didn't tell him I regenerate?" the Doctor said as he and Clara walked towards them.

"I did but I didn't tell him you could be a different age," Susan said sheepishly. "But yes, David, this is Grandfather and this is his friend, Clara."

"Doctor, good to see you again," David said, stepping forward to shake his hand.

The Doctor grinned and shook his hand. David still looked the same, except he seemed a bit more relaxed and he was cleaner.

"Thank you for staying with my granddaughter, David," he said to him.

"I love her, Doctor," David said, putting his arm around Susan. "I wouldn't dream of leaving her anywhere."

"Grandfather needs to meet with the council," Susan said to him. "There's a new threat coming."

"More Daleks?" David said with a sick look on his face.

"No, hopefully not," the Doctor said. "But I have an adversary that is hunting me and Clara. He has another version of me and a friend of mine and a few others. He wants me badly and if he knows Susan is here, I'm sure he'll try to capture her as well."

"Over my dead body," David said.

"I don't know if I can fight him alone," the Doctor said to him. "We may need some help. At least some assistance in hiding and ambushing them."

"Let me put the food in the kitchen and then I'll take you to one of the council members. He lives near here," David said.

The Doctor nodded and smiled when David kissed Susan's cheek before he walked out of the room with the bag of food.


"Well, this oughta do it," Twelve said as he looked around the room.

Rose's prison consisted of her bedroom with en suite bathroom but the TARDIS had added a doorway to a small library and a doorway to a small cinema room plus a fully stocked kitchen.

"I think you'll be alright here, Rose," he said. "I woulda killed to have had a prison cell like this on many planets."

"I'm just worried about you," Rose said, taking his hands. "That's all I care about."

"I'll be fine," the Doctor said. "There's some fight in this old fart, trust me."

Rose chuckled and squeezed his hands.

"I'm glad I found you again," she said. "Even if you aren't the touchy feely type anymore."

The Doctor smiled.

Just remember the link, it should work outside the TARDIS, he thought to her.

Rose nodded and she was surprised when the Doctor pulled her to him and gave her a very brief and tentative hug. Rose hugged him back tightly; thankful for this small amount of affection and hoping he wasn't doing it because he was afraid the Valeyard might do something to her.

"Come back to me," Rose murmured as she pressed her ear against his chest and listened to his heartbeats.

The Doctor laid a hand on top of her head and again, to her surprise, he gave her a soft kiss there. Rose fought back the tears as the Doctor forced himself to part company. He walked backwards out of the room and waved at her before the TARDIS sealed the door shut and Rose found herself staring at the wall.


After making sure Rose was safe, the Doctor, seething from being forced to leave her behind, walked on to the next room. The TARDIS had the doorway sealed up but a golden glow emanated from the spot where the door had been, giving him an idea of the location of the prison cell. When he reached the glow, it stopped and the wall opened up and became a door. The Doctor looked inside at a frightened little boy sitting on a child sized bed.

"Hello," the Doctor said as he stepped inside the room.

The child scooted back to the wall and cowered there. The Doctor sat down, noticing that the TARDIS sealed up the doorway again as he did and smiled warmly at him.

"What's your name?" he asked him.

"Xelok," Xelok said in a small, frightened voice.

"Nice to meet you at last. I'm the Doctor. I'm sure you're a bit confused now since you're not under anyone's influence but this is my TARDIS and this room is going to be sealed up but you'll be safe here until I return. You have a loo andů"

He walked over to an open doorway beside the bed and peered in.

"Toys. You have toys, heaps of toys in here," he said, pointing to the room. "So make yourself at home. And I'm sure the TARDIS will provide you with some food if you'd like."

"Don't hurt me," Xelok whimpered.

"I won't hurt you," the Doctor said gently. "I'm trying to protect you from the one who will hurt you. You can trust me, I promise. I need to go look for a few friends but I'll return and check on you. In the meantime, stay in here and be good. Don't try to escape or make anyone angry, yeah? I'm keeping an eye on you, trust me."

Xelok nodded. The Doctor started to walk towards the bed but he stopped when the boy gave him a fearful look.

"Be good, Xelok, and I'll be back, promise," the Doctor said.

"Okay," Xelok said softly.

The Doctor smiled warmly and looked over when the doorway opened up.

"Stay," he said, pointing to Xelok.

Xelok nodded and watched as he walked out. The doorway sealed up and Xelok whimpered a bit, knowing he was trapped. Then there was a flash and suddenly a plate with a peanut butter sandwich appeared on the bedside table. Xelok stared at it for a moment before he slowly scooted back across the bed. He sat on the side of the bed, took the sandwich off the plate and began to eat it.

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