Chapter Six

The Doctor was strapped into a stone chair that was sat in the middle of a stone room. Besides the chair that was bolted to the floor there were two racks filled with weapons and torture implements on the right side of the wall.

"Love thy neighbor?" the Doctor said, gesturing to the racks as the Sisterhood urged him to sit in the chair.

The chair had leather straps attached to it and the Doctor sat in the chair calmly, letting the women strap him into it. When they were done and his legs, arms and torso were secured, they left him sitting there while everyone filed out of the room.

"Yes, this is nice," the Doctor said to himself as he sat in the chair. "Strapped into a chair by nutters, waiting for my doom to come. Could I get a cup of tea at least?" he yelled at the door.

There was a tiny barred window in the door, similar to the one on the door to his cell but no one came to door or looked through the window. The Doctor sighed.


There was no response and the Doctor sighed again. But five minutes later, the door did open and the Doctor tensed when Rose entered the room alone. She was wearing no fancy headdress and no makeup and the Doctor was amazed at how little she had aged. Once again, feelings he'd thought he had surprised made their way to the surface and his hearts beat faster at the sight of her leaning in to look at him. She was examining him closely, a frown on her face that only added to her beauty, the Doctor thought as he gazed back at her.

"Are you really the Doctor?" she finally said after a few minutes of silence.

"Yes, I'm really the Doctor," the Doctor said.

His hearts raced even more when Rose ran her fingers briefly through his hair and then let her fingers glide down his left cheek.

"You're older now," she said softly.

"I noticed," the Doctor said.

Her finger traced his left eyebrow.

"But your eyes are the same, I can see that now. I can see you inside your eyes," she said to him softly.

"And you seem to be over their influence," the Doctor said just as softly.

"Yes. Not entirely but I remember enough to know who you are now. That was a risky move though. They want you dead now," Rose said.

"I figured that," the Doctor said.

"However, they listen to me so I suppose I'm the only one now who can keep you and your friend from dying."

"Clara, her name is Clara."

"Clara," Rose said nodding. "They want her to join the Sisterhood."

"Again, not a surprise," the Doctor said.

"I don't know if I can stop them but I could suggest she become my acolyte and train under me. That's what they did to me. That way I can keep her safe."

"And me?" the Doctor said.

"They're interested in you, Doctor. I might be able to keep you alive by suggesting that you can be an advisor of sorts and tell us what you know."

"And you think they'd listen to you?"

"I'm the High Priestess," Rose said. "They don't know what's happened. They still think I'm under their control. I know you and Clara need to escape but this place is well guarded. I tried to escape before they…brainwashed me."

She smiled sadly when she noticed the Doctor tensed up and there was rage in his eyes.

"Wasn't your fault, yeah?" she whispered to him as she leaned in. "I came here searching for you and I made the mistake of trusting them. They promised me they could get in touch with you and made me wait, kept telling me that you were coming and trying to use subtle means to brainwash me. When I finally cottoned on and tried to escape, they forced me to be hypnotized. I stayed that way until you did what you did to me and woke me up. I was aware that you were there and I heard your name but the mind control was too strong."

"You did resist once, I saw it," the Doctor said softly.

Rose nodded.

"I tried to fight but it was too strong at the time. But now…it's fading but that puts us all in danger. If they find out I'm not under their influence, they'll put all of us to death. That's why you and Clara need to pretend, at least for awhile. Let down their guards enough that they won't be watching you every minute. I'll tell the Sisterhood to spare your life and Clara's and ask that you have a chip put on you. That's what they did to me once I tried to resist them. The chip could be disabled, I know you could do it. But it's the only way they'll trust you enough to leave the two of you alone. But that will come in time. For the moment, you and Clara will have to stay close to me as if I'm training you. And Clara will have to dress like this," she added, tugging at her dress.

"She'll have something to say about that and wearing the makeup but if it buys us time, she'll do it," the Doctor said. "As for you, you will find the Doctor but not me. You need to find my tenth self, the one you were with before. I can help you get back on the right track but we can't wait forever. Time is trying to fix itself which is why so far the universe is stable but it won't last."

"I understand. I will do everything I can to put the Sisterhood at ease and leave you and Clara alone but I have to take a bit of time to do it, can't arouse their suspicions or they'll put me back under the brainwashing."

"I understand," the Doctor said.

"I'll speak to Ortha and calm her down, she's the one you pushed to the floor," Rose said softly.

"She was in my way," the Doctor said.

He smiled when Rose chuckled at that.

"Yeah, I see some things haven't changed," she said, rolling her eyes. "You're not ginger either."

"You had to say that as well? You really know how to rub it in, don't ya, Tyler?" the Doctor teased gently.

Rose smiled at that and laid her hand against his cheek. She looked back at the door for a moment before leaning in and kissing the Doctor gently on the lips. The Doctor resisted for a moment before surrendering to his inner desires and returning the kiss. They deepened the kiss and the Doctor felt like his head was swimming. Despite his admonition to Clara that he was strictly hands off, he couldn't help but feel love for Rose, the same sort of love that he had for River and he found himself hungering for her and feeling angry that he would have to return her to her proper timeline and push her away from him again. He silently cursed the universe that once again he would be left bereft because of his responsibility to the universe and that old familiar urge to become the Time Lord Victorious bubbled up in his psyche almost as quickly as he jammed it back down again.

Rose finally ended the kiss and leaned back, their eyes locked as she stroked his cheek.

"I won't let them hurt you, I promise," she said to him.

He was reminded of the Bad Wolf and that day on the Gamestation.

I want you safe, my Doctor, protected from the false god.

"Rose, the Bad Wolf. They think you still possess it," the Doctor said softly to her.

"I know. I want to speak to you about that but we better do it another time. They're already worried that I'm in here by myself with you," Rose said. "But don't worry. You'll be safe. Just trust me."

The Doctor nodded and Rose quickly kissed his lips again and his hearts raced when she whispered "I love you, no matter what you look like," into his ear before she straightened up. The Doctor could tell that she was forcing herself to turn and walk away from him and he felt the same sort of longing for her to stay with him as he watched her walk to the door and open it. He waited until she was gone before he slumped as much as the restraints would allow and let a ragged breath escape from his mouth.

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