One more chapter to go! And then it's on to part 2. :)
Sherlock tried to watch her with that clinical detachment that he'd always relied on, but his heart, that horrid thing that had always bowed to the will of his mind was now battling for control. Anger covering rejection, but he tried to keep the barriers in place. The ones that he used to keep those awful feelings under control.
He went over everything she'd revealed so far. Piecing it together like a puzzle to keep his mind in control. James had been working on an experiment. Possibly unstable. An explosion, massive enough to destroy an entire building. Three bodies. Three lab techs. But James was here. Which meant he traveled, as she had done, through a crack in the universe. Then there were other cracks. People disappearing. The explosion or the experiment or both must have caused the cracks to appear.
John returned with her tea. Sherlock waited impatiently as she took a drink and then seemed to consider her words before she spoke. She caught his eye. Calmer, but there was still fear in them. He tried to ignore it and the way his dreadful heart tugged at him.
"Everything I told you," she looked at John, "both of you, is true, but not the whole truth." She turned back to Sherlock. "I was nineteen when I met the Doctor. Working in a shop in Cardiff. I was attacked and he did save my life."
"Attacked by whom?" Sherlock asked.
"What? Like the ones in the shop windows?" John asked.
"Yeah. They were being controlled by…someone else."
"Remote control," Sherlock deduced.
Controlling shop dummies and using them to attack people. He wasn't sure who would go to the trouble of all that, but it made sense. Someone must have removed the original dummies and put the remote control ones in their place.
"Anyway," Rose continued. "He pulled me out of there before they could kill me, which, I'm pretty sure they would've done if he hadn't shown up when he did. Then he shoved me out of the building and told me to run."
"Run?" John asked. "Why?"
"He was going to blow up the building."
"An entire building?"
"There wasn't anyone inside and it was the only way he could stop them, but that was before he realized it wasn't just the dummies in that shop."
This doctor didn't sound very stable. Blowing up an entire building to stop remote controlled shop dummies?
"Why didn't he find the source?" Sherlock asked.
Rose's eyes widened for a second.
"Whoever was controlling them as opposed to blowing up an entire building."
"Oh, well, he did, eventually. He was looking for a transmitter. I helped him find it and shut it down."
"And he asked you to travel with him?"
"Yes. I almost didn't go. I mean, remote controlled shop dummies. It was mental."
She laughed, but it was more nervous than anything else.
"Then why did you?" the detective inquired.
"For nineteen years nothing happened then I met the Doctor." She glanced at John. "You know what mean, don't you?"
John gazed at Sherlock and then back to her.
"I suppose I do."
She'd been bored. For nineteen years. She was clever. More clever than she let on and she'd been stuck in a shop. He almost smiled, but pulled it back before it could take form. He needed to be detached. Read her as she revealed her past. He couldn't do that if he got sentimental. Damn these hateful emotions!
"Is that what he does? This doctor. Saves people."
"He's a lot like you. We'd wind up in some place where people were disappearing or something else was happening and he'd work out what was going on, find out who was responsible, and stop it."
"By blowing up buildings?" Sherlock shot.
He didn't mean for it to come out in such a snide way, but he didn't like the look in her eyes when she talked about this doctor. Especially after everything he'd done to her. Leaving her with a psychopath.
She glared at him.
"No, he always tried to solve things peacefully."
"According to John you went into a battle with him. How is that peaceful?"
"He didn't choose to start the battle and they'd already captured us and taken us aboard their ship."
"They captured you before the battle started?"
"No. I mean, I wasn't there when it started, but they were already killing people so if they hadn't captured us and taken us aboard their ship the Doctor would've still gone after them."
"Where were you?"
"I was using the Dimension Cannon to find him."
"So, you were captured right after you found him?"
"Yes, but that wasn't his fault."
She kept saying it wasn't The Doctor's fault, but it seemed to Sherlock that he put her in constant danger.
"Did this happen a lot?" he asked.
"What?" she inquired.
"Being captured? Battles?"
"No. Not really. I mean, I was captured a few time, but it wasn't his fault. It's not like he planned it and he always saved me."
Again with the wasn't his fault.
"So, you traveled with him, he put you in danger, and then he saved you?" Sherlock asked.
Sounded to him that this doctor got his jollies off of making her idolize him by constantly saving her. How could he do that to her? Put her in danger just so he could save her and she'd give him her admiration? His fist clinched involuntarily.
"It wasn't like that," she insisted.
"So, you weren't in danger?" Sherlock asked.
"There was danger. I mean, there's always danger, but it wasn't his fault."
"Was he the one who took you to these dangerous places?"
"Well, yeah, but it was usually by accident."
"He'd be aiming for one place…like Barcelona…and we'd wind up somewhere else. He said it was the TARDIS and-"
"TARDIS?" Sherlock asked.
T, A, R, D, I, S, Time And Relative Dimension In Space.
Her eyes widened as if she said something she shouldn't have.
"Was Moriarty telling the truth?" he asked, as his rational mind screamed at him that it couldn't be the true. A ship that travels in space and time. An alien. It was ludicrous. Absolutely ludicrous!
"Yes," she replied, looking away as fear flooded her eyes.
It wasn't true. It couldn't be. Absolutely, positively mad! He already knew Moriarty was insane so hearing him say something like that didn't really surprise Sherlock, but Rose. She wasn't like him. Of course it wasn't true. Couldn't be true, but she believed it was.
He closed his eyes. Aliens. A ship that travels in space and time. Time. It was...odd. He opened them and focused on her.
John was looking between the two as if he was trying to figure out what was going on. He ignored his friend and focused on her.
"So, the TARDIS is a ship?" he asked.
She relaxed a little. Slight slouching of the shoulders. Her hands unclenched.
"And it can travel in space and time?"
"Sorry…what?" John asked, eyeing Sherlock, but he continued to ignore his friend.
"I'm not sure. He never fully explained it to me, but when I first met him he had a tendency to think most people were idiots." Sherlock almost smile, but stopped himself. "He would just say It's all very timey wimey and leave it at that, but basically the TARDIS dematerializes from one place or time and rematerializes in another. It makes a sort of whooshing sound."
"Are there a lot of these space and time travel ships where you're from?"
"No, his is the only one left."
"So, there were others?"
"Yes, but not on Earth."
And there it was. The second absurd part of Moriarty's ludicrous story.
"And he's an alien. This doctor," Sherlock said.
"Sorry?" John asked again, giving Sherlock a I think you both need to be sedated look.
"Yes," she replied.
"Time Lord?" the detective inquired.
"The last Time Lord."
"All of his people died. That's one of the reasons I traveled with him. He was alone and…that wasn't right."
He resisted the urge to roll his eyes…barely. Sentiment. He loathed sentiment. He absolutely, positively wasn't feeling that for her.
"What happened to the other Time Lords?" he asked.
"Hang on," John interrupted. "Are we seriously having a conversation about aliens and space ships?"
"Space ships that also travel in time," Sherlock pointed out.
"Have you both gone mental?"
"Whether you believe it or not doesn't make it any less true," Rose said.
"Aliens?" John eyed Sherlock. "You don't believe this do you?"
"I haven't decided."
"Sorry…what?" John asked.
"Do you want to leave?" the detective inquired.
It was the word time that had drawn him in. Not a time machine. A ship that traveled in both space and time. Time. It was...odd. Out of place. He had the same feeling he got when he decided to take the Baskerville case. The word Hound, not dog, Hound. It was out of place just as the word time was out of place here. There was something to this.
"Well…I…" John trailed off.
No, he wasn't going to leave.
"Then kindly refrain from interrupting," Sherlock replied. "Now," he turned back to Rose, "you were about to tell us what happened to the others."
"There was a war and he was the only survivor."
The only survivor? He either ran, was somehow involved in ending the war, or lucky and Sherlock didn't believe in luck.
"That must have been some war," John said.
Sherlock shot him a glare.
"You met him after that?" the detective asked, turning his attention back to her.
"And you traveled with him," Sherlock said. She nodded. "Then you were separated? Moriarty said you almost fell into something called a rift?"
"There was a battle-"
"Another one?" John cut in.
Sherlock eyed him, but not as harshly. There seemed to be a pattern. The Doctor. Danger. Battles. Saving her. No wonder she ran toward danger. This doctor taught her that. She was so used to doing it with him that it became second nature.
"The only way to stop it was to open the rift to send both armies into the void."
"The void?" John asked.
"It's the place between parallel worlds. The Doctor called it hell. I helped him open it and it sucked all of them in. I slipped and almost went in too, but my dad saved me. Only to do it he had to take me to a parallel world."
"So, you were stuck on a parallel world like this one and The Doctor was left on the other?" Sherlock asked.
"But you managed to get back to him and there was another war?" She nodded. "And you were captured?" Another nod. "And where does James come in?"
"We'd been captured, like I said. Me, the Doctor, Jack, and Donna. The TARDIS was taken aboard the other ship and when we went out Donna stayed inside. The Daleks, that's who we were fighting against, they tried to destroy the TARDIS with Donna inside only something happened. The Doctor called it a Human Biological Meta-Crisis."
"Human Biological Meta-Crisis?" Sherlock asked.
"It takes DNA from two people. In this case the Doctor and Donna and basically creates a clone."
"So, James isn't just the Doctor's clone he's Donna's as well."
"In a way, but I think because the Doctor is a Time Lord his DNA overpowered Donna's."
"Hang on," John said. "You're saying that James is a combination of two different species?"
"Yes, but Time Lords and Humans are a lot alike. I didn't even know the Doctor was an alien until he told me."
"So," Sherlock said, eyeing John and then turned his attention to Rose. "James looks like the Doctor."
"Exactly like the Doctor. Or, at least, how he looked then and he has all of the Doctor's memories up to the point he was created."
"What do you mean how he looked then?" Sherlock asked.
"Time Lords don't die like humans. If they get shot or anything like that they regenerate."
"Regenerate?" John asked.
"Every cell in their body repairs, but by doing that they change."
"They can repair the cells in their bodies?"
"So, they can't die?"
"They can die, but not as easily. If they died too quickly they wouldn't regenerate. Or if they were killed while they were regenerating."
"What do you mean change?" Sherlock asked, more interested in that than the regeneration…at the moment.
"It's almost like they become someone else. I was with the Doctor when he regenerated and he looked completely different. I actually thought he was someone else. That someone had taken the Doctor and put someone else in his place. Even his personality was different."
"And this happened while you were traveling with him?"
An alien, but not in the little green men sense. An alien who appeared to be human, but had obvious internal differences. He had a high intelligence, or, at least, he believed that he did, which was apparent in Rose's belief. He could die, but not as easily as a human. If he were seriously injured his body repaired itself...regenerated and he became a new person with an altered personality. It was completely ludicrous and vastly interesting.
"And after this battle the Doctor dropped you and James back on that parallel world? The one you were trapped on before," Sherlock asked.
"Yes," she replied.
"Because James was dangerous?"
"What did he do that made this doctor deem him so dangerous?"
She looked away.
"He…ended the battle."
"How?" Sherlock asked, knowing there was more to the story then she wanted to reveal, but he wasn't about to let her off the hook.
She caught his eye.
"He killed them."
"The enemy?" John asked.
"Killed them? How many of them?" Sherlock asked.
"All of them."
"All? What…all of them?" John asked.
All of them? Twenty? Fifty? A hundred? More than a hundred?
"How many?" Sherlock inquired.
"I'm not sure. There were a lot of ships. A fleet, the Doctor called it. Thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands."
"Hang on," John interrupted. "James killed thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of people and the Doctor left him with you?"
"Not people, John, aliens," Sherlock corrected.
John glanced at him.
"According to the Doctor he was like that because he was born in battle," she defended.
This doctor was more than unstable, he was dangerous and a complete idiot. Creating a clone…basically a weapon so he could win that battle and then leaving said unstable weapon for someone else to deal with. He used Rose's affection for him to pawn off something he didn't want to deal with. If he ever darkened Sherlock's doorstep the detective would…he pushed the thought aside. The Doctor wasn't real, couldn't be real, or, at least, if he was he couldn't be an alien.
But if he was…now that would be interesting, but he wasn't. Couldn't be. Sherlock's gaze fell on the chain around her neck. A key. Connected to both of them. Proof?
"You said that key was connected to James and The Doctor. What is it?"
She pulled the key out and gazed at it.
"It's a key to the TARDIS," she said.
"The Doctor's ship? What does the key do?"
"Unlocks the door."
It looked like an ordinary key. Well, there was one way to find out.
"Can I see it?"
She slipped the necklace off and handed it to him. Sherlock took the key and examined it. Still ordinary…in appearance at least, but this was far too interesting to give up that easily.
"Do you mind if I test it?" he asked.
"Test it?" she inquired.
"Scrape a bit off so I can get a closer look at the metal."
"Um…" She hesitated, looking at the key as if she might snatch it back at any minute. "If…um…if you're careful."
"Of course," he replied.
"Okay, then, go ahead."
He stood up and walked into the kitchen, pulled on a pair of gloves and then sat down in front of his microscope. He grabbed a Petri dish, shaved some metal off the side of the key, near the top, so it would still function properly. Then he placed the dish under the microscope and began examining the metal.
Thank you to all my brilliant readers!
If you have time reviews are always welcome. :)