Chapter Five

After having the talk, Rose felt better about being around River and her parents. She was being truthful when she told him that his happiness was all that mattered to her. Ever since she was separated from him, she'd been terrified that he'd ended up alone and depressed. It was the reason she wanted to stay with him forever so he'd never be alone ever again. She didn't know River and River didn't know her, so how could she be angry at her? She had nothing to do with their separation and she seemed like a nice woman. She had learned her lesson with Sarah Jane and she was determined to be friends with a fellow traveling companion of the Doctor rather than hate her for supposedly stealing her man away. So she sat beside River and sipped tea while the Doctor sat on the floor with John and explained the situation and what he knew about the voice and its purpose. When he finished, John rose to his feet and sipped his tea while he walked around the room.

"What you're describing," John finally said to the Doctor. "It sounds like the time your first five lives were snatched away to the Death Zone on Gallifrey. When the Doctors began to be snatched out of time, you felt the effects then, yeah?"

"Yes, but this seems different. I could feel the disappearance of my other selves, this time it feels like they're being corrupted."

"How do you mean, corrupted?" Rory said.

"Being turned to evil," the Doctor said. "There's a sense of evil all around me, I can feel it."

"And it's telling you to kill us?" Amy said.

"Among other things," the Doctor said. "It's telling me to become evil but killing you is part of it. It's urging me to embrace my dark side. I fear some of my other selves have already gave in."

"You're becoming evil?" Rose said, alarmed.

"You're not evil, Doctor," Amy said.

"No, but I have a dark side, we all do," the Doctor said. "Everyone has some level of darkness in their souls."

"But that doesn't mean we all become evil," Rory said.

"Yes, but you only have one life. I have thirteen lives worth of darkness to contend with," the Doctor said.

"So both ends are being corrupted? Past and future lives," John said.

"Yes. I feel like that is happening," the Doctor said. "Whatever is going on, it's affecting all my lives."

"Kovarian," River said.

"Hmm?" the Doctor said.

"Perhaps someone like Kovarian is kidnapping you near the beginning of your life and corrupting you like she did with me," River said.

The Doctor took a sip of tea while he considered that.

"Or perhaps…"

He looked at John.

"Yes?" he said when John didn't elaborate. "Perhaps…"

John shook his head.

"No, he died," John said.

"Who died?" River said.

"He was called the Valeyard. He's a physical manifestation of the Doctor's dark sides, his evil made flesh but he was trapped in the Matrix on Gallifrey and the Matrix was destroyed with Gallifrey. I was just thinking this would be the sort of thing he'd do."

"Perhaps. But we always thought the Master was gone and he kept resurfacing. At the moment, I'll accept that perhaps he escaped the Matrix somehow and is responsible for this."

"But why did we come here then?" Amy said. "Is this Valeyard bloke here?"

"Dunno," the Doctor said.

"I doubt it. Since you said the voice is fainter now," John said.

"Maybe the TARDIS brought you here to save you from this evil," Rose said. "Maybe this is a safe haven so you don't turn evil."

"That could be," the Doctor said, nodding. "Take me away from whatever is affecting my other selves so I'm free to figure out a solution."

"You're welcome to stay here," Rose said. "Move your TARDIS in here and stay while you sort this out."

"And we work at Torchwood so perhaps they have something that could help," John said.

"Oh, so they pulled you in to their little web, eh?" the Doctor said to him.

John snorted and smiled.

"Yeah, better than being a burger flipper, I s'pose," he said with a shrug. "I get to work with Rose, I get to work with alien tech and keep an eye on this Torchwood, lest it get out of control."

"Good man," the Doctor said. "Well, now that we know where you live, shall we go and fetch the TARDIS and bring it here?"

Amy, Rory and River nodded.

"You're right," the Doctor said to Rose. "Not only can we keep it safe in here but we can use its resources as well so we're not eating you out of house and home and clogging up the rooms with our sleeping bodies."

He also wanted to take the time to explain about Rose on the walk back and tell River about her and his past relationship. He sincerely wanted the two of them to get along and become friends since he figured they had a lot in common. Not to mention, he wanted to give Rose and John some alone time as well. So he asked his family to come with him while they went to retrieve the TARDIS from the alley.

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