"What did I do wrong, Doctor, was it the finger?" Martha looks rather silly, holding up her finger and staring back at him with a puzzled expression. She's trying so hard, and in a way, he appreciates that. But, she's still a novice, and she doesn't know things, like how to stay back out of the way, and how names only affect a person once.
The Carrionite speaks the Doctor's thoughts with eerie accuracy, "Power of a name works only once. Observe."
She's up to something, and he's not sure what, but she points at Martha before he can stop her. Before he can even suspect she needs to be stopped.
"I gaze upon this bag of bones, and now I name thee Martha Jones."
His companion's eyes roll back in her head and she slumps backwards. He can only just leap forward to catch her, and his hearts drum in his chest. Dead. Dead. Oh, god, is she dead? He can hear himself cry out What have you done?! but all he can feel is the dead weight of Martha collapse on him. A girl he doesn't even know, who trusts him when she shouldn't, and now she's just slumped against him.
Her body's still warm, she's still breathing. Oh, God, she's still alive. One trip wasn't worth losing her life over. He lays her to the floor, equally frustrated by his own worry for her, and surprised.
"Only sleeping, alas. Curious, the naming has less impact. She's somehow out of her time." The Carrionite looks somewhat insulted by this. She couldn't just rip the life out of Martha, and she's vaguely put off. His hearts are still drumming, his rage is beginning to boil.
"And as for you, Sir Doctor." The Carrionite crouches, her long nail pointed in his direction.
He glares. Daring her. Words hold power to Carrionites, but sometimes they simply aren't necessary. And with how angry he feels himself becoming? He's fairly sure his expression speaks volumes. Go on, his eyes burn, Try it.
The Carrionite's eyes widen as she searches his memories, seeks out his mind. The deep, dark places even he won't reach. Places he's sealed off since the War. "Fascinating," she says, "There is no name. Why would a man hide his title in such despair?"
He'll hide it, but he won't fight for it. Not something as simple and delicate as his true name. There's no memory of that name, it's just part of who---of what he had been. It has nothing to do with who he is.
His eyes burn, but his resolve slips, and an image comes to mind. A name, a word with power, for him. The way the Carrionite's eyes twinkle, he can already tell she's seen it before she speaks.
"Oh, but look," she coos, "There's still one word with the power of the days."
"The naming won't work on me." He can hear his own voice, and it sounds like a growl. Sounds lower than a growl. Sounds...inhuman. Terrifying. He's grateful Martha can't hear him. Like with the Judoon, she sleeps through the worst of it.
"But your heart grows cold," the Carrionite purrs, stroking her shoulders like she's reciting a love sonnet. "The north wind blows and carries down the distant Rose."
He feels his jaw tighten, his muscles tense. There are things he forgets and things he remembers and things he protects, but none so much as his memories.
A man is the sum of his memories, you know. A Timelord even more so.
Rose. One of the memories he wishes he could lose one instant, and wouldn't give up for the universe the next. There's pain, there's grief, but she was a part of him, made him who he is. And he won't give that up, and he won't have some bloody self-absorbed witch stain her name and make it into a weapon.
He moves to his feet. To a fighting stance. He's going to fight. The Carrionite has touched on a name he will fight for.
"Oh, big mistake." He growls, "Because that name keeps me fighting."
And he will. He'll fight on because that is what Rose would want. She would demand it, she would cross her arms and just demand he live. Fight. She would have him fight for his memories, for Earth, for everyone...it's only right he fights for her name.
He squares his shoulders and stares down at the Carrionite. She deals with words, with beauty and blood and magic, she's never met anything quite like him. His art has always been destruction. Always. The Carrionite just helped him find his muse.
Muse: The Doctor (Ten)
Fandom: Doctor Who
Word Count: 770