Author: Tardis Traveler
"Alright then, let's get started" said the Doctor.
The trio started walking towards the Tardis' door, when suddenly Ace turned and began sprinting down the corridor.
"Wait for me... I'll be right back", she shouted over her shoulder, as she disappeared behind an opening door.
Tara just smiled as the Doctor sputtered to himself. "Just like her... hurry up... let's get going... and then we end up waiting for her." The Doctor's impatience with humans was showing again. Just as he was about to exhale his third long sigh, he heard the sound of a door swishing open.
Ace emerged from behind the door and clambered down the corridor towards Tara and the Doctor. Now she was wearing her favorite lucky black leather jacket. It was covered with various space related patches and she wore it on all her adventures. Slung over one shoulder was a bulky looking black rucksack. She stopped next to the Doctor and slung her arm over his shoulder and gave him a cheery smile.
"Okay, professor... I'm all ready... let's get the show on the road!"
The Doctor slowly pulled out from under her arm and faced her with a very thoughtful expression on his face.
"Aaaace?" he slowly asked in a low almost menacing tone. "You don't by any chance have canisters of Nitro-9 in that rucksack of yours... do you?" He glared at her intently.
Ace looked like a child caught sneaking frogs into the house. Tara stared at both of them with a quizzical expression on her face.
"Noooo Doctor" she softly replied trying to avoid his eyes. "What makes you think I would have any Nitro-9? I remember everything you have ever told me about safety and not carrying explosives about... really I do."
"Ace?" the Doctor sternly replied and held his hand up gesturing for her to hand over her sack.
"Professor, come on... someone has to protect your back... and Tara's!"
She reluctantly removed two cans of Nitro-9 from her rucksack and handed them to the Doctor. Tara's eyes nearly popped out of their sockets! The Doctor grinned and shook his head.
The Doctor had this particular way of saying her name that sounded very stern and intimidating, but at the same time held a faint hint of amusement. They had, had similar encounters like this before so they were both accustomed to the routine! Ace just couldn't help herself. She had developed this deep passion for explosives and the noise that came with them. The Doctor preferred non- violent solutions to trouble, but had to admit that Ace's explosives had rescued them a time or two in the past. So, he never got too angry with her.
"Ace... we're here to do a spell... not blow up a sacred monument that has managed to survive thousands of years! What were you thinking... or were you?"
"Well, I wasn't going to use them... was I? I mean, I'm not stupid... am I?" She didn't wait for answers. She just added a quick explanation. "It just makes me feel better to be prepared... that's all" she muttered.
Tara felt it was time for her to intervene and lighten the mood.
"Don't worry Ace, I'll just zap any monsters with a lightening bolt... okay?" she chuckled.
She smiled quickly and added that she would put an energy field around the shrine that would protect them so Ace should just relax. Just so Ace would not feel embarrassed, Tara also thanked her for her concern and thoughtfulness.
Ace beamed and accepted Tara's kind words. She stuck her tongue out at the Doctor and teased, "I'm glad somebody around here appreciates me!" Then she linked arms with both of them and started for the door.
After walking out into the calm night, the Tardis door slowly closed behind them. As they walked towards the shrine, Tara turned and paused a moment to look back at this strange space vehicle. She was still enthralled that what looked like a small blue police call box on the outside, could be so enormous on the inside! The first time the Doctor had shown her his space ship he had told her that everyone who saw the Tardis had the same comment. Everyone said that it was bigger on the inside than on the outside. Tara agreed.
Once Tara got over the shock of the Tardis' unique size, she then had to deal with the whole notion of time travel! The Doctor had once tried to use his scientific expertise to explain exactly how the Tardis, an acronym for time and relative dimensions in space, worked. The Doctor had gone into great detail before looking up at Tara's bewildered expression. At seeing how lost she seemed to be, he quickly stopped and simply said it was a kind of magic. Tara and he laughed and then she stated that that was an explanation she could understand.
Tara genuinely liked the Doctor. He had so many qualities and behaviors that reminded her of her darling Willow. They both had keen logical minds and quirky attention to details. Like her Willow, the Doctor truly cared about others and had a respect for all life. It amused her too; that they were both masters in the art of pouting to get what they wanted! At first, Tara had found those reminders painful, but after a while she took great pleasure in them. She really hated that she had to deceive him.
Tara shook herself from her thoughts and rejoined Ace and the Doctor. They walked to what was believed to be the inner circle of the ancient shrine. Ace was given the job of providing them with some light. While she was busy placing and lighting candles around the shrine, Tara and the Doctor prepared for the spell.
As she had promised, Tara set up a protective barrier around the inner circle. She knew that the area was safe, but if it would relax Ace it was worth it. She didn't want to use too much of her energy, so she just did a minor, but very flashy barrier. Ace was very impressed with it.
The Doctor sprinkled white sand creating a circle large enough for the two of them, while Tara prepared the herbs and oils. She placed some incense on a small rock near the circle and lit it. When all three had completed their assigned tasks, they came together to review what they were going to do.
Tara had to stifle a laugh when the Doctor told Ace that her job was to sit quietly off to the side and wait until he and Tara were finished. He warned her to be quiet and stay out of the way. Ace didn't seem bothered by his remarks in the least. She walked over and sat down with her back against a tall boulder. She pulled a large boom box from her rucksack, put on headphones, looked at the Doctor, and gave him a thumb up sign. The Doctor gingerly returned the signal and then spun around to face to Tara.
As the Doctor started to enter the sacred circle, Tara pulled him aside. She wanted to go over all the details to be sure they each knew what to do.
Tara had told the Doctor that in order to have the kind of power needed to make gold dust, she would have to get it from the earth goddess herself. That meant that she would have to go the Nether Realm and ask her for this gift. She would then transfer the power to the Doctor. This, of course, was nonsense, but it was necessary for Tara's real objective. The Doctor stood calmly listening as Tara went into great detail. He had an odd expression on his face that rather unnerved her. She couldn't quite decide if he doubted her plan or was just listening intently. It didn't really matter to her as long as he was willing to do the spell.
Tara wasn't happy with herself for the deception she had planned. In fact, she had wavered on more than one occasion. It was not in her nature to deceive people, but love makes us to do things we never thought ourselves capable of!
So, the Doctor was to serve as Tara's anchor here on the earthly plane. He was to keep her grounded and make sure she returned safely. However, if there was any hint of danger he was to "save himself".
When she finally finished, the Doctor was just standing there with a bemused expression on his face. "Well, I think I can handle that "he said. Then, he looked directly into her clear blue eyes and asked if there was anything else she wanted to tell him.
She blinked and slowly shook her head no. Then, Tara became very serious. She stared at him for a minute before she spoke.
"Listen very carefully Doctor. Willow was the only person that I have cast this kind of powerful spell with. I have reasons why I am casting this spell with you... some of them you know. I... we, need to do this right tonight... the first time. I will not do this a second time. I hope you understand that Doctor. This is a one time deal."
"It is all perfectly clear to me" he replied in a very serious tone. "If you're ready, let's get started then."
They entered the circle and Tara poured blessed water over the sand to seal the circle. The sand glowed red and then returned to its' natural color. She and the Doctor sat down in the center of the circle diagonally across from each other. Tara finished mixing the herbs and oils together. She anointed the Doctors forehead, his lips, and then his chest with the mixture. Afterwards, she did the same to herself.
She glanced up at the thousands of stars sparkling in the night sky. The moon was shining directly overhead... full and bright... the Goddess was present tonight. Her mind flashed to that beautiful solstice night when she and Willow had first confessed their love for each other. There had been other wonderful nights under the stars and a full moon... nights when she and her soul mate had even dared to make love to each other under them. As much as those memories warmed her heart, none were as special as that first night! Tara shook her mind free of those thoughts and returned to the here and now.
She looked at the Doctor. He gave her a quick nod before they both began to meditate for several minutes. They joined hands... her left hand to his right one. Once their hands connected, Tara began to chant and soon the Doctor joined her.
Outside the circle, Ace had removed her headphones and was intently watching the two Wicca. Soon they were chanting in unison delving deeper and deeper towards the Nether Realm. Suddenly, Tara fell backwards into a deep trance like state. Ace wasn't startled by this. She knew this was going to happen. What she hadn't expected to see was the Doctor following Tara a few seconds later!
She leapt up from her seat and raced towards the circle. Thankfully before she desecrated the circle, Tara and the Doctor's warning words sounded in her head! Ace came to an abrupt stop when she remembered them telling her how extremely dangerous it was to break a sacred circle! She really wanted to run to the Doctor, but she would never do anything that might injure him... or Tara. So she just stood there shaking and hoping that all was well with them.
Tara felt her life force leap from her body and slowly begin to float. As she drifted through a dense white mist, she focused all of her thoughts and feelings on her wife. She sent her darling all the love she had for her, while calling out to Willow in her mind.
<Willow, my love, can you hear me? It's Tara. Please my darling, answer me.>
Tara kept sending this over and over like a mantra. It seemed liked forever, before she felt something solid under her feet. She now was standing, still shrouded in a dense white fog. She continued to reach out to Willow in her mind. The silence was beginning to make her a bit frantic.
Moments later she saw a figure moving towards her. She immediately called out thinking it was her beloved redhead. She screamed out Willow's name and ran towards the shadow with tears streaming down her face. The fact that the advancing shape had not answered her didn't seem to register with Tara... she just kept running towards it. She was just about to launch herself into a final sprint, when realization hit her. This was not her wife. It did not seem to be a goddess either, or at least it didn't look the way she had imagined a goddess to look.
She froze in place waiting for whatever it was to reach her. Her mind screamed out for Willow to find her and come to her! She did not think she felt fear... just the beginnings of desperation.
Finally, the shape stood before her. It was concealed in a long grey hooded cloak held together, in what seemed to be a waist, by a woven silver tie. She looked where a face should be, but couldn't really clearly discern anything that looked familiar... or solid for that matter. After staring at it for several more seconds, Tara realized that it really was not anything solid. It was more like a vapor or some kind of a spirit that wore the cloak to give itself the appearance of having a body. She did not know what to do next.
<Should she scream for Willow and run? Should she try to talk to it... could it talk? Should she be afraid of it?>
Her thoughts were interrupted, when she heard the shadow speak to her. She wasn't sure if her ears or her mind had heard the words, but she did hear them none the less.
"I am the Guardian." Its voice was low and without emotion.
"You should not be here, Tara."
Tara was startled for a moment. "How do you know my name?" she managed to ask.
"I know your name... and I know why you have come here" the voice answered.
Startled again, Tara replied, "How do you know... and what exactly do you think you know?"
The Guardian was already tired of this game.
"She is not coming!" it stated softly, but firmly.
Tara was now on the verge of crying. "Who's not coming?"
"If you need to hear her name, in order to believe me... then, Willow. Your soul mate, Willow, will not be coming to you here."
Anger filled Tara. She raged out at the Guardian. "What have you done to her? If you have hurt her in any way, you will answer to me!"
"She is safe and well. The Goddess would not harm one of her children" it stated.
"Not harm her," Tara cried," she let her be destroyed by some warlock's fireball! "Not hurt her! She let her be killed! What was that... a reward for all of Willow's faith and good deeds!"
She was crying now and looked overhead and shouted Willow's name out of frustration and pain.
Her head hung down and she continued to cry. "I want to see her. I came here to see her. I betrayed myself and others who trusted me, to come here and I want to see her" she yelled.
For several moments, the only sound was Tara's pitiful crying.
"You did not come here to see her... you came here to stay with her," the Guardian softly stated.
Tara stood there breathless and stunned that her subterfuge had been discovered so easily. She wasn't giving up though. Fighting to be with her love was tantamount to fighting for her own life. She just hoped she could control her emotions. She was already shaking with anger and frustration.
"Yes, I did come to stay here with her and I will do just that, even if I have to search this entire world for her It's MY life and I have NO life without her. I don't care if my earthly body dies. I just need to be with my wife!"
The Guardian calmly replied, "You will never find your Willow if you stay here. She is well guarded and well beyond your reach."
"Why?" sobbed Tara. "My soul mate and I have tried to serve the Goddess all our lives! Is this how she repays the both of us for our faithful service to her? How can she be so cruel? I had always thought of her as a loving Goddess, but NOT anymore!"
"The Goddess loves everyone... her followers most of all. The paths she sees for her faithful are not always easily seen by them. You must have patience young child of the Goddess... and faith. The Goddess has not forsaken you or your soul mate. Trust HER and me... you and your Willow have a destiny yet to be fulfilled."
Tara crumbled to the ground in front of the Guardian, her head resting on her knees. Her entire being was in pain and her soul ached for the comforting arms of her love.
"Destiny!" she sobbed into her knees. "What kind of a destiny is it to live without my love... to return to my loneliness and despair? I've lived that destiny before... I can't live it again especially now that I know what life is like with someone you love and who loves you! "
She continued to cry and shudder with despair. "Just be merciful and let me die now and here!"
The Guardian stood above her in silence, as she curled up into a fetal ball and let her tears continue to fall freely.
Tara didn't know how long she had lain there crying. She wasn't even sure if the Guardian was still with her. She did know that she now felt herself being enveloped in a pair of strong and gentle arms. Her eyes shot open and hope raced through her as she thought that it might be Willow. Through her blurry eyes, she turned white with shock when she finally recognized who it was trying to comfort her!
Tara's blue eyes were wide open now! Before she had a chance to utter a single word, the Guardian appeared and spoke first.
"I do not know your name, do I?" the Guardian asked.
"I'm the Doctor! Nice to meet you!"
"WHO?" the Guardian asked.
Tara had now regained her senses and interrupted their introductions. "DOCTOR!, what on earth are you doing here? How... what... um... Well, I mean, if you are here too, who is anchoring us?" she sputtered.
"I am." he replied quite simply, as though he were telling her what time it was.
Tara now looked panic stricken. "What! How can that be? Oh Doctor, I am so sorry... I have put you in danger."
She was on her feet now trying to think what to do next. She didn't care if she died up here, in fact she had planned to, but she didn't want the Doctor losing his life. She would not have his life on her soul!
The Doctor just stood there and smirked. "Humans!" he mumbled under his breath.
Humans always underestimated the Doctors! They never had a clue as to who or what the Doctors truly were. Earth people were so easily fooled by what their eyes merely perceived, rather than what might lie beneath the exterior facade. This trait of most humans had actually worked to his advantage on many occasions, but sometimes it really infuriated him and his other selves!
The Doctor was a Time Lord for goodness sakes. He manipulated time and space... was that not the ultimate magic! His magic created spaceships, took him to distant and near worlds, and in and out of time! He carried within him the knowledge and experiences of seven lifetimes... and she doubted his ability to return them to earth safely?
Before either one them could speak, the Guardian addressed Tara.
"You have nothing to fear child, for yourself or for this ancient Wizard."
"Do you recognize me?" asked the Doctor.
"The Goddess recognizes you as King Arthur's powerful wizard, Merlin."
"Really, does she... well, I have been told that before."
<He flashed to the battlefield near Carbury where the evil sorceress, Morgaine, and her son Mordred had insisted that he was Merlin too!>
"Hmm, it must be a future Me." commented the Doctor.
"Now is time for both of you to return to your world. I leave Tara in your care Wizard." said the Guardian.
"No, I told you already that I am not leaving here. My heart and soul are here... this is where I belong!" shouted Tara.
The Guardian turned to the Wizard and spoke to him. "Please try to explain to this young witch that her destiny is not to be found in this world. She and you must go... Willow is beyond your reach. Your death would serve no purpose to the Goddess."
The Wizard chafed a bit at the Guardian's words. He hated being told there was something impossible for him to do. The Wizard always looked upon those kinds of statements as challenges for him to overcome. However, he had Tara to contend with at the moment and she was crying and looking to him for support.
So, the Wizard walked up to the desolate Witch and took her into his arms and stroked her back as she wept. In the depth of her soul, Tara knew the battle was lost to her. She just couldn't understand why the Goddess was treating her so cruelly.
The Wizard gently pulled back so he could look into her sad eyes." I truly am sorry that your spell didn't workout. I would have liked to have met your Willow. She must be an amazing woman for you to love her so and go through so much."
"You knew about my real spell?" asked Tara meekly.
"Tara, I am a Time Lord... and apparently a powerful Wizard too." replied the Doctor. Again, it was said as though that should explain it all... and to him it did.
"If you knew I had my own motives and was deceiving you; why did you do the spell?" she asked.
The Wizard took her tear stained face in his hands and stared deeply into her shiny blue eyes. "I did the spell because I believe in love... that love should triumph above all else!"
A fresh tear rolled down Tara's cheek. "I do too, Doctor. Love didn't win this time though... did it? I lost, and now... somehow... I am supposed to return and continue living a life that I lost the day my precious Willow left me. I don't know how I can do that." she sighed.
The Wizard just stared at her for several silent minutes before he spoke again.
"Tara, do you still believe in the power of love?" he softly asked.
Tara slowly nodded.
A wry smile spread across the Wizard's face when he saw her answer. "And do you still trust in love... trust that love will always find a way to survive?"
Tara lowered her head and sniffed a little before she looked at him again. "I don't know the answer to that question anymore. I want to believe it. I desperately want to believe that my love will find her way back to me... but... ?"
He placed his strong hands on her shoulders and gave her a gentle shake so she would look at him. Then he pulled himself up to his full height and looked the Witch squarely in her eyes.
"If you can't bring yourself to fully trust in love now, than trust in me. Can you do that Tara? Can you put your trust in me... trust that I will find a way to help you and your beloved?"
Tara stared into the Wizard's kind eyes... deep into his very soul... then she smiled at him and whispered, "Yes, I think I can trust in you."
The Wizard exhaled the breath he was holding and gave her a warm hug.
"Right!" he said. "Then it is time for me to return you to your present life... don't you think?"
Tara's smile faded, she didn't want to leave, but she would go. After all, she had just told the Wizard that she trusted him. So what if nothing happened as a result of it... nothing good had happened to her for 605 days now!
The Guardian wished them a safe trip back and waited for the Wizard and the Witch to return to their world.
Tara once again felt herself floating, until suddenly she connected once again with her physical body. Her head was swirling and she ached everywhere. All she wanted to do was lay there and slowly reconnect with her world. Her peace was interrupted by someone yelling at her.
<Who could be yelling at me? It doesn't sound like the Doctor.>
She tried to sit up, but her head rebelled.
<Ouch, who is making all that noise?>
Several minutes went by, before she recognized her name. Someone was calling her.
<Oh Goddess, could it be Willow?>
Tara sat up, in spite of the pain, and looked around hoping to see her love standing there. A woman was standing there shouting her name, but it wasn't Willow! It was Ace... and she was going berserk!
<What is wrong with her?>
Tara couldn't quite make out what Ace was screaming... something about the circle?
<Oh, she wants to enter the circle!>
Tara was pleased when she finally understood what Ace wanted. She muttered a few words to the Goddess and motioned for Ace to enter.
Ace raced into the circle and knelt between Tara and the Doctor. She looked desperately afraid and her eyes were pleading with Tara for some explanation.
"Ace, don't worry. It's all over. We made it back. I'm fine... other than feeling like I've been run over by a train!" she said and even managed a weak grin.
"Well, that's just great Tara... BUT, what about the Doctor?" cried Ace.
Tara glanced over towards the Doctor and felt her blood run cold... the Doctor wasn't there!
When Tara, the Witch, had dematerialized and started her return to the earthly plane; the Wizard had remained! He had a promise to keep.
He immediately focused all his thoughts and energy on Willow... it was a powerful force building up to scan the Nether Realm for her essence. Just as he was ready to unleash his energy, a women's voice called out to him in his mind.
<Wizard... Merlin... Doctor... Time Lord, it is not necessary for you to go to this trouble. I have been waiting for you to arrive.>
The startled Wizard glanced around him, but his eyes could see nothing but white mist
<Who is entering my mind and why do you not show yourself?>
<My faithful know me as the Goddess. I have no physical shape of my own, but like you I have the ability to take on any and all shapes. However, you do not need to see me. There is another that you wish to see instead of me. Is that not so, Wizard?>
<Yes, that is true. I seek a young Wicca by the name of Willow. I am here as a champion for her soul mate... another young Wicca. You know them both... do you not?>
<True Wizard, I know them both and even though they would disagree at the moment, they are held in very high esteem by me. There is no need for you act as her champion, Wizard. I do not intend to fight with you.>
The Wizard smiled in relief at that remark. <Indeed, you are correct Goddess. I can only speak for Tara though, and she does feel that you have abandoned her and her love.>
<And what do you think, Wizard Merlin?>
<I think, it is always best to reserve judgment until the final battle has been fought. I, myself, have been misjudged a time or two.>
<There is wisdom in your answer. Are we in a battle Wizard?>
<That will depend on what your plans are regarding Willow and Tara.>
<Actually Wizard, all depends on YOU, does it not?>
There was silence for a moment; as the true meaning of the Goddess' words became clear to him. He had always believed in love and acted in its name hundreds of time during his many lives. BUT, he had never allowed himself to be in love. He came close once, but like a coward he had failed to act on it. Yes, his third self had really felt love for his companion, Jo Grant. How often he had regretted that he had not acted on it. The same was true for all his other selves. They had, had strong and caring friendships, but never allowed themselves to fall in love. They all locked up that feeling and never took a chance of finding their own true soul mates. This was difficult for the Wizard to admit to himself... but it was the truth.
It was working and spending time with Tara that had reminded him of how powerful and wonderful true love can be. When she spoke of Willow, it was impossible not to know how much she loved her. Even when they did low level spells, the Wizard in him could feel her love for this woman. Many times he had almost wondered if he hadn't felt a little envious of her!
What astounded the Doctor were the deep feelings he had developed for the young witch himself. They were not the feelings of a lover. They were like the tender loving feelings a father would have for a daughter. They reminded him of the long forgotten feelings of love that his first self had felt for Susan, his granddaughter. Tara was such a pure and gentle soul... always thinking of others. The person, for whom she felt these strong feelings for, must be an equally loving young woman. It had hurt him to see her in such anguish.
He had sensed that Tara had some secret plan of her own regarding the gold dust spell. He knew that she was finding it painful to deceive him and only her desire to be reunited with her Willow had enabled her to continue with her deception. He also knew that he would have acted in the just the same way as Tara. So the Cyberman spell had been forgotten. His efforts were spent trying to discover a way of helping Tara reunite with her wife. After all, in some distant time he was a powerful Wizard, so surely there was something he could do!
He knew he had the power, but what would be the best way. Assuming Willow's appearance would be relatively easy, but there was more to a human than just their exterior. Tara did not love Willow just for the way she looked. It would be an insult to both Wicca to merely do a shape shifting spell.
The Wizard knew deep inside of him what had to be done. He knew that there was only one way HE could reunite the two soul mates. It would be a monumental change for the Time Lord... one that had to be done out of love.
So the Wizard had planned and prepared his own secret spell without Tara's knowledge. He would have executed it already, but he had decided to wait and see if Tara's Goddess would do anything. Now he was glad that he had waited. It appeared that this Goddess was indeed willing to help the two lovers.
<Yes, I guess it is all up to me. Will you take me to her now?>
<I am not ready for you to join her yet, Wizard. There will be sacrifices made by both you and Willow... and eventually by Tara. Willow and Tara will make theirs out of love. The power of that love will bind them together and help them through future turmoil.
<Your sacrifice, though somewhat natural to you and one that you have done before, will still be a sacrifice; not only to you, but to all your future selves. It will take you down a new path. The path of the Wizard and the path of the Witch will merge together. Have you pondered this action carefully?>
<Before you meet Willow and perhaps offer her false hope, I must have your assurance that you are prepared to perform the spell.>
<I have considered this very carefully and, Yes, I am prepared to do the spell.>
<Then there is only one final question I have for you Wizard... Time Lord. By what power will you perform this spell?>
<By the power of LOVE!>
<Very well Wizard, you carry with you my love and blessings. Farewell, we will meet again, Time Lord.>
Instantly she left his mind. He stood in the stillness of the mist contemplating what would happen next.
Then, without any warning, the Wizard found himself engulfed in a warm glowing bright red fog. He felt intoxicated. He recognized it as a life force ... a very powerful and vibrant one. He was overwhelmed by feelings of anticipation, sorrow, and undying love ... and desire. This was Willow's essence... her life force, but he could feel Tara there too.
He reached out to her with his thoughts.
<Willow, I am here on behalf of your wife and true love Tara.>
He opened his mind to her and allowed her to enter and freely explore. It was quite a while before he felt her leave him.
<Wow, your life force is very old. You have many histories and lives connected to you... my soul mate is also connected to you. I can feel that she has given you what she also gave me when I was alive.>
<Yes, she is... as you will be too, if you decide to do the spell. You know everything now. I have made my choice... now you must make yours.>
<My choice is easy. I love Tara with all that I am. If this is the path that the Goddess has seen for me, I happily accept it. My only desire is to return to my wife.>
<Very well then, let's begin. Please remember to give her my love!>
<Oh, you can count on it!>
The Wizard smiled and then opened his soul up to the pulsating life force. He whispered the magical enchantment and absorbed the red energy into his being!
Suddenly they were back at Stonehenge in the Doctor's body. They heard Tara and Ace calling out their name. The change was beginning... the struggle for dominance had begun. They managed to open their eyes. THEIR body was convulsing. They needed to get to the safety of the Tardis.
"Doctor, what the hell is happening?" cried Ace. She had her hand on his arm trying to help him sit.
"What happened; are you alright?" asked Tara.
"Never mind that now. I need to get to the Tardis... NOW!" demanded the Doctor. "Please, I need your help!"
Tara and Ace helped him stand and then put one of his arms over each of their shoulders. With great effort they slowly made their way to the Tardis. As they approached the barrier; Ace hesitated. She was totally startled when Tara proceeded to walk right through it!
"WHAT! you call that a protective barrier!," shrieked Ace. " Some witch you are! I could blow through that with just one stick of dynamite. "
She gave Tara a very wicked look before following her through the colorful, but ineffectual barrier.
Tara cringed a little and flashed Ace a small smile.
"Sorry Ace; I'll have to work on that! Right now we have the Doctor to worry about."
They managed to half carry and half drag him back into the Tardis. He was shaking violently by the time they got there.
The Doctor insisted on being taken to his room, so they dragged him there. When the door opened, he fell forward onto the floor and the door closed behind him. Ace and Tara were left standing there pounding on the cold metal door.
"Doctor, are you okay?" they both yelled.