Better With Three

Lilithanadir had been traveling with the Doctor for ten years when he dropped her off in London. There she met Rose tyler and, two months later, the Autons invaded. A rewrite of series one of Doctor Who.

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25. Return of Margaret Part Two

Mickey and Rose had gone outside the TARDIS to talk while, unbeknownst to them, the Doctor watched on the scanner. Jack was watching him and Lilith was pacing back and forth, every so often stopping to glance at the unwelcome guest in their ship.

“So, what's on?” Jack asked.

“Nothing, just, nothing.”

Lilith bit her lip. She wasn’t a huge fan of Rose spending the night with Mickey either. She had grown up knowing the human as ‘Uncle Micks’ and seeing him walking away holding hands with the woman Lilith knew to be her future mother was unsettling to say the least.

“I gather it's not always like this, having to wait.” Margaret said, breaking the silence. “I bet you're always the first to leave, Doctor. Never mind the consequences, off you go. You butchered my family and then ran for the stars, am I right? But not this time. At last you have consequences. How does it feel?”

“I didn't butcher them,” the Doctor said flatly.

“Don't answer back.” Jack chided. “That's what she wants.”

“I didn't. What about you?” the Doctor directed the question to Margaret. “You had an emergency teleport. You didn't zap them to safety, did you?”

“It only carries one. I had to fly without coordinates. I ended up on a skip in the Isle of Dogs.” Margaret made a face. The Doctor and Lilith snickered. “It wasn't funny.”

“Sorry.” Lilith said. “It is a bit funny.”

Margaret turned around. “Do I get a last request?”

“Depends what it is,” the Doctor said.

“I grew quite fond of my little human life, all those rituals. The brushing of the teeth, and the complicated way they cook things. There's a little restaurant just round the Bay. It became quite a favorite of mine.”

“Is that what you want?” the Doctor asked. “A last meal?”

“Don't I have rights?”

“Oh, like she's not going to try to escape.” Jack scoffed.

“Except I can never escape the Doctor.” Margaret said bitterly. “So where's the danger?” she looked at the Doctor. “I wonder if you could do it? To sit with a creature you're about to kill and take supper. How strong is your stomach?”

“Strong enough,” he responded in a hard voice.

“I wonder. I've seen you fight your enemies; now dine with them.”

“You won't change my mind,” the Doctor said.

“Prove it.” Margaret snapped.

The Doctor walked back to the console. “There are people out there. If you slip away just for one second, they'll be in danger.”

“Except I've got these.” Jack held up two bracelets. “You both wear one. If she moves more than ten feet away; she gets zapped by ten thousand volts.”

The Doctor turned back and crossed his arms with a forced smile. “Margaret, would you like to come out to dinner? My treat.”

“Dinner in bondage.” Margaret smirked. “Works for me.”

The two aliens left, and Jack was left to carry on mending the TARDIS while Lilith continued to pace silently. “You don’t like Mickey either, do you?” Jack asked after a few minutes of nothing but the hum of the TARDIS.

“Nah, Micks is fine. It’s just that he hasn’t given up on Rose yet. It’s just… wrong watching them flirt like that.” Lilith said.

“You’ve got no problem with me flirting with her.”

Lilith laughed. “You may not know me, Uncle Jack, but I know you. That’s just how you are. You’ll flirt up a storm but still follow his ‘hands off the blond’ rule.”

Jack raised his eyebrows. “Flirt up a storm?”

“Do you listen to yourself?” the Time Lady asked with a grin. “Mickey wasn’t off calling you captain of the Innuendo Squad. Hey, do you want some food? I’m going to head to the kitchen for dinner.”

Jack stood, brushing off his hands. “The extrapolator is all hooked up, I’ll join you.”

They didn’t make it though dinner. The TARDIS shook violently, throwing Jack and Lilith to the floor. “What the hell?” They ran to the console room.

The console was sparking and the extrapolator was glowing an ominous blue color. Jack and Lilith looked at each other before running over and desperately trying to disconnect it from the TARDIS.

The Doctor came into the ship. “What the hell are you doing?” he demanded.

“It just went crazy!”

“It's the rift, isn’t it?” Lilith asked.

The Doctor nodded. “Time and space are ripping apart. The whole city's going to disappear!” The console continued to spark.

“It's the extrapolator.” Jack said. "I've disconnected it but it's still feeding off the engine! It's using the TARDIS. I can't stop it!”

“Never mind Cardiff, it's going to rip open the planet!” Lilith exclaimed.

At that moment, Rose entered the TARDIS. “What is it? What's happening?”

Margaret grinned. “Oh, just little me.” She took an arm out of her body suit and grabbed Rose. “One wrong move and she snaps like a promise.”

“I might've known,” the Doctor growled.

“I've had you bleating all night, poor baby, now shut it. You, fly boy, put the extrapolator at my feet.” Jack hesitated and Margaret tightened her grip on Rose's neck. The Doctor nodded and Jack obeyed. “Thank you. Just as I planned.”

“I thought you needed to blow up the nuclear power station.” Rose choked.

“Failing that, if I were to be arrested, then anyone capable of tracking me down would have considerable technology of their own. Therefore, they would be captivated by the extrapolator. Especially a magpie mind like yours, Doctor. So the extrapolator was programmed to go to plan B. To lock onto the nearest alien power source and open the rift. And what a power source it found. I'm back on schedule, thanks to you.”

“The rift's going to convulse.” Jack warned. “You'll destroy the whole planet.”

“And you with it!” Margaret snarled. She whipped Rose to the side and stood on the extrapolator. “While I ride this board over the crest of the inferno all the way to freedom. Stand back, boys. Surf's up.”

Suddenly, the TARDIS console cracked open and bright light hit Margaret

“Of course,” the Doctor said, “opening the rift means you'll pull this ship apart.”

“So sue me.”

“It's not just any old power source.” Lilith continued, somehow calm. “It's the TARDIS. The Doctor’s TARDIS. The best ship in the universe.”

“It'll make wonderful scrap.” Margaret sneered.

“What's that light?” Rose asked.

“The heart of the TARDIS. This ship's alive. You've opened its soul.”

“It's so bright…” the Slitheen whispered.

“Look at it, Margaret,” the Doctor said.

“Beautiful...”

“Look inside, Blon Fel Fotch. Look at the light.”

Margaret relaxed and Rose managed to get free of her grip. Then, Margaret looked up at the Doctor, smiling. “Thank you.” She disappeared into the light. The empty bodysuit crumpled onto the extrapolator.

Something sparked and the Doctor leapt into action. “Don't look. Stay there. Close your eyes!” He closed the console. “Now, Jack, come on, shut it all down. Shut down! Rose that panel over there, turn all the switches to the right. Lilith, make sure the console is locked.

They all did as they were told. “What happened to Margaret?” Rose asked.

“Must've got burnt up.” Jack guessed. “Carried out her own death sentence.”

Lilith shook her head. “No, I don't think she's dead.”

“Then where'd she go?”

“She looked into the heart of the TARDIS,” the Doctor said. “Even I don't know how strong that is. And the ship's telepathic, like I told you, Rose. Gets inside your head. Translates alien languages. Maybe the raw energy can translate all sorts of thoughts.”

He dug through the bodysuit and pulled out an egg. “Here she is.”

“She's an egg?” Rose questioned.

“Regressed to her childhood,” the Doctor confirmed.

“She's an egg?” Jack said.

“She can start again. Live her life from scratch. If we take her home, give her to a different family, tell them to bring her up properly, she might be all right!”

“Or she might be worse.” Lilith muttered.

“That's her choice.”

“She's an egg.” Rose repeated.

“She's an egg.”

Rose’s eyes went wide. “Oh, my god. Mickey.” She dashed out of the TARDIS and the Doctor made a face. A moment later, she returned to the TARDIS alone.

“We're all powered up. We can leave,” the Doctor announced. “Opening the rift filled us up with energy. We can go, if that's all right.” He said, looking at Rose.

“Yeah, fine.” She mumbled.

“How's Mickey?”

“He's okay. He's gone.”

“Do you want to go and find him? We'll wait,” the Doctor offered.

Rose sighed. “No need. He deserves better.”

The Doctor nodded. “Off we go, then. Always moving on.”

“Next stop, Raxacoricofallapatorius. Now you don't often get to say that.” Jack said.

“We'll just stop by and pop her in the hatchery. Margaret the Slitheen can live her life again. A second chance.”

“Hey, Lil,” Rose said with a smile, “you were right about one thing.”

“What’s that?” she asked.

“Great things did happen in Cardiff.”

Lilith laughed and slung her arm around Rose’s shoulder, letting herself enjoy the moment while it lasted.

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