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A Doctor Who fanfic, 10/Rose. AU. PG-13 (Implied Violence/Mild Language). (1890 words)

Continues sequentially after Before the Mockingbird Weeps, chronologically after Jasmine, Gunpowder, Assam. Twenty-third in the dystopian!verse series. This is effectively the last chapter, folks! (Well, there's technically still the epilogue - but epilogues don't really count, do they?) Anyhow, this chapter is a tad confusing in a frustratingly minimalist fashion, so if you don't get everything, don't worry - you aren't supposed to. ;) Interpret it however you wish, that's really the point.

A good hint though, if you find yourself floundering - reread Ground Zero and Jasmine, Gunpowder, Assam!

Thank you so, so, so much for all of your invaluable support! I would never have made it this far without all of you nudging me along. You guys make writing a wonderful experience. Anyhow, read on, and enjoy! Do let me know what you think. Also, a quick note: a post listing the chapters in chronological order can be found here.

Simulacra
It is a fine balance to strike, living between a life-you-cannot-remember, and a life-you-don't-want-to-live.


When: Ground Zero (Part III)


“Oh, oh, oh. Look what we have here! Look what the cat dragged in, boys.”

She cannot breathe. His voice is insidious, paralysing, terrifying. Her heart is beating too fast for her chest. Her breaths are not coming. Her hands are trembling. Her mind is racing.

This is the end, the beginning, Lucifer-and-the-fall. The Doctor is beside her, with her; she is so alone. Her head is whirring with thoughts that are hers and aren’t. What is he doing to them? She wants to drop her gun. She wants to shoot him. She wants to shoot herself.

“Rose, Rose, Rosie darling. I see you’ve already been enthralled by our wonderful new piece of technology. It’s the Pied Piper, and you are the foolish, foolish children. How upsetting. How disappointing, Rose Tyler. One would have thought Little Red more capable of fending off the Pied Piper after the Big Bad Wolf, no?”

Oh, she thinks. Oh. Is this the end? Is this how I am meant to die? There are prickles against her skin, like tiny running spiders that fleetingly brush her cold, cold body. The Repository. They keep everything here, you know. Everything. This is history. This is tradition. This is her people. This is foolishness.

What? Her mind sputters, her eyes flicker like stuttering guns. Laughter. She can hear distant laughter, howling-raging-cackling.

“Theta, my boy. Look at you! Such a handsome man now, aren’t you. You and me, I always knew you were going to be the prettier one. So smart, everyone said, remember? So talented. And how nice of that Theta boy, hanging out with that little Koschei outcast, hmm? My, my, Theta. As far as reunions go, ours does take the cake.”

“You’re dead. You died. I saw you die. How are you here? What are you? You’re not - you’re not my brother, my friend, you’re not - you can’t be Koschei. You can’t be.”

Oh dear, Rose thinks. Hickory dickory dock. Time. Time. That’s it, that’s what she needs to remember, only she can’t, because this isn’t her, there is something in her mind, oh god, oh god, time, they need time, why don’t they have any of that? Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

(the mouse ran up the clock.)

“I AM NOT DEAD!” She hears the Master roar, she feels the vibrations of his anger, feels the projectiles of his spittle, feels his madness, feels his depravity. “Rose, darling, come here now, be a good girl.” He pats the spot next to him, where he is sitting on a low table.

“Rose, don’t - fight this, come on, Rose, you can do this, fight him, fight the control, Goddammit!”

What was it again? Right. Alright. Breathe. Breathe. She tries, she really, really tries, but fuckgodwhatisthishelphelphelpme it hurts so much, so very very much. Her wrist throbs like pounding heartbeats, like discordant drums.

Rose,” he - the Master, the Master, my Master? - snaps, and she keens, a high wail that pierces her ears and breaks her heart. “Come here.” I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, she thinks, and she obeys, and it’s good for a while, because the pain is gone, and that is good, isn’t it?

“I will kill you where you stand, and I will enjoy every minute of it,” she hears him seethe, but this, this is the Doctor, he is a good man, right? “Let her go.”

“Oh, my,” he chuckles, this demon-creature-man that twists her hair around his fingers, tugs and pulls and hurts her. “What did they teach us at the Academy, Theta? Violence is bad. Very, very bad. Borusa would be so disappointed, you know. His golden boy, reduced to such threats.”

(humpty dumpty had a great fall.)

No. No. This is wrong. This is not right. These are not her thoughts, where are her thoughts, where is her mind? Focus, Rose. Focus. Break his control.

She sits next to him on his perch, trying to ignore the way he makes the blood in her veins freeze up, the air in her lungs feel cold. He twirls a lock of her hair around his fingers, and she flinches. He sees the flinch, and the finger in her hair tightens painfully.

“So feisty, isn’t she, Doctor? I can see why you keep her around as your little pet.” The Master eyes the Doctor maliciously, and she can almost see the cogs turning viciously in his warped, twisted mind. “Maybe I should keep her for myself, just to see what the fuss is all about.”

Why?” she hears the Doctor grit out. “Why are you doing this?”

The Master tugs her closer, licks the line of her jaw, bites down on her earlobe. Her stomach revolts, and she is so horrified, terrified, disgusted at the gesture that her insides churn and her vision briefly fades to black.

“You know what your problem is?” he asks the Doctor, and she knows he perversely savours her every shiver, her every shudder of revulsion. “I could see it so clearly, even when we were chums back in the Academy, you know.” He sighs, almost put-upon if not for the cruel glint in his eyes. “You always ask the wrong questions. Even now. You should really, really be asking...”

The Master smiles, macabre and twisted and depraved. “Why not?

(all the king’s horses and all the king’s men)

The world around her is too loud, too bright, too overwhelming. Her body is not her own, and neither are her thoughts. He wields her fully in his power, and she can do nothing to stop it. She is a doll, and he is the Puppet-Master.

“Come,” he says to her. “Light a match.” He extends a box to her, leads her over to the databank of the Watchers. Her mind screams.

“Watch your people burn.”

(couldn’t put humpty together again)


X-X

One-two, three-four; one-two, three-four.


She can follow the rhythm in her sleep, the double-timed double-beat that rings in her ears like funereal metronome. [INITIATE SEQUENCE.]

One-two.


But she is not asleep, is she? No. No, she is awake, she is sure of this. [RUN PROGRAMME.] She is here because she has something she needs to do, a purpose to serve; something she gave up her identity, her entire life for.

Three-four.

The room around her is blurred around the edges, like a fading photograph, or a half-remembered dream. She can hear voices. Male, tenors and baritones and low cadences. She hurts. It hurts, everywhere. She will need to see a Doctor. [ERROR. DELETE.]

One-two.

A Doctor? No. The Doctor. [EXTRANEOUS DATA. REMOVE FROM SYSTEM.]

Three-four.

Bright, bright light. She can see it now.

She is not the little girl in this tale, you know. She is the -

[ACTIVATION COMPLETE.]


Bad Wolf.

X-X

She will not remember any of this, but the evidence will be clear.

She will not remember the way she tears through four men, ripping and plunging and tearing and ravaging. She will not remember laughing and giggling as she blows a man’s brains out with her Beretta. She will not remember the Doctor yelling, pleading with her to stop, because this isn’t you, Rose, don’t let Them take away who you are. She will not remember the way the Master ran, with the Doctor on his heels as they wind deeper into the bowels of the Repository.

She will not remember the way her hands were stained red, red like the cape a little girl in another story a long time ago wore, red like life and death and everything in between. She will not remember blood that soaked her hands, making her grip on her Beretta slick and slippery.

There are many, many things will will not remember, but she will never forget the way the single gunshot ends everything. This gunshot is not from her gun, and it does not kill someone she loves, but this gunshot, with its harsh finish, sharp yelp, lays to rest her demons and nightmares and monsters-in-the-dark.

This gunshot changes everything, and starts everything anew.

It comes from a Glock, a handy little black weapon, wielded by a man far more dangerous than the one dead on the floor. This man is familiar to her, someone she really thinks she ought to know, because how could she forget a face like that? He haunts her dreams, she is sure.

This man is more dangerous, because she thinks he may hold the stuttering, fluttering pulse of her heart in his killer-saviour hands, and because he so fragile-broken, so mended-whole.

She doesn’t make sense, not really, not now. Does it matter?

Maybe it does. [BEGIN END SEQUENCE.]

This man is important. The Doctor, she reminds herself. There was a time - once upon a time, really, in a far away land, she was sure she knew more about him. Pity. What a pity. She thinks they would have been good together. In another life, maybe.

[DELETION ALGORITHM INITIATED.]

Well. It hardly matters now, does it? Whir, whir, whir, goes the little sound at the back of her mind. This is the end, she supposes. It won’t be so bad. She can see desperation in his eyes, something like fear and frustration and loss and pain, each flickering on his face in a parade of expressions and emotion.

Wait.

Who is she? There is an unfinished story. There are pages and chapters and arcs left unwritten, all blank and wiped clean.

My name,
she thinks, long and hard. She tries, god, she really tries. My name is -

He kisses her, and though she will not remember it, this is what saves her life.

X-X

“He’s dead,” she asks. He nods, and she turns her head away from the prone body lying on the ground before them. “I’m sorry,” she continues, and he shakes his head. “Don’t be.” She tries not to, but it is not something that she can help.

“We should go,” he tells her, and his voice is sturdy and firm. She grasps his words like a lifeline, and takes his hands as they leave.


Faintly, she recalls words from days ago, lifetimes ago. Those who give the orders are not the ones who die.

Really? She thinks. Really?

They begin again, and the story starts.



Part Twenty-Two - Before the Mockingbird Weeps

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Alexandra

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Alexandra. (Allie, for short.)
Asian-British. University Student.

This is ofalexandra's fic journal.

Adores: BBC Sherlock, Psych, Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, The Sentinel, and Haruki Murakami.

Abhors: Lettuce. And Disney's Snow White.