Over the Rainbow chapter 2
The Doctor snorted when he saw who was on the other side of the door, “Bill Compton? I haven’t seen you in centuries.”
“What? What are you talking about and just who the hell are you?” For being a vampire Bill Compton sure hadn’t mastered the fine art of looking nonchalant. About anything. Sookie turned around and slightly to the side so she could see Bill and she giggled. He looked like a kid who’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Guilty.
She heard a strange, almost human sounding whispering, “What?” Sookie said even though neither the Doctor nor Bill had said anything to her. “I didn’t catch what you said. Could you repeat it please?”
The Doctor looked back at her with a secretive smile and stepped back. “Sookeh is mine!” Bill growled as he rushed through the door and grabbed Sookie’s arm.
She smiled at him. “Are we going to have this argument again? I have told you repeatedly that I belong to me. Slavery was abolished way back in 1865. You should know, you were a soldier in the Civil War,” as she not so gently shoved him and removed her arm from his grasp.
“Really? Is that what he told you?” The Doctor raised an eyebrow quizzically. “Nice accent, by the way. Very subtle.”
Bill grinned in that nasty way he had, ignoring the Doctor completely. “Of course it was dahling,” he said in his oiliest, most placating tone. Sookie grimaced; she felt like she needed to take a long, very hot shower with a sandpaper loofah to wash the slithery feel of his words from her skin.
Sookie felt that odd, bubbly feeling which she hadn’t felt since that first night… ”Bill Compton,” she said angrily, “You can stop that right now! I can’t be glamoured and you know it so stop! Just stop!”
The Doctor seemed to fade into the background, although he was still quite visible if they only thought to look for him, just as the whirring and groaning started up again. Bill jerked this way and that, turning to try to find the being who was controlling the thing when a buried memory suddenly surfaced. “NO! NO! Not again!” he cried as he ran for the door.
“Not again? What are you talking about Bill? Have you and the Doctor met before?”
“Unfortunately,” both Bill and the Doctor said at the same time.
“What?” demanded Sookie. “Someone better start telling me what’s going on -”
“Are you going to tell her?” the Doctor demanded, something implacable and frightening appearing behind his eyes that made Sookie shiver.
Bill’s face turned ashen grey. “No,” he sputtered. “You wouldn’t -”
“Why don’t we go back there, hey Billy-boy, back to the Civil War era you’re so fond of, the glorious dead and all that – shame you’re not one of them, not really, are you now -”
A light gleamed in Sookie’s eyes as she turned to face Bill, her hand resting on his shoulder.
“It’s a time machine – this -” she gestured to the space around them – “ship. He can take you back – back to before you were turned. Bill, don’t you see – he can save you! You could be human again, and we could be together -”
“What a lovely fairy tale, if you like that sort of thing. Sickening stuff, I always thought. And are you sure you really want that as your Prince Charming?” The Doctor gestured towards Bill. “This ship of mine – the TARDIS – she remembers you, Bill. She’s taken us back – shall we open those doors and see what’s out there?”
“No!” Bill threw himself in front of the door. “No – Sookeh, please – if you ever loved me, please, don’t open that door!”
“Bill, get the fuck out of my way! I thought you’d be happy,” she hissed. “What the hell does he have on you? What did you do?”
“Sookeh -” Sookie looked from Bill’s monkey face with the pleading eyes to the Doctor’s stern, implacable one. Funny, she’d never noticed how Bill’s sideburns were kind of tatty and unkempt, and how he kept scratching at them like he had nits or fleas or cooties or something. She thought of running her hands through them and shivered in disgust.
“I’m going out there, Bill. Get out of my way.”
“You heard her – let her pass.”
“Let me go out there first – I can explain -”
“No you can’t,” said the Doctor. “You really can’t. I’m not risking you meeting yourself – paradoxes and temporal anomalies and all that. Besides, being around one of you is more than I can stand – add another and I might just materialise the TARDIS inside the nearest collapsing star and throw you out. Hmm, maybe I’ll let Sookie do that after she sees – Never mind – spoilers, as my friend River Song would say.”
“I’m not staying in here! You can’t keep me as a prisoner!”
“Oh but I can.” The Doctor pressed a button on the TARDIS console and Sookie thought she heard an echoing laugh of cackling glee as a prison of criss-crossed ultraviolet light descended, covering Bill from head to toe. “Oh and mind your step, Bill – try crossing through that and you’ll be toast. Pure daylight, that is – and I would so hate for you to catch on fire.”
Sookie stared at him, part of her brain shouting at her that she should be angry, that she should be screaming at him, that she should be stamping her foot and demanding the Doctor set her beloved Bill free. She could feel something pulling on her mind, willing her to do it, to act the lovesick fool and make demands – she felt light-headed and stumbled, putting her hand out to rest flat on the TARDIS console, and like a wave of nausea, the urge passed.
The Doctor turned to Sookie, taking her by the hand. “Better?” he asked her. She nodded, realising he was right. She really was better. She stepped away from the console, turning to face Bill with his puckered cat’s ass mouth – how had she never noticed that before?
“Goodbye Bill,” Sookie said with a giggle as The Dixie Chicks’s Good-Bye Earl started playing in her mind and that weird echoing laughter followed her as she stepped out through the TARDIS’s door, still holding the Doctor’s hand.