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Title: Out of the Howling (part 1/?)
Authors: goldy_dollar & _thirty2flavors
Rating: PG-13
Characters/Pairings: Ten II/Rose
Genre: Angst, drama
Summary: Six years after Bad Wolf Bay, Rose gets a message from another universe.
Excerpt: Whatever reaction she’d expected from telling her boyfriend that his alien duplicate from another universe was contacting her telepathically, this wasn’t it.


A voice was calling Rose Tyler’s name.

"Rose."

She tried to reach out but there was nothing. She felt lost in a fog. There was a tingle in the back of her mind, a memory trying to pull its way out, and the voice came again:

"Rose."

She knew that voice; she'd heard it before.

"Rose."

A ghost reaching out. Please don’t go, she tried to say. I know you. If I could just... just... remember...

And then: “Help me.”


Fingers snapped in front of her face.

"Rose? Rose are you even listening to me?” Rose jerked awake and Jackie’s annoyed face swam into view. She was standing in front of Rose, one hand on her hip, the other waving a spatula accusingly in Rose’s face. “For the last time, did you want chicken or a kebab?”

Rose winced as bright sunlight rushed into her eyes. She reached up to scratch her head, and then glanced around her. She was in a back garden, curled up on a lawn chair.

“Mum, how did... where....” she began, and caught sight of her dad on the porch, flipping kebabs on the barbeque. From around the house, she heard the familiar sounds of Tony’s high pitched, slightly maniacal laughter, which meant the Doctor was somewhere nearby. “The mansion,” she said slowly. “Sunday. It’s family barbeque Sunday.”

Jackie folded her arms over her chest, staring down at Rose with narrowed, suspicious eyes. “I told your father not to hand out those cocktails. Like drinking acid, those were. I must’ve been calling your name for ten minutes.”

“Sorry, mum, I drifted off,” Rose said slowly. She reached up to scratch her head again, frowning. It was more than that, though. “There was a voice,” she said suddenly. She looked up at Jackie. “Did you hear it? It sounded like it was calling my name.”

“No voices from out here, sweetheart, unless you count the lecture I gave to the Doctor after he chased your brother through my tulip garden.” Jackie frowned, and Rose couldn’t tell whether she was more concerned for Rose’s sanity or for her tulip garden. “Maybe you’re falling ill,” she suggested, and pressed her free hand against Rose’s forehead.

Overhead, a zeppelin trundled by, a long vapour of black smoke trailing behind it. It had been unusually warm lately, even for the height of summer. A fine sheen of perspiration had collected on Rose’s face, and she brushed some of the sweat out of her eyes, sitting up straighter.

Mum,” Rose said warningly, batting at her hand. “I know how it sounds, but....” she sighed, “okay, ‘I heard a voice in my head’ really does sound a bit mad, doesn’t it?”

“Well I suppose it’s not the maddest thing you’ve ever said,” Jackie pointed out. “What does the Doctor have to say about it?”

Rose suddenly felt defensive. “What’s that got to do with anything?”

As if he sensed they were talking about him, the Doctor trotted over, carrying a plate filled with kebabs and precariously balancing two glasses of lemonade in the crook of his arm. Rose gave her mother a significant look and shook her head, silently trying to convey she really wanted to change the subject.

She was not in luck. “How long has Rose been hearing voices for?” Jackie demanded loudly as soon as the Doctor was in earshot. “What sort of voices? And how comes neither of you told me about it?”

The Doctor blinked at Jackie and then turned his gaze to Rose. “I’m not - ” she began, “ - there was... I was dreaming,” she finished lamely.

The Doctor looked concerned. “It’s happening again, isn’t it?” He handed Rose the plate of food and the two glasses of lemonade to Jackie before rooting around in his pockets.

“What’s happening?” said Jackie. “What is it, Doctor?”

“Oh my god, the pair of you,” said Rose, burying her face behind her hands. “It was just an afternoon kip, that’s all.” She tensed when she heard something buzzing in front of her face and pulled her hands back. “Are you sonicking me?”

The Doctor had the sense to look embarrassed, but he didn’t pull the sonic screwdriver back from Rose’s face. “Well, you’re not possessed, you haven’t ingested any poison, and it doesn’t look like your body is playing host to any alien species.” The Doctor turned off the sonic screwdriver and stuffed it back in his pocket, looking worried. “I know you’ve noticed, Rose. The last few weeks, you’ve been drifting off at strange times; sleeping in and missing work; daydreaming while out on the job. It’s been happening on and off. More 'on' lately than off, truth be told. A voice, though. That’s new." His expression shifted from worried to thoughtful. "Like a low level form of hypnosis."

Rose knew there was an element of truth to what he was saying, and flushed when she thought about how Jake had caught her in her office on Friday, head bent down on her desk, a small pool of drool collecting on a pile of internship applications. Still, she hated when he used that you-small-dumb-human tone of voice on her.

"That's ridiculous," she said. "I'm tired, that's all. I haven't been sleeping well lately."

"You've been sleeping fine."

Rose pressed her lips together and stared at him, not replying right away. Trust a part-Time Lord to know her own circadian rhythm better than she did. She might have been sleeping fine, but she still felt exhausted. She wasn't going to share that with the Doctor, though. She had a feeling he would never let things alone if she did.

"Then maybe it's 'cos it's hot out. Not all of us can neutralized the particles into water and absorb it into our skin.”

"I can't... do that as well as I used to be able to," the Doctor said. He sighed, but seemed to relent. He plucked one of the lemonades out of Jackie’s hands and held it out to Rose who shifted the plate of kebabs to her knees. “Come on, drink up. Doctor’s orders."

Rose rolled her eyes. "You too, mister not-as-well-as-I-used-to." She smirked at him and she was relieved when he smirked back.

Jackie’s eyes jumped back and forth between them like she was watching a particularly fast moving tennis match. Finally, she shook her head. “Honestly, the pair of you. Sometimes I only understand about half of what you’re saying.”

Rose took a sip of lemonade and glanced up at the Doctor, unable to hide her smile. She knew it wasn’t always fair to others, but she loved that she and the Doctor had their own sort of language. They could be in a room full of people and still feel like they were the only two people who mattered.

For the moment, Jackie appeared satisfied that Rose was not losing her mind. She now seemed more focused on Pete who was still determinedly grilling away at the barbeque. Next to him, the plate of kebabs was so high, the pile was beginning to look like a losing game of jenga. Jackie sighed. “The man doesn’t so much as lift a finger to help make a meal all week, but give him a barbeque and he’ll cook enough food to feed an alien invasion.”

Jackie handed the Doctor his lemonade and then bustled off, calling Pete’s name loudly and making the Doctor wince in sympathy.

Rose picked up a kebab and bit into it, suddenly starved. “Good job dad was on cooking duty this week. S’good.”

The Doctor dropped down to sit next to her, making the lawn chair dip slightly to one side. The chair definitely wasn’t meant to hold two, but Rose didn’t mind. She took the opportunity to lean into the Doctor, probably more than was strictly necessary and passed him the plate of kebabs. His body temperature was still a few degrees cooler than a normal human's. At the moment, it felt amazing.

“I’m still trying to forget the kale lasagna your mum served last week,” the Doctor said. “I mean, lasagna I understand. I even understand this universe’s sudden obsession with kale, although just wait until the year 2016 when chard becomes all the rage. But together?”

The Doctor shuddered. Rose patted him on the hand, and with her mouth full of kebab, said, “Maybe next month when it’s mum’s turn to cook again, there will be some emergency at Torchwood and we won’t have to come.”

The Doctor looked wistful. “Oh, I’m not sure even a horde of invading aliens would interrupt Jackie Tyler’s dinner plans.”

Rose snickered and picked up another kebab. She glanced up to find the Doctor watching her. “What?”

Suddenly serious, he said, “Rose, if there was something wrong... even if you thought it was nothing, even if you thought it was silly - you would tell me, wouldn’t you?”

Rose forced herself to smile. “Course I would.”

The Doctor smiled back, looking reassured, and picked up a kebab. Rose took a bite of her own, chewing methodically while her stomach twisted guiltily. Suddenly she didn’t feel hungry anymore.

---

"Rose."

Who's there?

"Rose—"

That voice. She would know that voice anywhere.

She heard that voice every day.

...Doctor?

There was a silence and for a horrible, aching moment, she worried that she got it wrong. Then he said: “You can hear me.”

Yes! she found herself saying in return. Where are you? What’s happening?

How was this possible?

Rose tried to look around her, but it was like being pulled inside out.

“I’m inside your head,” said the Doctor. Even as he spoke, Rose felt something in the back of her mind – a tingle, a presence of some sort. It wasn’t painful, exactly. But it wasn’t comfortable either.

She found herself saying his name: “Doctor?”

It was funny how painful it could be to call him that, even though she said it every day to another man wearing his face. This was different, though. This was the one who turned and left her behind, and even though Rose had done her best to understand why and move on, it was an ache that never really left.

“That’s me, the Doctor,” said the voice, and this time he definitely sounded smug. “The one and only.”

His voice faded on the last few words. Rose felt a flash of fear. “What's happening? What do you need?"

“You’ve got to get me out of here,” said the voice. There was something desperate about it, a panic Rose had never heard from him before.

“I... okay,” Rose said, her own panic rising. “Where are you? Where’s ‘here’?”

There was no answer. Rose held her breath, waiting.

"Doctor?" she called out.

There was silence – a horrible silence that seemed to stretch on and on. She almost cried out – almost asked if he was still there, but she could still feel him in her mind.

Then – "I’m trapped.”

“What do you mean – trapped? Trapped, where?”

There was no answer.

“Doctor!” she yelled. “Are you still there?”

“Yes.”

“How do I help?” Again, he was silent. Her panic grew. “Tell me what I can do. Doctor?”


Something shook her shoulder. Rose flinched and her eyes snapped open. She was laying in bed. Morning light was streaming through the blinds, and she squinted as the Doctor’s face swam into view. He was kneeling atop the comforter, looming over her, his shirt half-buttoned and his hair still wet from the shower.

"Rose." He crouched in front of her, face close to hers. A drop of water fell from his hair and landed on her cheek. "You were calling my name."

She blinked at him, tired and confused, and pushed herself onto her elbows. "I wasn't – I..."

"Rose—" he pulled her in for a hug and she let him, chin instinctively resting on the crook of his shoulder. "I'm here now. Whatever is happening to you, we'll sort it out, I promise."

"I wasn't calling for you," Rose whispered.

He tensed and pulled away, eyes searching her face. "Rose, what's going on? Tell me. Please."

Rose looked away from him, swinging her legs over the edge of the bed. "It was him. The other Doctor. He's been calling me." She took a deep breath. "He needs my help."

As she spoke, she looked back at him and saw the worry and concern in the Doctor’s face melt away, replaced by something darker. He opened his mouth but said nothing before he closed it again. Thin lines appeared on his forehead as he drew his eyebrows together like he always did when sorting out a puzzle. Whatever reaction she’d expected from telling her boyfriend that his alien duplicate from another universe was contacting her telepathically, this wasn’t it.

Finally he said, “Sorry, say that again?”

“It’s the Doctor,” she repeated. She stood up, energized now, rushing for an explanation that could get them acting quickly. Wherever the other Doctor was, they couldn’t keep him waiting for long. “Those daydreams I’ve been having – there was a voice – I don’t know why I didn’t recognize sooner. It’s him, he’s been contacting me.” She rifled through her chest of drawers, gesturing with her hands while she fumbled for words. “I talked to him – well, sort of talked, in a…”

She caught sight of the Doctor’s face as she waved about a pair of socks and knickers, and fell silent. Her words hadn’t spurned him to action; he was sitting on their bed, watching her intently, lines still etched in his forehead. He seemed to be choosing his words very carefully. “What did he say, exactly?”

“He said he was trapped. He said I could help him.” She shut the drawer with her hip and changed into the fresh pair of pants. “Then I lost contact. I’ve got to get back in touch, I’ve got to help him.”

The Doctor nodded slowly but didn’t say anything. He reached out and took one of her hands, tugging her closer to the bed and looking her right in the eye. “Rose, I want you to listen to me.” His thumbs rubbed soothing motions on her wrist. “Whoever you heard, whoever you spoke to… I don’t think it was the Doctor.”

Rose raised her eyebrows. “What?” She slid her hand out of his and moved back to the chest of drawers to pick a bra. “‘Course it is, who else would it be?”

“I don’t know, but—"

“I think I know what you sound like,” she went on. She dropped the t-shirt she’d slept in to the carpet and slid her arms through the straps of her bra. “I hear plenty of that voice every day.”

“Your telepathy is minimal at best,” he said, and Rose felt herself bristling at the tone, like he was explaining something complex to a child. “You could easily be confused, or misled, or—"

“I’m not stupid,” she said, shooting him a cold stare as she walked to the wardrobe. “Besides, he’s done it before. You did. Before Norway.”

The Doctor was unconvinced. “I know, Rose, but that was different, it was purposeful.”

“So is this! He needs help!” She pulled her shirt off its hanger with more force than was necessary.

“Why didn’t he contact me, then, hey?” Rose rolled her eyes, but the Doctor pressed on. “I’m a stronger telepath than you. We already have a connection. It would be easier, faster. Why not? Why you?”

Why me?” Rose was distantly aware that her voice was getting higher and louder. She turned to look at him incredulously as she pulled on her top. “Because he trusts me, is that so hard to believe?”

The Doctor sat back and sighed, reaching instead to ruffle up his hair. “Of course not.”

“And if he’d done it before, with me, and it worked, would it be easier for him to contact me again?”

He hesitated. “Well…”

“Would it?”

“Yes,” he conceded, “it would. You’ve connected before, it’s like… the road’s been cleared. But—"

Feeling confident now, Rose kept going. She tugged on a pair of jeans without breaking eye contact. “Besides, no one in this universe even knows he exists. Who’s gonna impersonate him? You’re the Doctor here.”

He didn’t have an answer to that. Instead he sighed and looked down, rubbing his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. Defeat and concern mingled on his face, and Rose walked over to the bed and placed her hands on his shoulders.

“Doctor, listen to me.” She waited until he lifted his head, then held his gaze intently. “If he needs my help, I’ve got to try. I’m not stupid. Anything weird happens, I’ll let you know. But right now I need you to trust me, yeah?”

“I do trust you.” But he worried his lip, and Rose could see he was biting back something else. Just as she was about to tell him to spit it out, he said, “It’s whoever you’re hearing that I don’t trust.”

Rose threw up her hands in exasperation. “It’s you!”

He shook his head. "It just... it doesn't sound like me, Rose. Why reach out now? After all this time? That wasn't what he wanted when he left us here."

"I told you," Rose said, "he needs help."

"At what cost?" the Doctor asked. "The walls between worlds are a dangerous thing. He knows that better than anyone. He's putting us in danger. He's putting everything in danger."
Rose rolled her eyes. “Right, because you don’t do dangerous.”

“Not like this, I don’t.”

Rose snorted. “That is rubbish!”

The Doctor’s tone was rising, too, matching hers. “I’m sorry, I just think we need to be a little hesitant about bulldozing universal walls because someone in a dream told you to.”

“Oh, so earlier you were concerned, but now I’m just dreaming?” She folded her arms, then her mouth dropped open as the dots connected. “Oh my God, are you jealous?”

“Of what, a voice in your head?” The disdainful tone did little to change her hypothesis.

“No.”

"Right." She shook her head and turned, heading for the door. "I'll be at Torchwood if you decide to stop being an arse.”

Chapter Two

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
annearchy
Aug. 13th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
Oooh interesting. I like what you've done here. Oh and hi, Frances - long time, no see.
goldy_dollar
Aug. 16th, 2014 03:02 pm (UTC)
Aw thanks!

And hi you! Glad to see you around these parts. :)
(Anonymous)
Aug. 14th, 2014 03:54 am (UTC)
Fantastic!
Great! Please continue!
goldy_dollar
Aug. 16th, 2014 03:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Fantastic!
Thank you! :)
rosaxx50
Aug. 14th, 2014 05:32 am (UTC)
Well I'm certainly intrigued. I have a feeling that it isn't the Doctor calling her, too.
goldy_dollar
Aug. 16th, 2014 03:04 pm (UTC)
Intrigued is good! Thanks for reading and helping keep lj afloat. :)
debs7
Aug. 14th, 2014 06:05 am (UTC)
Ooooh this is awesome.

So glad you guys have done another fic. I haven't read any for along time!
goldy_dollar
Aug. 16th, 2014 03:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

Me too. This whole process has been strange but weirdly familiar too. The next chapter should be up soon. :)
doctorxdonna
Aug. 16th, 2014 02:54 am (UTC)
I'm loving this so far. Can't wait for your next update!
goldy_dollar
Aug. 16th, 2014 03:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Next chapter should be up soon.
redcirce
Sep. 2nd, 2014 05:15 am (UTC)
Very intriguing! Something seems not quite right, which I'm sure we'll find out more about soon enough. Jackie is great, as always. I especially liked her completely ignoring Rose trying to keep the voice a secret.

I may be reaching, but Rose doesn't seem quite herself near the end when she rushes off? I'm wondering if there's something to the Doctor's "low level form of hypnosis" theory...
goldy_dollar
Sep. 6th, 2014 02:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks!!

Hee good pickup on our clues. :p
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )