Run With You

Shakespeare Code pt 2

Everything about the place made Rose’s stomach churn. The stench of human waste and sweat, the agonized cries of the men and women locked away for something that in a few centuries would be treated properly. She pressed her face against the Doctor’s back as much as she could, masking some of the worst stench while finding comfort in his nearness. The hospital was breaking her heart, and they hadn’t even ventured that far within its walls. Sooner than she would have liked, they were led into a dank, prison like area, where barred cells reminded Rose of cages. While the stench hadn’t gotten worse, the glimpses she got of the people huddled in the corner made her heart constrict.

“Does my lord, Doctor, wish some entertainment while he waits?” Their escort asked as he led them through the halls. “I’d whip these madmen. They’ll put on a good show for ya.”

“No, I don’t.” The Doctor sneered, making their escort look momentarily ashamed.

“Wait here, my lord, while I make him decent for the ladies.” The man said with a bow before retreating down the hall, trying to hide his whip.

“So this is what you call a hospital, yeah? Where the patients are whipped to entertain the gentry.” Martha growled at Shakespeare. “And you put your friend in here?”

“Oh and it’s all so different in Freedonia.” Shakespeare shot back.

“Are you alright?” The Doctor whispered back to Rose over his shoulder as Martha and Shakespeare bantered. She nodded, reaching for his hand and squeezing it. He shifted the grip so his fingers fell perfectly between hers like he was made to fit. “You don’t have to lie.” He added.

“M’fine.” She said quietly. “Or I will be.”

“This way m’lord.” Their escort called to them.

The Doctor gave Rose’s hand another squeeze before sliding his cool fingers from between hers. He walked with squared shoulders to the cell the man stood beside, waiting for it to be unlocked as she, Martha, and Shakespeare caught up.

“They can be dangerous,” The escort said as he opened the door for them. “Don’t know their own strength.”

“I think it helps if you don’t whip them,” The Doctor said coldly, his eyes betraying the possibility of the Oncoming Storm making an appearance if the man didn’t heed the warning. “Now get out.” The Doctor snarled, and the escort quickly retreated.

The Doctor eased up, rolling his shoulders before kneeling down to a man in rags, curled into an upright ball on a simple little cot in the corner. His eyes lacked the spark of life though his moving chest indicated he was still breathing at least.

“He’s the same as he was,” Shakespeare commented with barely masked disappointment. “You’ll get nothing out of him.”

“Shh,” Rose hushed him as she watched the Doctor reach out and touch the poor man on the shoulder.

“Peter,” He said softly, but the poor man acted as if the Doctor grabbed him roughly and yelled. The jerk of his head toward the Doctor made Rose jump, grabbing Shakespeare’s sleeve for a moment before she realized what she’d done. “Peter, I’m the Doctor.” He continued in a soothing voice, placing his fingertips gently near Peter’s temples. “Go into the past,” He instructed. “Let your mind go back to when everything was fine and shining. Everything that happened in this year since happened to somebody else. It was just a story, a winter’s tale. That’s it, just let it go.” He eased the man down on to the cot so he was laying down. “Tell me the story, Peter. Tell me about the witches.”

There was a pause where all Rose could hear was the beating of her heart as she waited, wondering if somehow the Doctor did more harm than good to the poor, fragile looking man.

“Witches spoke to Peter.” The man finally said. “In the night they whispered. Got Peter to build the Globe to their design,” He rambled steadily, repeating the last two words. “The fourteen walls, always fourteen. When the work was done,” He said, laughing with madness. “They snapped poor Peter’s wits.” He said in a hushed tone.

“Where did Peter see the witches?” The Doctor pressed gently. “Where in the city?”

The man turned to the Doctor, appearing completely lucid for the first time since they entered the room. His eyes lost that glazed look, appearing determined. “All Hallows Street.” He said with strength in his voice.

“Too many words.” An ancient voice sounded around them as an old hag suddenly appeared beside the Doctor.

He backed away, spreading his arms out in front of Martha and Shakespeare as he put his back to Rose protectively.

“Just one touch of the heart,” The old crone said to them before, index finger extended in show before she lowered it toward Peter.

“No!” The Doctor cried, flinching forward as she touched the poor old man laying helpless on the bed.

He groaned in pain and a bit of relief as her finger laid above his heart, his eyes fluttering shut with a look of peace. There was that at least, the poor man was finally free of his insanity.

“A witch,” Shakespeare stammered. “I’m seeing a witch.”

Without thinking, Rose reached out and took his hand to comfort him, watching the Doctor in hopes he had some kind of way to stop the crone.

“Who would be next? Just one touch,” The crone stalked toward them with a teasing grin on her wrinkled, haggard face. Her eyes fell and locked on Rose, seeming not to care about the man in front of her.

“Let us out,” Martha said, turning to the bars and grabbing them, craning her head to try to get her voice to carry. “Let us out!” She cried again.

“Don’t think he can hear us, mate.” Rose snapped, her heart hammering as she tried to hide from the crone behind the Doctor.

“Who will die first? Poor, fragile mortals.” The Crone taunted.

“Well, if you’re looking for volunteers,” The Doctor said, his tone bold. Rose let go of Shakespeare’s hand and grabbed the back of the Doctor’s overcoat in an effort to keep him from stepping too close to the witch.

“Don’t!” Martha cried out, leaping toward him as well.

“Doctor, can you stop her?” Shakespeare stammered.

“No mortal has power over me.” The witch smugly countered.

“Oh, but there’s power in words.” The Doctor said confidently. “If I can find the right one, if I can just know you.”

“None on Earth has knowledge of us.” The witch said dismissively.

“Then it’s a good thing I’m here.” The Doctor didn’t miss a beat, dropping his hands into his pockets. “Now think, think, humanoid female, uses shapes and words to channel energy.” His body jolted. “Ah, fourteen! That’s it, fourteen! Fourteen stars of the Rexel planetary configuration.” He pulled his hands from his pockets and thrust an accusatory finger to the witch as if he intended to hurt her the same way she threatened them. “Creature, I name you Carrionite!” He cried, causing the witch to cry in anguish and disappear as quickly as she appeared.

The Doctor stepped backward, and Rose let out a sigh of relief as her forehead fell between his shoulder blades. Closing her eyes she took deep breaths, slowing her heart.

“What did you do?” Martha asked, and the Doctor turned, placing his hand lightly on Rose’s back to provide comfort.

“I named her,” He said, chest puffed slightly. “The power of a name, that’s old magic.”

“But there’s no such thing as magic,” Martha replied quickly, a reminder that to the Doctor that he had used those exact words.

“Well, it’s just a different sort of science.” He shrugged, stepping away from Rose and partially circling Martha with a grin. “You lot, you chose mathematics. Given the string of numbers, the right equation, you can split the atom. Carrionites use words instead.”

“Use them for what?” Shakespeare asked, barely masking the fear in his voice.

“The end of the world,” The Doctor replied, grin gone as the severity of the situation seemed to hit him. “Come on, we should head back to the inn for now. Going to meet the carrionite head on without some sort of plan could prove deadly.”

“Plans don’t normally go our way,” Rose reminded him as they heard the heavy step of their escort coming toward them.

“Still, we need to have a better idea of what we may be up against.” He replied as the door was unlocked behind them.

“Ah,” Their escort said, and Rose turned toward him to see him looking at Peter’s body. “One less lunatic to deal with.”

“That was a man,” Rose whirled around on him, startling the supposed caretaker. “A living, breathing man who had a family who loved him and friends that cared. Just because he was sick doesn’t mean he was any less of a human and it would be good for you to remember that. Never know, one day after being around all these supposed lunatics you might find yourself as bad off as them and then what? You’ll be whipped for entertainment and tossed aside like rubbish.” She stalked toward him, and the big, burly man backed away. “Show respect.” She stormed out the cell and down the hall, retracing the steps they took to get there powered by the rage boiling in her chest. She heard the rushed footsteps of the others behind her, but she didn’t stop for them until she was back out on the street.

She whirled around toward them, the Doctor smiling with amusement and pride while Martha and Shakespeare kept their distance with a little apprehension.

“What?” Rose demanded of the Doctor as he stopped in front of her, hands in his pockets as he rocked on his heels.

“There’s just something so fantastic in watching you put a terrible man in his place. Loved it since the undertaker in Cardiff, 1869.” He admitted, manically beaming for the first time since the theatre the night before.

No matter how much she didn’t want to, Rose grinned. “Happy to amuse you,” She said, turning away as he the Doctor bounced a little.

“Doctor,” Martha said, “A plan?”

“Right, yes,” The Doctor said, and Rose looked up to see him looking toward the inn. “Let’s figure out what’s going on here where we won’t be carted back here by eavesdroppers.”

The Doctor paced around Shakespeare’s room from the moment they returned to the inn, and Rose took the opportunity to sit beside Martha.

“The Carrionites disappeared way back at the dawn of the universe.” He said, the first of any of them to speak since arriving. “Nobody was sure if they were real or legend.” He said, stopping, putting his hands on the back of Rose’s chair.

“Well I’m going for real,” Shakespeare said, still a little shaken by their experience in Bedlam.

“Not even your people?” Rose asked, looking to the Doctor.

He scoffed. “Mine most of all. The Carrionites were considered fairy tales by most, though there were some scholars who believed those tales had roots.”

“What do they want?” Martha asked, her brow knitting together much in the same way the Doctor’s tended to.

The Doctor didn’t even pause to consider. “A new empire on Earth. A world of bones and blood and witchcraft.”

“How?” Rose asked. “How would they be able to do that?”

“Words,” the Doctor said, meeting her gaze for a moment before turning to Shakespeare. “And I’m looking at the man who uses the most beautiful words of all.”

“Me?” Shakespeare said, oddly baffled considering his nature.

“Oh yes,” The Doctor said.

“But I’ve done nothing.” The Bard protested.

“Hold on, what were you doing last night, when the Carrionite was in the room?” Martha asked him, leaning forward slightly.

“Finishing the play,” Shakespeare shrugged.

“What happens on the last page?” The Doctor asked.

Shakespeare looked around the room as if the answers were all around him, clear to all. “The boys get the girls. They have a bit of a dance. It’s all as funny and thought provoking as usual. Except,” he frowned, “those last few lines. Funny thing is, I don’t actually remember writing them.”

“That’s it!” The Doctor cried, slapping his hands together and causing everyone in the room to startle. He put his fingers in his hair. “They used you. The gave you the final words. Like a spell, like a code.” He resumed his pacing. “Love’s Labours Won is a weapon. The right combination of words, spoken at the right place with the shape of the Globe as an energy converter! We need to find All Hallows Street. Will, do you have a map of the city?” The Doctor asked, leaning on the desk between Martha and Rose.

“Yes,” He replied, getting up and going to a table behind him. Shakespeare grabbed a roll of paper and returned to the desk, spreading it out over all the other sheets scattered about.

The Doctor scanned it over. “All Hallows Street, there it is.” He said, pointing to a line of text Rose couldn’t read from her current spot. “We’ll track them down. Will, you get to the Globe. What ever you do, stop that play.”

“I’ll do it.” He said, extending a hand toward the Doctor. He took it, a glint of joy in his serious expression. “All these years I’ve been the cleverest man around. Next to you, I know nothing.”

“Because you weren’t humble enough,” Rose teased as she stood, catching the hint of that joy growing in the Doctor’s eyes.

“A man such as him deserves to have a certain measure of hubris.” Shakespeare said, glancing at Rose before turning his attention back to Doctor. “Good luck.”

“Good luck,” The Doctor grinned, glancing around the Bard. “Allons-y Martha Jones, Rose Tyler.” He gestured to the door with his head before leading the way.

The street was something out of a Halloween movie, and certainly lived up to the name. Hardly a house or building on it, the ones that were had an eerie feel to them, making it difficult to decipher where the Carrionites could be.

“So, help me get this straight,” Martha said as they stopped in the middle of the street. “If the Carrionites somehow manage to take over the world, what would happen?”

The Doctor scanned the street. “End of the human race.” He said flatly. “Carrionites will overwhelm, kill you lot off or use you for amusement.”

“So what will happen to us then?” She asked.

“How to explain the mechanics of infinite temporal flux?” He said, twisting around before turning sharply back to Martha. “I know! Back to the Future, it’s like that.”

“The film?” Martha asked, and Rose snorted.

“No, the novelization. Yes, the film.” The Doctor said with unmasked sarcasm. “Marty McFly goes back and changes history.”

“And he starts fading away.” Martha said with an understanding nod before words really seemed to sink in. She paled. “Oh my God, we’re gonna fade away?”

The Doctor nodded. “You, Rose, the entire human race ends right now in 1599 if we don’t stop it. But which house?” He asked.

Their attention was collectively pulled to a door opening seemingly by it’s own accord.

“Make that witch house.” Rose mumbled, running her knuckles over the back of the Doctor’s hand before the three of them headed toward it.

They stepped inside, heading up stairs where a silhouette waited behind a curtain. The Doctor pushed it aside, revealing a beautiful and familiar face smiling expectantly. Rose instantly recognized the woman as the maid from the inn. She inhaled sharply through her nose, tensing as she realized how close they had been to one of them the whole time.

“I take it we were expected,” The Doctor said to the woman who grinned gleefully at him.

“Oh, I think Death has been waiting for you for a very long time.” She said, her fingers toying with something clutched in her hand.

“Right then, it’s my turn.” Martha said confidently. “I name thee Carrionite!” She cried out, pointing a finger at the woman.

She gasped, her body tensing a moment before she laughed.

“What did I do wrong? Was it the finger?” Martha asked as if she let down her teacher.

“The power of a name works only once. Observe,” The Carrionite said, pointing to Martha. “I gaze upon this bag of bones and now I name thee Martha Jones.”

Rose gasped as Martha’s eyes rolled back and she collapsed, the Doctor barely catching her to lower her to the ground.

“Is she?” Rose asked, but the Doctor shook his head.

“Just sleeping,” He noted as he gently let Martha go.

“Curious, the name as less impact. She’s somehow out of her time.” The Carrionite mused. If she hadn’t been an evil alien of some sort bent on destroying the human race, Rose may have been a little jealous of her sweet, adorable seeming nature. Even as the Carrionite’s eyes fell on her, she didn’t flinch so much as admired the near ginger girl. “Much like you, I suppose.” She said with a grin, “The golden, pink, gentle Rose.” She thrust a finger toward her subject, and while a dizziness over came her, Rose barely reacted except for a slight stumble backward into the Doctor’s arms. “Curious still. She gets her strength from somewhere else.” The Carrionite glanced between her and the Doctor, her face twisting in confusion. “How strange, indeed. One who hides his title, another whose title can not be spoken. Tied together by a golden string, one in which I can not find a way to sever.”

“Well, we’re at a stale mate then,” The Doctor said, stepping from behind her as if to shield her. Hands thrust in his pockets, his tense shoulders told Rose that the Oncoming Storm was glaring down the unaffected woman who tried and failed to curse them. “The Carrionites vanished, where did they go?”

“The Eternals found the right word to banish us into deep darkness.” She said with only a hint of bitterness.

“And how did you escape?” He asked her.

She smiled. “New words,” She said. “New and glittering from a mind like no other.” She said with admiration.

“Shakespeare.” The Doctor stated.

“His son perished, the grief of a genius. Grief without measure, madness enough to allow us entrance.” She replied with a smirk.

“How many of you?” The Doctor asked, slowly stalking toward her.

“Just the three,” She said with a slight shrug. “But the play tonight shall restore the rest. Then the human race will be purged as pestilence, and from this world we will lead the universe back to the old ways of blood and magic.”

“Hmm, busy schedule,” The Doctor mused, scratching at his side burn and now standing so close the Carrionite it unsettled Rose. “But first you gotta get past me?”

Why would he say that? Of course, he’s the Doctor, a git who doesn’t think things through. How the hell was he supposed to back away from the witch should she choose to try the finger of death on him? Turning around, the only thing she spotted that could possibly be used as a weapon was a candle. She took it up, moving toward the Doctor and the witch slowly.

The Carrionite caressed and pawed at the Doctor, and appeared to be genuinely enjoying herself. “Oh, that should be a pleasure.” The too-pretty witch said with a seductive tone as she sifted her fingers into the Doctor’s magnificent hair. “Considering my enemy has such a handsome shape.”

“Oi, and it’s not made for you,” Rose declared, huffing the candle toward the carrionite with all the strength she could muster.

The Witch backed away from the Doctor, but not without causing him to flinch in pain and fingering his head. The candle just missed the witch, hitting the wall beneath the open window with enough impact that the soft wax splattered, snuffing out the flame and hardening instantly.

“What did you do?” He growled at the carrionite.

“Souvenir,” She grinned, taunting the Doctor with a something Rose couldn’t see. Did the witch pluck a hair from his head?

“Well give it back?” The Doctor demanded as if he was a child who had his toy stolen. The Carrionite just laughed, low and seductive as she backed toward the window. She took a step backward, jumping up and back, and the Doctor moved to grab her. To both Rose and his surprise, the Carrionite floated outside the window with a amused grin. “Well that’s just cheating.” He said, leaning out the window.

“Behold, Doctor,” The Carrionite decreed as Rose heard a soft moan from behind her. She turned and crouched toward Martha as their companion started to come around. “Men to Carrionites are nothing but puppets.”

“Now you might call that magic, but I’d call that a DNA replication module.” He replied, and Rose looked over her shoulder to see the witch had something akin to a voodoo doll in her other hand.

“What use if your science now?” She taunted with the doll before looking to Rose. “Watch, golden child. You’ll find you’re no longer the only one who can bring him to his knees.” She said, stabbing the doll. The Doctor cried out, falling to his knees before collapsing on his back, eyes closed and chest still. “Or break his heart.” She added on before cackling and flying off into the night.

Rose rushed over to him, abandoning Martha just as she had seemed to start become aware of their surroundings.

“Doctor,” Rose cried, dropping to her knees beside him, cupping his face. Martha knelt beside her, pressing her ear to his chest.

“Wait a minute, mister.” She said, sitting up with a grin. “Two hearts.”

“You remembered.” The Doctor said, eyes popping open and attempting to stand. His eyes widened and he gasped in pain. “I’ve only got one heart working.” He said, grasping at his left one. “How do you people cope? I’ve got to get the other one started,” he looked to Martha. “Hit me! Hit me on the chest.”

“Gladly,” Rose said, giving him a good whack with her fist, causing him to cry out. “What the bloody hell were you thinking?” She yelled at him, and Martha smartly backed away.

“Ah, other side.” He instructed.

Rose hit him hard again. “You bloody idiot, getting that close to something you know could kill you, or at least do a bloody good job at trying.” He turned around leaning against the wall, focusing her assaults on his back where he needed it. “You call me jeopardy friendly but you put yourself at risk more often than not and you can’t keep doing that.” She lectured, ignoring his groans of pain, whirling him around when she felt the strong shudder of his heart restarting beneath her fist. She slammed him against the wall, locking her angry eyes on his baffled ones. “You are literally all I have left in the Universe.” She reminded him, causing his face to fall. He looked as though he were about to reach for her when his eyes lit up with realization.

“We need to get to the Globe,” He said, and it occurred to Rose what had happened.

“The play,” She said in agreement, turning away and dashing toward the stairs, hearing Martha and the Doctor behind before the latter passed her by.

Aside from a quick moment on the street where she and Martha forced the Doctor to see he was going the wrong way, they made good time to the theatre.

“That’s not good.” Rose said as they paused a moment outside the Globe, dark clouds with a red glow loomed over the building. Lightning struck the roof, and rumbled of thunder shook the ground.

“Stage door,” The Doctor instructed, gesturing to the side and taking off again. Rose and Martha followed.

They crashed into the backstage area, finding Shakespeare nursing a head injury while slumped on the floor behind the curtain.

“Stop the play, I think that was it.” The Doctor growled. “Yeah, I said ‘stop the play’.”

“I hit my head,” Shakespeare growled back as screams from the patrons could be heard.

“He insults when he’s upset.” Rose tried to reassure the Bard, flashing a glare at the Doctor as Martha knelt down to examine the injury. “How is he?”

“He’ll be alright,” Martha said, standing and extending a hand for Shakespeare. He took it, and Rose’s offered hand when it was presented to help him get to his feet.

The Doctor took off before Shakespeare was up, and the three of them scrambled to catch up with him.

The storm raged as badly inside the theatre as it had from the outside, though added to the crashes of thunder were the screeches and cackles of emerging carrionites. Rose squinted her eyes against the harsh wind and the strands of loose hair whipping against her face. She spotted the three carrionites up where she, the Doctor, and Martha sat the night before. The beautiful one’s eyes fell on them, astonishment lighting up her face for a moment.

“Will,” The Doctor shouted against the invasion. “History needs you.”

“But what can I do?” He asked with a sense of defeat.

“Reverse it,” The Doctor replied.

“How am I supposed to do that?” He asked.

The Doctor held on to Shakespeare’s shoulders, forcing the Bard to look at him. “The Shape of the Globe gives words power, but you’re the wordsmith, the one true genius. The only man clever enough to do it.”

“But what words? I have none ready.” He said, glancing away from the Doctor to Rose and Martha.

Rose stepped forward, putting her hand on his arm next to the Doctor’s. “You’re William Shakespeare,” She said with conviction. “You are the master of words. Words I don’t always understand but there are beauty in them. Rhythm and magic, words that last for centuries, if not forever.”

“Do it,” the Doctor got his attention. “Trust yourself. Like magic, the right words will come. Improvise.”

Shakespeare stepped away from them, moving center stage and looking up at the swirling mass. “Close up this den of hateful, dire decay. Decomposition of your witches’ plot.” He started off shakily. “You thieve my brains, consider me your toy. My doting Doctor tells me I am not. Foul Carrionite specters, cease your show. Between the points,” He paused in his words now filled with conviction, turning to the Doctor.

“7-6-1-3-9-0,” The Doctor sprouted quickly.

“7-6-1-3-9-0,” Shakespeare repeated, more slowly and eloquently. “And banished like a tinker’s cuss, I say to thee …” He looked to the Doctor again.

“Expelliarmus!” Martha cried out, throwing a finger toward the Carrionite.

“Expelliarmus!” The three of them cried out, all pointing their fingers toward the carrionites above them.

“Good ol’ JK,” The Doctor beamed, putting his hands in his pockets as suddenly the Carrionites were being sucked back into the storm, the clouds changing and morphing into a twister. Sheets of paper fluttered toward it, whipping violently past them, one nearly catching on Rose’s arm. “Love’s Labours Won, there is goes.” The Doctor pointed out. His hand snaked into Rose’s and with a tug, he pulled her back off stage just as the storm was dying down. They moved through the backstage, passing actors who had been cowering as best the could behind the curtain.

As they reemerged into the audience space, the Doctor led her up to the balcony seating, moving quickly to where the three carrionites had been sitting. All that remained was a crystal ball with something floating around inside it.

“What do you think,” He asked her as he picked it up, showing her how the three carrionite they had seen were now pounding on the inside of the crystal. “Will this make a nice addition to the collection in the attic?”

Rose looked at him, her mouth twisting in amusement. “Attic?”


“The TARDIS has an attic.”

“Of course it does.” He said, looking offended by her doubt. “It’s where I keep all the fascinating but potentially dangerous stuff.”

Rose shook her head. “Then yes, it will make an excellent addition.”

He smiled, dropping an arm around her shoulder, bringing her closer as he looked out on to the stage.

“Martha was pretty great this trip, wasn’t she?” He asked her.

“Mmm,” She agreed reluctantly.

They watched as she and Shakespeare bowed with the actors, looking flirtatiously at one another.

“Maybe we should take her on another trip.” The Doctor suggested, and Rose tensed against him.

“Another?” She asked, studying his face.

He shrugged. “One to the past, one to the future, balance it out. Hopefully give her a better experience. Maybe New New York.”

“That’s ours.” Rose replied without thinking and immediately regretted it.

He turned to her with an arched brow. “The Universe is ours. All of time and space is ours, and you want to get possessive over one city?”

“It’s just,” She stammered, closing her eyes and shaking her head a little. “That was where we went when you first changed. It’s where I knew for sure I’d ….” She trailed off, feeling the heat rise in her cheeks.

“Where you?” She heard the Doctor ask as if he knew what she was going to say and just wanted to coax it out of her.

She shook her head. “It’s fine.” She said instead. “New New York. Apple grass, fly cars, cat Doctors. I’m sure she’ll love it.”


“It’s fine. One more trip.” She said, putting on a smile for him as she met his studious gaze.

“You sure?” he inquired, a storm of emotions in his brown eyes.

Rose’s heart broke in multiple ways. She wanted him to herself, but could tell he really wanted Martha with them. But he was also terrified that his wanting to bring Martha on board was going to push her away, Rose could see that just as clearly. He wanted her to be happy, and he would sacrifice for her.

He already lost enough in his life, gave up so much of what he wanted for others. She’d be damned if he was going to give up something that made him happy because of her.

“Yeah,” She said, allowing her voice to reflect the smile she put on, even if it was small and weak. “I mean, we’ll see what she wants to do. I dunno, maybe she’d rather go home. But if she’s up for one more, why not?”

The Doctor’s face split in to wide, manic grin. Snaking an arm around her waist while still holding on to the crystal ball, he said, “Alright, Rose Tyler. Golden child. Let’s go get our new companion and head back to the TARDIS.”

He kissed her brow, causing a rush of contentment and joy to course through her and her breath to hitch. If he noticed, he didn’t say anything.

Running his hand along her back until he ran out of area to touch, his finger tips glided down her arm until they hit her palm. He laced his fingers between hers in that perfect way that made her think she was made for him. Because it had always been that way, from the moment he said “run”, his hand and hers fit perfectly. And while this body, this hand, was still a better fit than the last she couldn’t deny that his previous self had caused her to come to the same realizations.

It made walking across the now empty stage where Shakespeare and Martha sat on the edge easier. It also made watching the Bard attempt to pull Martha in for a kiss a little better even though the Doctor dropped her hand just before Martha turned to see them.

“So my master piece is lost,” Shakespeare said, eyes remaining on Martha for a moment longer before he turned to the Doctor.

“You could write it up again,” Martha suggested.

“Best not, Will.” The Doctor said quickly. “There are still power in those words.”

“For the best,” Shakespeare said. “I have new ideas. Perhaps I should write of fathers and sons in honor of my precious boy, Hamnet.”

“Hamnet?” Martha gawked, which Rose wasn’t sure why, since that was one of the few plays she actually recognized. “Ham-net.” Martha repeated.

“Is there something wrong with that?” Shakespeare asked, furrowed brow.

“Just an odd name in Freedonia, is all.” The Doctor said, stepping toward Martha and offering his hand. She took it, and he helped get her to her feet. “Which is where we should be heading back to. I’ll stash the carrionites away where they can’t harm anyone, and we’ll be off.”

“Through space and time,” Shakespeare said with a nod. When the Doctor merely gapped at him with a slack jaw, Shakespeare chuckled. “You’re from another world, like the carrionites, and Martha and Rose are from the future. It’s not hard to figure out.”

“That’s incredible,” The Doctor said, shaking his head in awe. “You’re incredible.”

“And we must be off.” Rose said, kneeling down and kissing Shakespeare on the cheek. “It was a pleasure, Mister Shakespeare.” She said earnestly.

“To have you and fair Martha in my company these last days has been a pleasure indeed. But I feel as if I were to return such a gesture, I would not remain in the Doctor’s good graces.” Rose giggled, getting to her feet and returning to the Doctor’s side. “Until we meet again, Doctor.” He said over his shoulder.

“Until then,” The Doctor said, turning around, leading the girls out the doors just as someone came barreling through the front yelling exclamations about the Queen being on her way.

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