"Rose! Rose, please wake up!"
The voice sounds scared, desperate, and so far away everything feels like a thick fog and his voice echoes through my mind. Maybe I'm dreaming? Something is telling me to hang on to that voice, to follow it.
"Come on Rose, you're safe now." The voice said closer now, but still just a whisper against my ear. I can feel his warm breath on my face as I try hard to focus my attention. My head is throbbing, but it feels, so muddled everything is confusing. That voice, it grounds me. If I can just reach it. Something as simple as thinking is much harder than it should be, I try and talk but can't, and the only thing I can muster is a garbled moan. The pain is so intense, it hurts to think.
The stranger's voice is back now, louder this time. His voice is excited, frantic. "Hey, there you are, come on now Rose. Open your eyes for me. Cool fingers caress my forehead, then slide along my cheek. It feels so right, even if it doesn't relieve the pain. And I try and open my eyes. All I want is to see this man with the kind voice, he sounds so sweet yet so frightened. I have a need to alleviate that fear, but my eyes felt too heavy.
When I try to reach out and touch him, my fingers twitch. Frustrated I try again, this time I am able to raise my arm, and cold fingers thread themselves through mine. His hands are so chilled, yet it’s not cold in here. In fact, it’s a bit on the warm side.
"I'm right here Rose. I'm not going to leave you again, we're safe in the TARDIS. You're going to be alright. Open your eyes. Please." His voice cracked as he spoke. And I wonder if he has been crying, but not because of me? I can't remember what happened, and why I am here. This voice, this man he speaks as if I should know him, but I don't. I can't…
"It hurts." I groan. My voice sounds strange, alien. I can feel his lips on my palm, his breathing shallow. I must have been injured pretty badly.
"Where does it hurt?" He asks as he gives my hand a slight squeeze.
"Head," I croaked. My mouth dry, it’s as if I swallowed a razor.
"Okay, I'll give you something for the pain." But when he tries to let go of my hand panic sets in, I don't want him to let go, I don't want to be alone. I squeeze his hand as tight as I'm able, to keep it close with what little strength I have. All of this is so intensely frightening. I don't want him to go, not even for a moment, if I do I'll be lost again.
"It's alright. I won't go far, just across the room. Everything I want to help you is right here, I'm not going to leave Rose. I just want to give you something for the pain."
"Please don't." Tears sting my eyes and my words come out in more of a sob than I meant it to but it couldn’t be helped.
"Okay. It's alright, I'm right here. I'll wait," he said with a soothing tone, his cold fingers linking with mine again.
I try again to open my eyes, they are swollen and gritty. A tear rolled down my cheek as I make my eyes open. A bright blinding light shone into my eyes, a sharp pain shot through my head, causing me to squeeze them shut again. I whimpered.
"Oh, sorry. I'm so sorry," he babbled. There was a soft click from above, "I forgot, I'm sorry. It's off now."
"Mph," was all the sound I can manage. Slow I try to open my eyes again, the room was dim, dark splotches pulsed from where the light had blinded me. I squinted, trying to look around, my head falling to one side. I can almost see him there, just the edges first. He leaned towards me, but his face and most of his body eclipsed by the black round sphere caused from the light. I blinked, the dark shape before my eyes faded quickly coming into focus. I see him now, my heart skipped a beat, and this was not what I expected. He is quite attractive, but looked as if he had been through hell. He wore dark brown pinstripe suit that is shredded and charred. A wild thatch of dark brown hair stuck up all over, but it seemed to suit him well enough. Small cuts, bits of dirt and dried blood caked his face, but it was the way he looked at me with intense emotion, it made my stomach tighten.
"Welcome back," he grinned, bringing my hand to his mouth, pressing his lips to the palm of my hand again. "You gave me quite the scare."
"What happened?" My voice cracked. Still my voice sounds so funny to me, almost like it's not my own.
He frowned, his brow knitted together. "You don't remember?"
I tried to think, but everything is so confusing nothing made sense. There was something at the edge of my mind, but I can barely hang onto the memory before it slipped away again.
"No, I-I don't… I."
"Shh. It's okay Rose. You hit your head hard," he said and brushed a bit hair from my face his fingers brushing against my cheek. "It's not uncommon to have memory loss of sorts." He was still frowning, and he's trying to sound reassuring, but I don't even think he believes it.
"Where?" I try and look around the room, but nothing in this place appeared familiar. It reminds me of a hospital, but even that feels wrong.
"We're in the TARDIS. I had to take her into the vortex after the attack. She’s been damaged. We'll need to stay put while I do some repairs."
Something changed at that moment. I don't know if it had been because everything this man was saying to me all I heard is utter nonsense. Or if it had to do with my expression, but his whole body tensed, and his eyes, they bore into mine.
"Rose, what is the last thing you remember?" It was a momentous question as if everything in the world depended on my answer.
I stared back at him tried to remember something, anything at all that happened before I woke up here. Everything was jumbled. I realized I have no idea whom this man is and from the moment I woke up I realized I've been staring at a complete stranger. Nothing at all about him was familiar. What I do know is that I’m drawn to him. Fear began to bubble up as I tried to hold back. It wouldn't help anyone if I lost it now. I shook my head slight.
"I don't…" He released his grip on my hand and sat up stiff, his gaze never leaving mine. It seemed as if he’s searching for something.
"Do you know who I am?" He asked with an edge of apprehension in his tone.
"I don't, I'm sorry…" He flinched. I know it wasn't the answer he was hoping, and felt horrible for even speaking.
"It's alright, don't be sorry," he swallowed hard and stood. The chair scrapping loud across the floor, the sound rattled through my head. "I'll fix this," he spluttered, "don't worry Rose, I will fix this."
He turned away and walked swiftly to the other side of the room, forcefully pulling open drawers and rattling about, when he found what he was searching for he slammed a door shut. I flinched, it was as if every little noise around me had been amplified by a million. So much was happening at once and now all I wanted to do is go to sleep. I closed my eyes, taking a deep shaky breath. I want this day to be over, exhaustion had taken over, and I start to drift off to sleep.
"ROSE, wake up, you can't sleep. Do you hear me?"
I groaned, opening my eyes, there he stood over me now, fear and concern written clear all over his face. This man cannot hide his emotions well it seemed. He held out a small plastic cup to me.
"Drink this, I don't have Aspirin on the TARDIS anymore, it’s safe for humans and it works better." His voice was warm again, I can tell he was trying not to upset me, but I do think we're beyond that now. Carefully I took the cup as he helped me sit up, my whole body protested, and I ached everywhere. Whatever happened to me it must have been pretty awful to cause this much pain everywhere. I looked into the cup the liquid was a brownish sludge that smelled of strawberries. I look up at him with uncertainty and he smiled and nodded.
"Bottoms-up." And I tried to sound cheerful but failed. I held my breath swallowing it down in one giant gulp. I coughed, the strong taste of oranges was not what I was expecting. He rubbed my back soothing me. "That was unexpected," I choked, and he chuckled.
The man pulled the stool over to me sitting as close as possible, careful he took the cup and sat it on the small table beside him. "Rose, I want to try something. Normally I would wait, it's dangerous enough, but I think it will help."
"Ah, Okay." I wasn't sure where he was going with this, but if it meant I would remember everything. I wasn't about to back down from him.
He thumbed at the blanket that covered my knees, he was nervous I laid my hand careful over his. He looked up at me and smiled. "I want to create a mental connection with you, a small one. I want to check to see how much damage, and if I can fix it without risk to you I will. I'll only know the extent of the memory loss once I'm there."
All I am able to do is sit and stare as his words sink in, I'm having a stroke. I must be because in no way did I just understand what he just said. He sounded like a loon, and I'm starting to regret saying yes to this mad man. I think he picked up on the direction of my thoughts. His eyes widened and he took hold of my hand again, squeezing it tight.
"Rose, ah, I went the wrong way of asking." He said. "I'm telepathic," he blurted out as if telling me this would make it all better. "Don’t worry, I won't look at anything I shouldn't, I promise. I just want to make sure you're okay."
Even though, I know he's trying to sound reassuring, but at this point I'm pretty much ready to get the hell out of here. If it wasn't for the painful throbbing in my head, and the fact he's holding my hands pretty tight now I would be gone.
What do I say? 'I'm sorry strange man, but you're crazy, and I want to go home,' I doubt he'd take that exceedingly well. I don't know where home is through, do I even have a home? Who is he to me, my boyfriend, husband, brother? Eh, let's not think about that one right now. I think at this point I should just go along with this. What's the worst that could happen? Okay, not thinking about that either.
Giving in I nodded. "Alright." My heart hammered as if it were going to rip its way out of my chest. When all of this is over I am so running for the hills. His whole body relaxed once I agreed, his thumb rubbed smooth soft circles on the back of my hand.
"This won't hurt, I'll just be in and out, ten minutes tops. I won't go rummaging around if you don't want me to see something just imagine a door and I won't look okay."
I sighed. And yet something inside of me still says to trust this man, no matter how much crazy seems to be spewing out of his mouth right now. I nod again, and he reached up fingers gentle caressing my face, sliding up to my temples. My heart is racing wildly, and my stomach tightened.
“Stop with the dirty thoughts.” I scold myself. “I can't find Mister sexy gorgeous, he's a nutter. Unless of course I'm into that sort of thing. I don't think I am. Oh god, he's smirking at me, and he's in my head, did he hear that? Now I sound foolish.”
"Relax Rose, you're not crazy. You to calm down so I can do this."
“Relax he says, right, okay.” I take a deep breath, letting it out slow. I can already feel the tension as it leaves my body.
"There we go, that's it," his voice is soft and so sweet, there’s a slight pressure in my mind. It doesn't hurt if anything it feels quiet comforting. His smile widens and his thumbs brush light against my cheek. My eyes slide closed. A small burst of intense pleasure ran through my whole body causing me to gasp and shutter, I've never felt anything like it."
"Sorry," he murmured. That's the moment when I realized he was inside my head. Like really, inside of my mind. It was a lot to take in right now. I could sense him, I could sense his thoughts, his emotions. Pictures flashed through my mind, so fast that I couldn't take hold of just one. Small moments of time, and with every moment there was a powerful emotion attached to it.
"Just breath," he whispered. His warm breath against my cheek. I realized at some point, throughout all of this, he had stood. His face was so close now. His lips almost against mine. I wanted to kiss him, so badly. This time it was his breath that hitched and moved closer, his lips brushed light against mine, there was a spark. And it is like forever and yet no time at all. Like I had lost something I never knew was missing and I just now found it, within him. As if I had always been empty, but now I’m complete.
He groaned, his forehead rested against mine, and it was like a flood of intense pleasure, desire and need. What was this man doing to me? Was it always like this? Does he do this to everyone or am I just lucky?
"Ros…" he moaned as his whole body went ridged, and it’s as if someone had just dumped ice water into my head. I cried out as the pain overwhelmed me. Jerking back I pressed my hands against my head. I heard him fall back into the chair, gasping for air. Then as soon as it came the pain is gone. Hot tears streaming down my cheeks, a sob escaping my throat. I felt so empty now, so alone, like something so powerful had been ripped away from me.
I looked up at him, and what I saw shook me to my core. He was wide-eyed, glaring at me with severity, it was as if he could burn my soul with his gaze. I leaned away from him, fear took over me like a tidal wave, the loss and longing for him still lingered, making me more confused. He stepped closer, baring down upon me.
"Who are you?" He hissed, my whole body trembled with the accusation. My words are lost within his intense glare. "WHO. ARE. YOU?" He growled slamming his hands on either side of my legs. I cringed, and he seemed to notice or care. "What have you done to Rose?" He spat. His face inches away from mine. "ANSWER ME!" Anger, fear, loathing rolled off him in a rush. His emotions rolled off of him consuming him and me. All I wanted to run away, to save myself, but I couldn't, my body refused to move. I sobbed, unable to hold back the tide of tears.
"I don't know," I cried, fear and pain taking over my entire body.
"If you've hurt her in anyway, I will destroy you. Now you tell me who are you, and WHERE IS ROSE?"