Summary: TenRose, the sequel to Effigermus. After their adventures on Bosthinatia, the newly-bonded Tenth Doctor and Rose find themselves in a fantastical place where the people are at war. As they adapt to their environment and grow closer to each other, they find new joy and a challenging darkness. Lots of 2006-style fluff, but there's always monsters.
A/N: Technically a DW/Aion crossover, but the world of Aion is introduced through the eyes of the Doctor and Rose, and no previous experience with Aion is required. Three cover art are available at tkirr.deviantart.com, but I strongly recommend waiting until reading through Chapter 13 before viewing as one of them is a heavy spoiler.
Due to where Effigermus left off, the story's M rating for sexual content is earned from the start, and as with its prequel, if you aren't interested in the Doctor and Rose in this respect, please do NOT read.
Disclaimer: Doctor Who belongs to BBC. Aion belongs to NCSoft. I make them look good together, which they can't do for legal reasons, but I can because I'm not making any money from it, so HA!
The Doctor was sat on the jump seat in the console room of his magnificent ship, the TARDIS. Its coral "desktop theme" lent it an organic feel, with its sweeping forked arches rising up out of the grilled flooring and curving up towards the dome ceiling around its radial architecture. The Time Rotor stretched down from its center, a graceful, luminescent column ending in a bulbous green and glowing console crammed with switches, levers, buttons and such before disappearing down beneath the floor again. The entire outer wall of the room was covered in a grid of glowing roundels set into hexagons, a pattern that reminded him of earlier themes he had used throughout the ship in centuries past.
He was a Time Lord, you see, wandering through Time and Space saving planets, fighting monsters and otherwise geniusing his way out of trouble, and packing his head with all kinds of knowledge and sights he would then impress his companions with, the ones he would find along his journeys to travel with him for a time and keep him from being lonely.
The Doctor's latest companion, however, didn't really fit the bill of his typical companion anymore. Rose Tyler, a twenty-year-old human shoppe girl from London, the Powell Estate. No A-levels, got the bronze medal in gymnastics, leading a boring, Earthly life until he showed up and blew up her job. The blonde was feisty and spirited, challenging the status quo on whatever planet or space station they visited, brandishing her human morals like a weapon against injustice with a refreshing innocence. Brilliantly, she paired this quality with an unrelenting mischievous side, one that had her running after the Doctor into all kinds of trouble and, in a way he seemed to roll with effortlessly from the start, flirting with him.
No, she was more than just a companion, now.
When he met her, the Doctor was dark and brooding, all fuzz for hair, blue eyes and big ears, the Oncoming Storm in a leather jacket. He didn't answer anyone straight and kept anything about himself off limits, because he had just gone through a war, the Time War, and it was all he could do to carry on to keep the dark secrets of his past at bay.
Then he took her hand, and they ran. She chased the darkness away, and he smiled. Oh, how he smiled! She was warm spring sunshine and beauty, pouty and teasing lip gloss and too much mascara that she pulled off perfectly. Her dyed golden hair shone as they ran wherever they went, and the Doctor wondered how he would ever live on without her.
Then the day had come where his mortal enemy returned from the Time War to slaughter the Earth of the future, and the Doctor knew he had to send her home to the past. He would die in his fight to stop the Daleks, but he could let her live out her life on Earth for her natural years. Rose hadn't been okay with the Doctor's deception to save her life, sending his TARDIS and her in it on a one-way trip home through Time. She couldn't sit by while the Doctor died without her, and she had learned by travelling with him that one never gave up, no matter what. Rose pried the console open with the biggest truck her mum could find and absorbed the Time Vortex into her little human head to become the Bad Wolf, saw into all of Time and Space, and sent the TARDIS back to the Doctor, where she proceeded to de-atomise every single Dalek ship. Oh, and she had brought their promiscuous friend back to life. His name's Jack. He'll live forever, literally. Thanks, Rose.
Rose couldn't hold onto the impossible for long. She had saved the Doctor's life, and now it was his turn to save her again. He took the Vortex into himself so he could redirect it back into the heart of the TARDIS where it belonged, and in so doing, it killed him. That was okay, though, because he could cheat this sort of death with a Time Lord trick. He regenerated every single cell in his body, which hurt rather a lot. His triple-helix DNA never did keep much in the way of physical looks and personality (or rather it kept a bit of everything of his Gallifreyan species) choosing instead to maintain through a regeneration all that he once was, all his memories and brilliance, reforming into someone else bipedal with two hearts. He had been lucky coming out each time looking fairly human, and even more lucky this tenth time looking somewhat pretty, if Rose's opinion counted for much, which of course it did. Now he was all brown-eyed intensity, a truffle of chocolate hair and sideburns, angular features and a brown, pinstriped suit that fit his tall and lanky form in every occasion. He was now a man of no second chances with a love of adventure, bananas, and Rose, the latter of which only flirted with her even more now.
And it was just flirting, until it wasn't. The Doctor had prided himself his entire life of not engaging in what Time Lords considered to have risen above long ago, a primal nature of lesser species. His companions had often been female, young and pretty, but for the most part, they had always been like children to him. He was so old, and Rose was so young. After the war that rendered the Doctor the last of the Time Lords, Rose had taught him to be young again and they had fallen hopelessly in love (how had she done that?). In their last adventure, starting on Chosthu and ending up on an insect-populated planet called Bosthinatia, an awkward set of circumstances forced the Doctor out of years of set ways and out of denial for his feelings towards her. The Doctor had there taken Rose as his bond mate to reunite two species. Twice. Okay, the first time was to create the permanent bond because they were desperately in love. The second time saved the planet. Long story.
They had just gotten back from their life-altering adventure last night, and they proceeded to celebrate the fact that they had survived, finally had time alone where they weren't being chased by the locals, and were looking forward to their future together.
The Doctor propped a converse up on the console, crossed his other leg at the ankle, and breathed in deeply as he recalled the night before with a small smile.
In the thrill of the chase down the maze of corridors, the Doctor became just now aware that Rose was going the wrong way. They had passed her room for obvious reasons, as hers had a simple bath. She knew where his room was, but she turned away from it, probably towards the pool. Just past the turn was where he timed himself to catch her up, spinning them to a stop against the wall and pinning her with the length of his body.
"Wrong way," the Doctor panted from exertion. Rose was even more winded, so she merely stared daringly back at her captor. He knew that up to this point he had done well in not pouncing until he had to stop her. They would never get to their destination otherwise if he did more than speak his two words, so he began to guide her back down the other corridor. They picked up their pace again, and the Doctor dropped his hand to hers and they ran the rest of the way.
Rose had never been in the Doctor's room. He would only spend a couple of hours in it at night when Rose was asleep, reading or thinking, but most of the time he would do both of those things in the console room. Rose could always find him if she needed to and knock on his door, but it rarely happened, as she usually found him in the console room, and that's where she would always look first.
Just before the door, the Doctor turned his eyes down to Rose, smiling and speaking softly. "Ours."
Rose's face lit up in her brightest of smiles, and the Doctor couldn't help but return it before stepping back, the sensor recognising him and sliding open the door.
It was very strange to have her inside. Her gaze travelled across the expanse of about twice the volume of her own room, taking in the gently-lit reds and golden coral that weren't lost in shadow. She looked to the unkempt study near the door, and the Doctor had never thought until now that he should actually put the open and stacked books in the bookcase. The rest of the pebbled coral floor was clear to the master bed, and Rose's eyes lingered on the piled fresh linens of crimson with gold trim. A soft glow above the bedside table illuminated another book, one the Doctor remembered having last looked at over a week ago. Beyond the bed in the opposite corner, several of his shirts hung over a chair next to the cherry-like wooden wardrobe.
The Doctor took her hand again, drawing her gaze. "This way."
The doors slid closed as they moved inward and passed the wardrobe through an elegant archway into the en suite, the shiny cobalt blue surfaces catching dozens of flickering candles set all around the intricate coral countertop on one side and a deep basin in the floor on the other. The TARDIS had filled it with dark, steaming water, and the Doctor made a note to thank his ship later.
"It's beautiful," Rose whispered.
The Doctor turned his full attention to his bond mate, lifting a hand to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear and watch the candlelight flicker across her face. His eyes shifted to her lips, and he lightly placed two fingertips over them. Rose's eyes drifted closed, and he bent to kiss her, softly and slowly. Bringing his arms up under hers, he wrapped her in a tight embrace, prompting Rose to take hold behind his neck. They reveled in this way for some time, leaving them both breathless as they parted and gazed into each other's eyes.
The Doctor's first thought was to draw Rose's top slowly up her body, but he changed his mind and began at his jacket buttons. He watched her watch him, hoping she understood. He was offering himself.
By the time he had pulled the last layer over his head, Rose was already running her hands up his torso in its wake. Message received. Her touch made his knees weak, and it was all he could do to stay standing while he let her take her time.
They made much shorter work of the rest of their clothing and pressed up flush with each other, Rose's skin hot against his own, their newly formed mental bond flaring to life. Rose's thoughts kept adamantly turning towards the bath, despite her reluctance to let go of him. The Doctor, more used to controlling psychic connections, moved first and stepped back, making it easier for Rose to recover. They both wanted to wash the remnants of Bosthinatia away, establishing their new intimacy here in the TARDIS.
The basin was framed by a recessed wall on three sides. Two fluffy blue towels hung on one side. Buttons, knobs, switches, and bottles of product rimmed the other side. The water was quite hot to the touch, but not uncomfortably so. As Rose adjusted to the temperature a little at a time, the Doctor distracted himself from her body by reaching to the far side for a bath soap. After briefly peering at the label, he poured some into the water and pressed a button, forcing the water into a sudden sudsy whirl around the basin. Rose squealed in surprise, and the Doctor grinned up at her in delight.
The water calmed down, and as soon as Rose had lowered herself to the seat, the water coming up past her chest, the Doctor closed the distance. He gazed down into her eyes, the steamy water, the pebbled surface of the seat, and their position bringing him back to the long night fleeing through the Bosthinatian swamp, when they had been hiding at the edge of the water, exhausted and passing the time exploring each other, really, for the first time. He wondered if their future visits to the bath would ever be without that memory. Instead of the pungent musk of swamp, however, the fragrance of soap from another alien world filled his nose.
Rose gathered floating suds and rubbed them up the Doctor's arms. Amused, the Doctor returned the favor, appreciating the way it slicked her skin. They were soon both covered in popping soap bubbles, and the Doctor reached for another bottle, offering it to Rose. She went to take it, but he drew it back.
"No, let me? For your hair."
Rose grinned, biting her lip, and nodded. While the Doctor poured from the bottle onto his fingers, Rose lowered herself into the water, soaking her hair. He smiled at her as she sat up again and, now having his hands committed to a task, the Doctor braced himself on either side of her lap. Her grin disappeared as she watched him concentrate on working the shampoo in evenly and avoiding getting it into her eyes. After he had scrubbed it into a lather, it became more about feeling the softness of the strands and the way they wrapped around his fingertips, and Rose's eyes had closed.
A few minutes of playing with her hair had passed, and Rose picked up the bottle where the Doctor had put it, eyeing him steadily. He got the hint and sank back, dousing his own hair. She raised her eyebrows as he slicked the water back and out with his hands, flattening his otherwise unruly hair.
"Where'd it all go?"
The Doctor cocked an eyebrow at her. "Improvement?"
She came at him with shampoo. "Most definitely not." Her hands were light at first, unsure, but she finally began to work the shampoo in, and the Doctor sighed, trying to keep his eyes open just enough so he could watch her. She finally grinned and sat back, giggling and biting her lip again. "Now that's an improvement."
His hands went up, finding she had stuck out his soapy hair in all directions. Smirking, he flicked water at her, and she squeaked satisfyingly.
The Doctor pulled a hose from the edge of the basin and squeezed the handle over Rose's head, being careful to spray the clean water down the back. She did the same for him, except when she was finished, a mischievous expression came over Rose, and she flicked the spray into his face. He jerked and snorted in surprise, quickly recovering and disarming her, his eyes wild in aroused retaliation.
"You started it!" Rose managed to laugh out as he pounced.
He drew very close and growled, "And I'll finish it."
The Doctor proceeded to do just that, snogging Rose deeply and possessively. Their moans echoed harmoniously through the bath, accompanied only by the occasional slosh of water and the ever present and distant roar of their ship as it spun and drifted slowly through the Vortex. They took their time, having all and none of it, apart from the rest of the universe.
They could only wait as long as their own patience, however. The Doctor sought more by framing the right side of her head with his conductive fingertips and delving deeply into her body and mind. Minds chased the other's elusive thoughts as they tenaciously sought after physical and emotional completion.
The door appeared before the Doctor, that evasive door within Rose's mind. He was so close now that he could make out "Bad Wolf" written across it, warning him away. Rose cried out, seemingly in pain, but then his sense of mental direction was spun decidedly away, caught up in the tangled chaotic emotional energy, and the Doctor couldn't help but be swept away with her.
The Doctor came back to himself, trembling against Rose's form. It was impossible to read coherent thoughts from her, clouded over as they were by emotion, and he wanted to revel in it forever. He opened his eyes, and it took him a moment to register that the lights had gone out, and another moment to realise he had sloshed enough water out of the basin to drown the candles. Another moment passed, and the Doctor decided he was overheated.
Pulling reluctantly away, the Doctor stretched out with his mind, attempting to maintain his connection with Rose even as he moved to sweep away water and candles from the corner of the basin. He didn't have to worry about loss of physical contact much, however, as Rose clung readily to him. He got his feet under him and pulled Rose with him out of the water to sit at the edge and rest against the cool wall of the bath.
Rose stayed curled comfortably into the Doctor's side while he hugged her firmly to himself, mentally whispering his thoughts of love and devotion to her while he pressed soft kisses to her wet hair. As they were sat recovering, several roundels in the walls gradually brightened, just enough to see by.
The Doctor mentally thanked the TARDIS, then peered down at Rose and inquired softly, "You all right?"
"Of course," Rose responded, a bit confused, and looked up at him with a grin. "How could I not be more than all right?"
The Doctor sighed in relief. "You seemed to be in pain."
A faint line formed between Rose's brows. "I was...for a second. Didn't last, though."
A sense of concern returned. "Where did I hurt you?"
Rose smiled again. "You didn't." She frowned a little in concentration and raised her fingers to her temple. "Here," she paused, moving her hand back vaguely, "somewhere, not a specific place. All over my head, really." She saw his alarmed expression and rushed to assure him. "It's fine, though, really. It's passed."
The Doctor nodded, breathing deeply again and masking his concern. This wasn't good. She had felt pain before, back on Bosthinatia, doing the same thing. Still, the pain had passed quickly, which sounded more like simple over-exertion. She wasn't used to psychic activity. He had no doubt overwhelmed her in a way he hadn't expected.
"I am knackered, though," Rose continued, then smiled up at him. "Can we sleep?"
"Of course, yes," the Doctor replied, telling himself that she would be fine for now, that sleep was the best thing for her. He would check her over after she had rested. He untangled himself from Rose and stood once again in the basin, kicking the plug out with his foot and pulling out the hose. He rinsed off the remnants of soap from his shoulders down, then did the same for Rose as she stood. The water drained from the basin quickly, and they were both soon snatching up the towels and drying off. His eyes never left her body as they did so, and Rose was soon blushing and biting her lip and tying the towel around herself. The Doctor drew close, lowering his head to hers. "You're beautiful, Rose." He raised a hand to her cheek. "Mind and body. Don't be ashamed."
Rose grinned and thwapped his leg with a corner of her towel. "I'm not. Not really. I mean, I'll get used to it, you know. I just...don't want you jumping me on my way to get some sleep." She teased him with the tip of her tongue between her teeth.
The Doctor perked an eyebrow and smirked lopsidedly in surprised amusement. He otherwise didn't respond, having to concede to her point, and followed her back into the bedroom.
Rose left the towel on the pebbled floor and climbed directly in from the side of the bed, quickly burrowing under the sheets and settling in the center of the bed. The Doctor didn't even ask and followed, cuddling up behind her.
The Doctor stayed with Rose for some time, allowing her the rest and comfort they couldn't get on Bosthinatia. He wasn't able to sleep until he retrieved his sonic screwdriver from his jacket pocket in the bath and gave Rose a quick scan. Finding nothing more than what he had previously surmised as simple over-exertion, he slept a couple of hours himself.
He finally got up and dressed, reluctant to leave Rose's warmth but fearing he couldn't resist the temptation she presented any longer if he didn't leave. She needed her rest. He decided to occupy himself by checking on Gina's progress on the planet Chosthu like he promised he would to Gina's living brother, Nash. Once he was satisfied Gina would make a complete recovery, he kept the TARDIS parked in case Rose wanted to see for herself and began tinkering while he waited for Rose to awaken.
The Doctor now sat thoughtfully in the jump seat, his ankles crossed on the edge of the console as he recalled the previous night with Rose in every detail that was his near-perfect memory. So near perfect, in fact, that his breathing was beginning to respond to said memories and he was just now considering returning to bed, the idea of cuddling up to Rose so strongly alluring, when he reminded himself why he was in the console room in the first place.
Right. Stay away from Rose. Let her sleep. Do something else. The Doctor dropped his head back on the seat and stared at the domed ceiling. He cocked his jaw, and the ventilation cable leading towards the back of the room caught his eye. It wasn't a very large leak, but he had been meaning to fix it for months.
Fix the vent cable. Let Rose sleep. Where she was, which was currently in his bed. No, their bed. Fix the vent cable later...?
"Damn!" the Doctor bit out, jumping up from the chair, which squeaked at his sudden absence. Another little thing he could fix. Not important, mind you, but neither was the vent cable.
He was fixing it. Now.
The Doctor grabbed the mallet from the console and climbed to the second level, walked to just under where the vent cable was attached, and reached up with the mallet. The fastening was stuck, of course, and wouldn't release the cable. "You're falling apart around me, old girl. What am I gonna do with you, hey?" He gripped the mallet tighter and pounded at the fastening until it broke, then ducked as the cable swung downward and bounced along the rotor and console.
Heaving a sigh at what battles he could win, the Doctor trotted over to the ladder and climbed down. Putting the mallet back, the Doctor then clutched at the hanging cable and inspected the leak. Not so hard to fix, he thought, and fished into his jacket for his sonic screwdriver. He looked up at the ceiling, his eyes travelling the length of where the cable had been. Getting the cable back up, however, would be interesting.
With the sonic loud in his ears, he hadn't heard her approach, and it had been barely a glimpse out of the corner of his eye. Rose stood there, yawning sleepily and fully dressed, in fresh makeup and appearing ready for their next adventure. His hearts leapt with joy at seeing her.
Rose smiled endearingly and rubbed her hand through her loose hair. "You weren't in bed."
"I'm sorry, Rose. I knew you needed to sleep. Did I wake you?"
She nodded, her eyes still looking a bit glassy. "TARDIS traveling kind of hard to ignore."
"Well, you'll be happy to know Gina's going to be just fine." He gestured with the entire length of hanging cable. "You can pop outside to look if you'd like, just don't let them see you through the window."
Rose shrugged and made her way towards the jump seat. "Of course they're fine. I knew that already."
The Doctor frowned, surprised she seemed not nearly as concerned for Nash and Gina as she was before, but shrugged it off. "So!" he said brightly, letting go of the cable and stepping towards her. Really, all he wanted to do at the moment was give her a good-morning kiss, but kissing led to other things. Decidedly dangerous things, since he really wanted to give her a check-up before possibly stressing her psyche further with attempts at telepathic communication. So, he didn't. "Where would you like to go next? Somewhere new, somewhere fancy?" Rose stared at the wall, and the Doctor desperately tried to read her expression, his hands finding their way to his pockets. Had he said something wrong? Done something? Was it something about last night? He softened his tone, freeing his hands and fiddling with a few controls. The action tended to jump start his mind into thinking of destinations. "After a quick check-up, of course, since you were feeling out of sorts last night. Maybe somewhere more quiet?" He smiled at her, hoping to win her over. "You mentioned something about a proper date once we left Bosthinatia."
Rose was now watching the dangling cable, frowning. "Yeah, sure, in a minute. What's that down here, for?"
He didn't have to look at what she meant, now disappointed she had essentially shrugged off another of his brilliant ideas. "Just fixed a leak in it. Wasn't important, but it needed doing ages ago."
Her dark eyebrows rose. "You gonna put it back?"
He frowned, now annoyed. Was it really bothering her that much? "Yeah, eventually. Does it matter?"
Rose noticed his frown and relaxed, smiling softly. "I just don't want you leaving things lying around, half-done." She gestured in a forwards motion. "You'd send us off someplace, the TARDIS would rattle us about like usual, and that thing would smack you in the back of your thick head, and then you'd grumble about it." Her smile turned teasing. "Then I'd tell you that I told you so, and you'd grumble some more." Rose pointed up, instructing him as she would a child. "Why don't you just put it back, and we'll go do whatever?"
The Doctor shrugged, happy to educate her, as usual. "I'd love to avoid you telling me 'I told you so,' but believe it or not, I don't know of a ladder on the TARDIS long enough to get up there." He frowned. "Not that would fit down the corridor, anyway. It's been ages since the last time I had to do anything up there, and since then, I took what I had apart and used it in sections around the pool. You have me to thank for making it easier for you to get in and out, so you're welcome." He crossed his arms. "It's going to take me a bit to put one back together, and I don't feel like doing that right now. I feel like doing something with you."
Rose was laughing at him, amused. "Okay, so no ladder. Why don't you just fly up?"
The Doctor stared at Rose. Now she was just being funny. Now, she would finally let it go. Check-up, then breakfast. He started towards the corridor. Maybe he'd take her someplace nice for breakfast. "Mm, that'd be nice, wouldn't it? If I could only just."
Rose stared after him like he'd dribbled down his front. "Seriously, why don't you? Then we can be on our way, right?"
The Doctor paused and peered quizzically at her. What was she playing at? Was she still dreaming? He had never seen her sleepwalk before. She seemed perfectly lucid. "I don't know, why don't I?" He looked at her, and she looked back, seemingly confused. The Doctor glanced away and rubbed at his nose, then gestured towards the console. "Yes, I could turn off the gravity for a bit, but unfortunately, if you must know, I had to bypass a circuit a while back, which means it would also turn off the gravity in that lovely pool I was just talking about. I could drain the pool first, then hope everything from here to said pool wouldn't mind either, and if you ask me, that would take more time than just fixing up a ladder!" He finished by throwing his hands up and watching her expectantly.
Rose huffed and slid off the chair, sliding her tongue up the side of her mouth. "Fine, I'll do it. Just tell me what to do once I'm up there."
The Doctor crossed his arms and just stood, watching with interest and curiosity as to what she was going to do.
Rose moved away from the jump seat, glanced to either side and braced her legs under her, feet spread apart and knees slightly bent as she focused on the large domed space above them.
Then her eyes rolled, and she promptly fainted dead to the floor.
"Rose!" the Doctor cried and rushed to her side. Sleepwalkers didn't faint, did they?
A much worse thought came to mind, and he realised the truth.
The Doctor had hurt her, done damage to her mind with their new psychic bond, and now she was going mad.
If that wasn't enough, the Time Rotor suddenly slid to life all on its own, pumping up and down in a sudden groaning rush towards some unknown destination. The Doctor clutched at the grille of the floor on either side of Rose, pinning her down as the TARDIS suddenly shook violently in flight. His mind ran through half a dozen of the likeliest causes for such an unsteady flight, and none of them were good.
The console lighting flickered madly, the Time Rotor groaning heavily with effort. His ship needed him desperately, but it was all the Doctor could do to cling to the floor and hold Rose down as the TARDIS pitched and rolled.
With one last shudder, the TARDIS suddenly landed. Yes, landed, not crashed. They had landed somewhere. But where?
Now fairly sure the ship wouldn't throw him across the room, the Doctor scrambled to his feet and dashed to the monitor, grasping it and spinning it towards him. He stared at the readings, trying to make sense of what just happened. Stable surface. Breathable atmosphere. Other strange readings, but nothing appearing to be dangerous. He squinted. Hold on, they were on the inside of the planet?
Now sure they weren't in immediate danger, unless of course the TARDIS decided to pick itself up on its own again and travel somewhere else, the Doctor looked back to Rose and rushed back to kneel down at her side, simultaneously retrieving his screwdriver.
"Rose? Rose! Can you hear me?" the Doctor pleaded, his voice becoming less steady with each word as he switched on the sonic and scanned Rose up and down. He turned it upright and peered at it. He didn't know why she had fainted, but she seemed to be perfectly stable now. Sleeping, even. He looked down at her face. Should he wake her?
The Doctor looked to the TARDIS doors. The ship had launched itself into flight directly after Rose had fainted. Neither event shouldn't have happened. Were they connected somehow?
Would he find answers to her condition outside those doors?
He peered regretfully at Rose's face. "I'm so sorry, Rose." The Doctor leaned down and kissed her forehead in sincere apology. He hadn't known. He should have known, but he had been stupid, and he had caused her harm. He felt his own shuddering breath from his nose travel down her face, and he raised his head. "I'll fix this. Hold on for me."
The Doctor stood, his eyes fastened to the doors, and walked towards what he hoped to be answers.
The Doctor stepped out of the TARDIS, squinting into the peculiar light. The sights and sounds of a forest assaulted his senses all at once, and he could immediately feel a foreign energy pressing in on his skin. As his eyes adjusted and the door clicked shut behind him, the Doctor looked on in awe at his surroundings.
He was on the side of a platform, its railing just next to him, the only thing between him and hundreds of feet straight down. A bridge led away from his platform in front of him towards a larger platform, which branched off to the left into a pillared entrance of an enormous rock. The bridge continued on ahead of that platform into another rock. Both entrances were surrounded by a huge flat disc rimmed in blue glowing runes, covering about half the otherwise uncut rock faces. To the right of the central platform was another small one with two winged statues facing each other. Everything was the colour of sandstone.
Peering around the TARDIS, the Doctor could see it had landed right next to an opening that matched the other two. It was a trio of uncut stone towers, in the center of a great canyon. Waterfalls danced over rocky crags and across healthy green foliage all over it, finally falling straight down into large pools below.
It was incredible. The beauty of the place was unmatched.
There were people on the platforms and bridges. He didn't have time to study them before he was distracted by a flash of white. Off the little statue platform, he caught sight of a large white bird gliding off and straight out from the central rock building, out towards a gap in the canyon to the Doctor's right. His eyes left the bird, catching on what looked like floating rocks. He blinked. Rocks, just floating out in the air before him.
There was a scuffling noise behind him, and the Doctor turned just in time to see what appeared to be two large birds in a tussle, one white and one black, in a careening blur through the air. They broke apart, and the Doctor gasped in horrible surprise as the black one banked sharply around the TARDIS and directly towards him.
The Doctor dodged just in time, but not without losing his balance over the railing. He grasped wildly for a hold on it, but it was no good. As the Doctor fell with no hope of catching himself, he couldn't help but wonder at the silliest thought, like why could he swear he had seen a flash of metal and cloth as that bird had flown by?