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Chapter 16

The Doctor burst through the doors of the TARDIS as soon as they landed back in the dark, foggy forest. River and Jet weren't far behind. The Doctor turned around to face Jet. "Okay. Now I just need you to show me which house she went into. Then we just use the same strategy you used to find us."

Jet began looking around at the trees. His surroundings were instantly familiar. "There," he said, pointing straight ahead. "We went that way. We're not far at all from the cabin."

The trio walked at a hurried pace in the direction Jet had pointed. After about a minute of walking, they came to a clearing. This was strange, as they hadn't seen another clearing in the trees like this at all. This appeared to be the only one in the forest.

The Doctor just dismissed it as normal and kept walking, but Jet stopped, sinking to his knees. His eyes were wide, his mouth slightly open. He was shaking his head just the tiniest bit. River, who was behind him, crouched down. "Jet? What's wrong?"

Now the Doctor paused to see what was going on. It took Jet several minutes to calm down enough to answer. "It's here. It's supposed to be here! It was here. Why isn't it here?"

River took his hand. "Jet, calm down. What's supposed to be here?"

He didn't blink, only continued to stare at the empty space. "The cabin. It was right here."

River looked at the Doctor, but neither of them said anything. Suddenly, a light turned on in the distance. After a quick exchange of glances, the trio took off running towards it. In a matter of seconds they were standing in front of the TV.

"She could be in any one of these houses. So why are we choosing this one?" The Doctor was pacing around the room with an agitated expression.

"I don't know for sure, but what I do know is that when every light in the forest turned on, this one wasn't here. I know it sounds crazy, but maybe it moved from there to here." Jet was trying to convince himself at the same time he spoke these words to the Doctor.

Running his hand through his hair a few times, the Doctor answered, "But what if she's not there? What if that house has just disappeared? This is my daughter you're talking about!" His voice was slowly rising.

Jet stayed calm. "Then I'll go in and check."

The Doctor stopped pacing. "What?"

"I'll go in and make sure she's there. I'll call you on the communicator to let you know. If she's in any danger, I can keep her safe."

There was so much persuasive emotion in his voice that the Doctor had to accept. "Okay. If you don't call in ten minutes, we're coming in. There's a good chance this will lead to the same kind of place we were in, so the most important thing you need to know is: don't open any doors."

Jet nodded. His resolve was set, and he stepped into the light. A tingling sensation washed over his whole body, and soon the light blinded him. Then the tingling began to subside, just as the light cleared from his vision. Now he could see that he was in a . . . hotel?

The doors were lined up in hallways, and each was numbered. There were even stairs at the end of the hall. He shook his head; he needed to focus on finding Rain. Cupping his hands around his mouth, he began to call for her. "Rain?" There was no reply.

After several seconds, he called again, louder this time. "Rain?" Once again, there was no response. He ran a hand across his face, not wanting to accept the fact that she wasn't there.

Jet called her name once more, but this time his voice held a tone of desperation and defeat. "Rain?" Ten seconds went by, and suddenly he could hear footsteps running toward him from an intersecting hallway. He braced himself for whatever was coming. If it wasn't Rain, then he didn't care if it was a monster. She was the only one to whom he would respond.

He closed his eyes, waiting to be torn apart by whatever creature was coming around that corner. The steps came closer: ten feet, now five feet. He braced for impact.

Then he was thrown to the ground by the force of whoever was running towards him. He opened his eyes to the most relieving sight in the universe: Rain. Her arms were around his neck, and she was holding him so tight that he thought she would never let go. But who said he wanted her to?

He saw that she was crying, and he couldn't help but wrap his arms around her waist and pull her closer. Now he was crying too, but they were tears of joy, tears of relief. She buried her head in his neck, and he rested his head on top of hers.

For a while, they just stayed like that, but then Jet remembered what the Doctor had said: they would be coming in after him in ten minutes. They probably didn't have much time now, so Jet stood up, Rain still in his arms. As he set her on her feet, he explained, "Your parents should be here any minute now."

Rain nodded, reaching up to dry a tear from her cheek, but Jet beat her to it. His hand lingered on her cheek, and soon he was cupping her head with both his hands. Leaning down, he kissed her. Rain was ecstatic. After all, she had been hoping he'd kiss her. She returned it happily.

They could both hear the TARDIS engines behind them, but neither of them cared at this point. Their attention was mainly focused on the fact that they were alive, and that he had found her.

They only broke apart when the Doctor loudly cleared his throat, glaring slightly at Jet. "So I see you've found Rain. Now let's go." At this, he turned and stomped back into the console room.

River crossed her arms, trying to give them the sternest look she could muster, but in the end, she gave up. She just laughed, winked, and followed the Doctor inside. After all, the Doctor and she had done their fair share of kissing.

The couple joined hands and made their way over to the TARDIS. "So now we're even," Jet said.

"What?"

"Well, you saved me, and now I've saved you, so we're even."

Rain smiled up at him. "Yeah, I guess we are."

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