Chapter Nine

John looked back at Older Michelle while they walked back to the lab.

"This is beyond weird, seeing her like this," John said to the Doctor.

"Now you know how I feel when I look at you," the Doctor said to him while Older Michelle chuckled.

The Doctor frowned when Older Michelle put her index finger against his temple and made a humming sound. She chuckled again when he gave her a confused look.

"I'm implanting my will into your mind," she said. "Now you're my slave."

John chuckled at the bemused look on the Doctor's face.

"Well, if I'm a dangerous assassin, I might as well make my move," Older Michelle said with a shrug. "So now you're my helpless puppet. Dance, puppet!"

"I see things haven't changed much," John said to the Doctor.

"Yes, she's still cheeky, only taller," the Doctor replied.

"So, convinced I'm not here to kill you?" Older Michelle said to him.

"I never thought you were here to kill me, I just don't like people entering my TARDIS without my permission," the Doctor said to her.

"You did give me permission, the future you did," Older Michelle said. "Wasn't my idea, you told me I had to come here and help so I did."

They entered the lab. Older Michelle stood behind the Doctor and watched with interest while John pulled the gem out of his pocket and looked at it.

"So, I put this against my chest then?" John said, turning it over in his hand.

"Apparently so," the Doctor said. "I think you better lay down though, just in case."

John nodded. He hopped up onto a metal lab table, took off his shirt and laid back while the Doctor took the gem and shirt from him. Michelle came in closer to observe and when the Doctor glanced at her from across the table, she grinned.

"Dance, puppet," she said.

"Be quiet, cheeky," he said to her while she snickered.

He placed the gem between John's breasts and waited. For a moment, nothing happened.

"It's cold," John said. "Is that all it's s'posed to…"

He gasped and the Doctor watched in shock as the gem suddenly sank into his skin as if by osmosis and began to bury itself in John's chest.

"I liked it better when it was just cold!" John shrieked as the gem went deeper into his chest.

The Doctor started to pull at the gem and yank it out when Older Michelle grabbed his arm.

"No, he'll be alright, I promise," she said.

The Doctor gazed into her eyes for a moment before nodding. Older Michelle let go of his arm and the Doctor watched as the gem disappeared beneath John's skin. Surprisingly, the ordeal left no blood or scarring and the skin was the same as it was, as if nothing had happened. John let out a sigh of relief as the pain subsided and he sat up and examined his skin.

"So it's inside me now?" John said to the Doctor.

He noticed the odd look on the Doctor's face.

"What? What's wrong?" he said to the Doctor.

"That play you did for me when you were a child, something about a purple gem residing in my body?" the Doctor said to Older Michelle.

"Purple gem?" John said while Older Michelle giggled and nodded.

"It's some cheeky play they did where they pretended they were about to dissect me to get some alien gem inside my body. It just hit me that now there really is an alien gem inside my body, sorta," he said to John.

"As long as it doesn't kill me," John said, hopping off the table and taking his shirt from the Doctor.

He put it back on while he gazed at Older Michelle.

"So how long have you been a companion to the Doctor then," he said to her.

"In what way? Traveling with him or married to him?" Older Michelle said.

John froze halfway through putting his shirt on and gave her a shocked look. Older Michelle held up her wrist and showed him the wedding bracelet.

"What happened to Riv…well, I mean I know what happens to River but you're not that old. You got over River that quickly?" John said to the Doctor.

"I don't know. Why are you asking me? This is in my future," the Doctor said. "I mean, I saw her older self at one point and it was on her honeymoon but that's all I know."

"Spoilers, as my aunt would say," Older Michelle said. "But I will say that River is out of the picture when he and I marry."

"Well, that's nice. I'm glad you're not marrying over her corpse," John said. "But I never thought the two of you…I mean, I know you're fond of her and you're best mates but…"

John shook his head.

"Of course I'm a clone that marries the former girlfriend of an alien time traveling man so who am I to judge on strange relationships?" he said. "Just as long as you're happy."

"We're very happy," Older Michelle said. "And I'm more than capable of holding my own in battle. I learned from the best," she said, patting the Doctor's shoulder. "Oh! And I learned to be British, so that should make you happy," she added with a wink.

"Well, good, I'm glad," the Doctor said.

Older Michelle smirked.

"I lied. MACARONI AND CHEESE!" she yelled.

"Blimey, you really haven't changed much, have you?" John said to her.

"Well, I figured I have a choice. Either show the Doctor my sultry, seductive side which might make him uncomfortable, given he's still married to River or show him the side he's used to, which is Bookworm."

"Yeah, you could be a bit more adult without the slinkiness," the Doctor said.

"As you wish," Older Michelle said.

She paused for a moment and then grinned as she put her finger against his temple and hummed again.

"Sorry, had to get that out before I became fully mature," she said, patting his cheek.

"She's going to be a handful, I can just tell," the Doctor said to John while Michelle chuckled and put her arm around him.

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