Chapter Twenty Two

Clara and the others were in a huddle discussing strategies when Clara saw Twelve running towards them out of the corner of her eye. She turned and shushed everyone, drawing their attention to the Doctor as he panted and puffed and slowed down.

"He let you go?" Clara said. "Where's the other you?"

"Prisoner," Twelve panted. "He took him and took the TARDIS."

"So he's gone?" Clara said.

"Yes but…he came back with two Daleks in a containment orb and let them go. They're on the other side of the Thames doing who knows what at this moment."

Susan paled at that.

"Two Daleks are on the loose in London now?" she said.

"Yes but I'm sure we can destroy or contain them. The problem is that's what the Valeyard wants. He wants to delay us so he can do whatever he's going to do with the captives. Now we waste time rounding them up while he does whatever he wants to Rose and the others."

"Well, I can see where your priorities lie then," Clara said.

"What's that supposed to mean?" the Doctor said.

"Rose…and the others. You mentioned Rose by name," Clara said.

"Well, she's the first person that popped into my head."

"Yes, my point exactly," Clara said.

She grinned when the Doctor gave her withering look.

"Anyway, now that the period of cheekiness is over with. Shall we go find the Daleks?" he said to everyone.


Rose's breath caught in her throat at the sight of the Eleventh Doctor. He was standing there, hands behind his back, while he took in her beauty. Rose swallowed hard.

"Doctor?" she said, stepping towards him.

"Yes, it's me," the Doctor said. "Sorry, didn't get to keep Dick Van Dyke this time around but I hope you like this body just as…"

He grunted when Rose flung herself at him and held him tight. He sighed contentedly and returned the hug, holding her to him and breathing in the familiar scent he missed.

"I already had it out with the other Doctor about coming back when I wasn't supposed to so I won't rehash it with you," Rose said in his ear as she hugged him.

"Thanks. Although, you shouldn't have done but as you said, it's rehashing," the Doctor replied.

Rose kept waiting for him to let go or tell her he wasn't a hugger but he kept on holding so Rose relaxed and enjoyed the feel of his body against hers.

"Why are you here?" she asked him as the Doctor slowly rubbed her back.

"I was teleported in here. Apparently, you and I are going to go on a fun little romp somewhere and I am being sarcastic when I say that."

Rose sighed and stepped back from him.

"He said he wasn't going to hurt us in any way," Rose said.

"Rule one…" the Doctor said, holding up his finger.

"Rule one?" Rose said.

"Yes, what is my rule one?"

Rose frowned.

"Don't wander off?" she guessed.

"No, it's the Doctor lies but I suppose back then I was more concerned about you swanning off than me lying to you," he said to her. "But anyway, he's me and since I lie…"

"Wait, you lie so you were lying about you loving me. Is that why he wants me dead?" Rose said.

"No, I didn't lie about that. But I do lie about some things in order to protect the ones I love or preserve the timeline. Or in the Valeyard's case, he was lying because he's a bastard. But come on, Rose, honestly…you really believed him when he told the other me nothing would happen to us?"

"Well, I hoped that he still loved me," Rose said.

"Perhaps he does," Eleven conceded. "Perhaps that's why he agreed to let you stay trapped in relative comfort. Because he really does care about you, albeit in a twisted way now. But still…"

The Doctor walked over to the bed and sat down on the end of it while Rose followed him.

"Look, it's complicated, always has been," the Doctor said while Rose stood beside him. "I thought that I was doing something good for you. I never imagined that my clone would go off the trolley like this and maybe he wouldn't if the Master hadn't mucked with his mind."

"Do you think you could repair the damage then?"

"Why? Do you want me to?"

"I do care about him, Doctor. He is you, to a certain extent, and I would like to see him restored," Rose said.

"Perhaps we can…but I might have to wipe his memory and give him a new identity."

"He won't remember me?" Rose said.

"Well, that's up to you. From what the other me said, you didn't want to be with him anyway."

"Yeah, but…"

Rose sighed.

"You're right, it is complicated," she said.

"Yes, very," the Doctor said, nodding. "But we can strategize about that later. For the moment…"

He dwindled off and fell silent when he heard the TARDIS suddenly fall silent.

"Rose, I think we've just landed at our new playground," the Doctor said.

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