All in Your Head

by mystica88 [Reviews - 3]

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  • All Ages
  • Explicit Violence
  • Action/Adventure, General, Series

Chapter 2

“We’ll be alright, Doctor,” Anji told him.

He smiled encouragingly at them and said, “I know you will be, but just remember…”

But suddenly he felt dizzy and short of breath. The world seemed to vanish around him for a second as he held his head in his hands. He took a few steps forward before the dizziness overcame him and he slumped to his knees beside a vertical object. Plopping down, he continued to hold his head as he felt as if the whole place was spinning. He placed his back against the vertical object and sat there, trying to regain a center. Vaguely he wondered what had happened to his companions. Typically by now one of them would have annoyingly called his name in alarm or grabbed him, probably throwing his center off even more, but he couldn’t even sense their presence anymore.

Slowly, the spinning and difficulty of breathing passed. So, he thought to himself, I’ve been place in my cage.

But when he opened his eyes he was still in the Church like room. Fitz, Anji, and Phaze were gone and the room no longer had any exit to it. He looked around from where he sat, leaning against the alter. Besides the absence of a door, the room looked the same as before.

“No, I didn’t forget about you, Doctor,” the Toymaker’s voice said as he appeared behind the alter. The Doctor quickly stood and turned to face him.

“What did you do with my friends?” he demanded.

“Sent them on their tasks. They just left, in fact. They passed their first test quite well, you should be happy to know.”


“I’m not surprised,” the Doctor said coolly, but had difficulty keeping his relief from his eyes.

The Toymaker smiled. “You always did place too much trust in your companions. But still, as before, I will allow you to keep up with their progress. They should be approaching their next task shortly. I will leave you for now, but I shouldn’t be gone long. Feel free to wander until the show begins.”

And suddenly the Toymaker vanished again.

The Doctor turned and looked around the room. There was still nothing changed and no indication of a way out. He wandered down to the floor and weaved in and out of the benches, trying to find some clue or hint of what to do or even what mess he was caught up in.

After a few minutes, he gave up and sat down heavily on a bench with a sigh. There was nothing to do, nowhere to go. He was just going to have to wait here helplessly.

Just then, he realized that he was now looking at someone. Across from where he sat, there was a mirror and it reflected Anji walking by. He jumped up and turned around, but there was no one there. Turning back he saw her pass by the mirror again.

Intrigued, he walked over to the mirror and looked in. As the Doctor watched he realized that it was more like a one-way window that he was looking through than an actual mirror. He was watching Anji pace in a small, wood paneled room with plush red carpet and three identical doors across from her. As he looked, he saw Fitz kneeling across the room by one of the doors, studying something. Near him, was Phaze, looking around the room as if it had something to tell her. Suddenly she looked right at him and gave a slightly startled expression before she quickly masked it. Could she see him? He wondered.

She returned to her aimless gazing, but every now and then he was sure that her eyes would dart back to look at him before avoiding his gaze. As he watched, he was gradually able to hear what Fitz and Anji were saying…

***

The trio walked for what felt like forever until they came to the next room. Here there were three doors and all of them looked exactly alike.

“Ok, any hint as to which way from the map?” Fitz asked.

Anji lifted in up and looked first at the paper an then at the three doors. “Well it looks like it really is either the middle one or the right one because the left one dead ends.”

“Well, back to a choice of two again, how nice. I like the odds better,” Fitz said.

“Any riddles?” Phaze asked.

Anji looked down again as Fitz suddenly said, “Where’d the hallway go?”

Spinning around, Anji saw that where they had just walked in from was now a wood paneled wall just like the rest of the walls except there was an ornate, gold gilded mirror in the center of it.

“I guess this is a one way deal then,” she finally said after recovering from the shock.

“We knew there wasn’t any turning back when we left the TARDIS,” Phaze reminded them quietly.

“Well, it doesn’t matter about where we’ve been, only where we’re going to go right now,” Fitz said as he held out his hand to Anji for the map. Anji gave it to him.

“I think that it’s going to give us a new clue,” Fitz said as he looked at it. The girls quickly gathered around him and read as the scrawling handwriting gave them the riddle:


This creature is odd and sings through its sides. Its neck is curved, skillfully carved, and above its back it has pointed shoulders. It plays its fated part gracefully. It stands high and handsome and sings ever so sweetly.

“What does that have to do with anything?” Fitz asked as he finished reading.

“It’s a riddle, but I don’t see how it’s going to help us choose a route,” Anji said as she stepped back.

“Maybe if we answer correctly it will tell us which way to go,” Phaze suggested.

“Seems too easy,” Anji replied.

Phaze shrugged, “I don’t know the answer, do you?”

Anji shook her head, but Fitz got a look of concentration as he paced away and knelt by the doors, rereading the riddle.

“Do you know it Fitz?” Anji asked.

“I think I’ve heard something like it before. I just need to work it out.” He answered.

Anji decided that the way for Fitz to remember something was to leave him be and she began to pace the room as she waited for him to puzzle it out, all the while still thinking about it herself. Phaze too stood in silent contemplation of the riddle as she let her gaze drift around the room without really seeing anything.

Suddenly her gaze fell upon the mirror across from her and she nearly jumped. Standing there, behind the mirror, was the Doctor, looking right at her. But she had kept up the game this long, she wasn’t about to give it up now.

She knew all along that they and the Doctor weren’t as separated as it had seemed. When he had vanished from Fitz and Anji’s eyes, she had still seen him. He staggered a few feet and then sat down beside the alter and seemed to drift into a deep sleep. She hadn’t been able to reach him with her mind, but she could still feel his presence.

She didn’t know why the Toymaker would have lied to them about placing the Doctor in his own maze, but it was apparent that he didn’t know that she could still see the Doctor. She decided that it would be best if she kept her knowledge a secret until she knew what was going on. Any advantage that they might gain over the Toymaker was vital.

But now she wasn’t sure what was going on. Why was the Doctor standing there behind the mirror? What had happened to him back in the church room? And most importantly, how could she use all of this to their advantage?

Then she realized that Fitz was reading the riddle out loud again. “This creature is odd and sings through its sides. Its neck is curved, skillfully carved, and above its back it has pointed shoulders. It plays its fated part gracefully. It stands high and handsome and sings ever so sweetly.”

“Still makes no sense to me,” Anji confessed.

“I think it’s a musical instrument,” he said. Suddenly he leapt up and shouted, “Of course! It’s a harp!”

“A harp?” Anji and Phaze said in unison. But just then, a golden harp appeared in the center of the room.

“What does a harp have to do with choosing which door to go through?” Anji asked as they gathered around it. No one had an answer for her.

Suddenly the Harp began to play a melody. It started with slow rhythms and began to pick up and then settled back into an easy tempo before finishing. It was a quaint little tune, but one that none of them had heard before.

“Now what?” Phaze asked after a moment of silence.

“Any more help from our tour guide there,” Anji asked as she waved her hand at the map in Fitz’s hand.

He looked down and suddenly said, “Yes, it says something new. You’ve heard my tune one time through now it’s up to you… play it back correctly and the path you would most want to travel will open to you, play it wrong and it’s a guess what might happen.”

Fitz lowered the paper as he looked up dumb founded at Anji and Phaze. “I don’t suppose either of you caught that melody or know how to play the harp?”

They both shook their heads. Fitz sighed and said, “Well, I guess this one is up to me.”

“Can you play?” Anji asked.

Fitz looked slightly embarrassed before he answered, “My grandmother made me take lessons with I was younger. I think I still remember the basics. It was an easy melody without harmonics so it shouldn’t be too hard. I’m just more worried about getting it wrong.”

“Do you remember it?” Phaze asked.

“I think I do. I always was really good at picking up melodies, but I usually hear it a few times before I try one myself.”

Phaze got a slightly distant look on her face before she said to him, “Do your best. It didn’t say that the wrong path this time leads to death, it’s just not as desirable as where a correct song will lead us.”

Fitz nodded and went up to the harp.

***

The Doctor watched in fascination as Fitz prepared to play the melody. Of course he knew right away that it was a Harp that the riddle was talking about and he had perfect pitch memory himself and could march right up to it and play it himself. But he was separated from them, only allowed to listen and watch.

Somewhere in his mind he began to wonder what he would have to face. He also wondered why he could watch them, but they couldn’t watch him. Or, what he suspected was more accurate, why couldn’t Fitz and Anji watch him?

Phaze couldn’t help it, as Fitz began to play she had to look at the mirror. He was standing, right there, so close, and yet they couldn’t reach each other. She knew that the Doctor would have no problem with this task, but it was all up to Fitz now. Of course, she had done a little bit herself by nudging Fitz’s memory just a little. She couldn’t exactly reach in and take the music out to give to him again. Music, strangely, never seemed to work that way. It is too often connected with the emotions of the person hearing it and so it is stored in a different part of the mind than what she had full access too. But she could help him to focus on those memories.

As he played though, there was nothing more that she could do for him. She didn’t want to listen to what Fitz was playing, fearing that she would imagine a mistake and somehow throw him off with a movement or a sound. She looked at the Doctor, hoping that it looked as though she were staring at her own reflection, trying to read his expression.

She had thought that he was going to be tested as well, but he was just standing there watching them. Was this just another of the Toymaker’s illusions? But he seemed like the Doctor and she could almost sense him. It was as if he was just out of reach of her senses.

She realized that Fitz had stopped playing, she turned back around just in time to watch the center door swing open. The three of them looked at one another, all thinking the same thing.

Finally it was Anji who voiced it, “Well, was it right?”

Fitz shook his head, “I don’t know. I think it was, but if it could just be one note off then I may have messed up.”

Phaze suddenly looked back at the mirror to see if the Doctor’s expression would tell her if it was right or not. But she suddenly forgot all about her resolve to not let on about her ability to see him when she saw him clutching his head in his hand and silently screaming in pain.

“Doctor!” she called to him with her voice and mind as she ran to the mirror. Suddenly the mirror went dark and all she saw was her own reflection in it. She was rather shocked by the terror that had suddenly sprung into her eyes. “No!” she screamed as she brought up her fist. “What are you doing to him?!” she cried as she beat her fist into the mirror.

Fitz and Anji gasped as she hit it the first time, fearing that she as about to shatter the glass and cut herself, but her hand bounced back from the surface without so much as cracking it. They quickly sprung into action and were right on top of Phaze in a second. Fitz grabbed her fist that had swung back for another blow and Anji grabbed her shoulder to spin her away from the wall.

“Phaze! What’s wrong?” Anji demanded as she looked into the angry and fearful eyes of her new friend.

“The Doctor! He was there and in pain!” She spun out of Anji’s grip but Fitz still had her hand. But she ignored him and shouted towards the ceiling, “What have you done to him?!”

Fitz tried to pull Phaze to him to calm her down, but suddenly he no longer had a hold of her. In fact, there was nothing there to hold; Phaze had vanished.

Anji gasped as Fitz just stared at his now empty hand. They needed all three of them, now what were they going to do?

***

The Doctor had watched passively but knew right away when Fitz ended that he had managed to play it correctly. The Doctor felt a bit of pride for his companion, but that pride was short lived.

“Are you having a good time, Doctor?” the Toymaker’s voice spoke.

“They passed your next test.” The Doctor replied with a smile.

“But will they all be able to move on?” the voice replied.

Suddenly his head was filled with screaming voices all trying to be heard over the others. Pain pressed in at his temples as he tried to block the sound out by covering his ears but it was inside his mind and there was nothing to blot it out. He realized that he was screaming with the voices, but there was no way to stop, it was as if he had been taken over by the vast host of voices that filled his mind.

But just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. The voices disappeared and the pressure in his mind ended. He swallowed once and felt the burning in his throat that his screams had created but he no longer felt impelled to echo those voices.

Then he realized that there was still one sound left. He found that he had fallen to the floor onto his side, but his head was propped up now. The only sound he heard was a soft sniffing and an occasional muffled sob somewhere above his head. A cool hand was resting on his forehead that eased away the last of the pain that the screams had left him with.

“You tried to cheat me, girl,” the Toymaker’s voice said angrily.

“I was trying to figure out what was going on!” a voice said from where he had heard the crying. Suddenly he realized that it was Phaze that held him.

“You were trying to find some advantage over me and I don’t take kindly to cheaters.”

“I didn’t cheat!” she snapped back.

The Doctor tried to sit up but movement quickly brought back some of the pain and he wound up only shifting with a slight moan.

“Doctor, don’t move yet,” Phaze said softly. “I’m not done repairing the damage.”

“I didn’t bring you here to help him,” the Toymaker growled as Phaze was suddenly lifted from the ground. The Doctor fell from her lap, but he was just able to keep himself from hitting his head against the floor.

“Why did you bring her here?” he said using all the effort that he had to speak as he held his head just barley from the floor.

“She could see you. I made you invisible to your companions, but she was still keeping an eye on you and she didn’t reveal this to me. I don’t like secrets and I don’t like people having unfair advantages.”

The Doctor looked up and saw the Toymaker holding Phaze by the arm as he roughly shook her with his words. He snorted at what the other was saying and replied, “apparently you hold a double standard then. You seem to hold all the cards in this game Toymaker. How can you blame one of us for trying to grasp onto one?”

The Toymaker tossed Phaze aside and turned to the Doctor. “This is my game and you all play by my rules. And now the rules have changed. Phaze will stay here with you. Anji and Fitz must find their own way out to release you Doctor, but the girl has forfeited her right to leave, ever!”

The Doctor got up to argue with him, but the Toymaker vanished again, leaving him alone with Phaze. The Doctor stared at the empty place where the Toymaker had been for a moment before he turned around to face his companion. She was sitting on the floor where she had fallen when the Toymaker threw her. She was looking intently at her fingers as if they were the most fascinating thing in the world right then.

“Phaze…” he began.

She shook her head, still not looking at him, “It’s alright Doctor. It’s my own fault.”

“No,” he said firmly as he knelt beside her and grabbed her shoulder. She finally looked up at him. Though she had spoken calmly and evenly, the Doctor saw that there were still tears in her eyes and she was still trying hard not to cry. “Oh Phaze,” he whispered as he pulled her to his chest.

She wrapped her arms around him and let herself cry against him. He held her and gently stroked the back of her hair as she vented the emotions that were threatening to choke her. He knew that it was far more then just the Toymaker’s announcement. She had been carrying a lot of sadness and grief around with her ever since they had left Ghont about how she was now an exile of her own people.

“Phaze I’m so sorry I’ve gotten you into this mess. It’s not your fault. It’s mine.”

She shook her head slightly against him as she tried to pull herself together. “No, if anyone is to blame, it’s the Toymaker. He’s done all this. He brought us here and forced us into this situation, all the time pretending that we have made the choices when he has manipulated the entire thing.” As she spoke she regained control and slowly leaned back from the Doctor.

She was looking over his shoulder, trying to avoid his piecing gaze. But he needed to see if she was really recovered. He took her chin in his hand and gently pulled her to face him. Her eyes were still moist, but the tears had stopped. She had calmed and he could tell the release had been good for her, but the sparkle that was usually in her eyes was still missing. He was determined to find that again very soon, but there was too much to do right now.

He sighed and nodded as he stood up, “Yes, that does seem to be the case,” and he reached out his hand to help her up.

She took it and found she was quickly standing beside him. “Now what?” She asked. “Do we just leave it up to Fitz and Anji?”

“No, I’m sure that we won’t be left alone for much longer.”

“Then, what?” she asked.

As if to answer her question, a door revealed itself in the wall beside them. “Looks like our path is already decided,” the Doctor said as he went over to the door and opened it. There was only blackness through the opening. “I guess it’s a surprise,” he said with a frown. He turned slightly back to Phaze and held out his hand to her. She stepped up and took it, giving him a slight smile.

Nodding to her, he led them into the dark.

***
“What do we do?” Anji asked as she stared where only a moment ago Phaze had been.

Fitz had his still clenched hand from where he had held onto Phaze’s hand raised. He shook his head as he finally realized this fact and lowered it.

Then, they were no longer alone in the room. The Toymaker stepped through the newly opened door. “I’m sorry for the sudden change in plans, but your friend was trying to cheat and I don’t allow that sort of thing in my games.”

“What have you done with her?” Fitz demanded

“And what have you done with the Doctor?” Anji said, remembering what Phaze had been yelling.

“They are together now and unharmed, for the moment. But now it is just the two of you. I shall still honor my deal and change it to you two completing the maze to win the Doctor’s freedom.”

“And Phaze?” Anji asked.

“She broke the rules, she no longer can compete and so will never be allowed to leave.”

“You can’t do that!” Fitz yelled at him as he stepped forward to grab the man. But once again, he vanished before them.

The were silent before Anji said, “Poor Phaze.”

“She’ll be alright,” Fitz answered. “She’s with the Doctor and if there is any way for him to get her out of this, he’ll find it.”

Anji sighed, “I suppose in the mean time we better keep moving, there’s no telling how many more of these things we have to pass to get out of this place.”

***
As soon as Phaze and the Doctor had passed through the darkened portal though, they were nearly blinded by the blaze of light. Before they were able to look around, the first thing they noticed was it was hot. They were standing upon hard, uneven ground and a sun was beating down on them.

Prying his eyes open, the Doctor looked around. White gray rocks were the first thing that he was able to make out. Little by little, the scene unfolded from his eyes. They were high, incredibly high. They seemed to be standing on a small ledge on the side of a mountain. Looking out, all he could see was sky and far below, a rocky ground.

Phase finally was able to make it out and she gasped as she clung to the Doctor’s arm.

“Careful,” he said to her as with her sudden movement she began to teeter. He noticed that she was standing on a patch of slightly more uneven ground and was much nearer the edge than he was. Gently he pulled her closer to him as he stepped back a fraction from the edge. He was soon pressed up against sheer rock behind him. Glancing back, there was no sign of the doorway that they had just come through.

“Now what?” Phaze asked as she realized along with him that there wasn’t anywhere to go.

Suddenly the ground beneath them began to rumble and they watched in horror as the rim of their small ledge began to crumble.

“I think we are going to have to move!” the Doctor said as he began to inch along the cliff wall, pulling Phaze with him.

“Where?!” she demanded as a little more crumbled away.

“Up,” he replied as he suddenly let go of her hand and turned around to face the wall. He looked quickly and finally spotted a handhold. Reaching up, he took hold of the small crack and began to pull himself up.

“You have got to be kidding,” she said to him as she watched him climb.

“It’s not that difficult, Phaze,” he called to her as his other hand sought for another hold. He found it and hauled himself up a little higher, pressing his feet into the side of the rock to try and give a little more leverage.

“Doctor, I can’t do that!” she called as a little more rock fell from her ledge. She was pressed against the wall now. Her toes were even with the drop off.

Glancing back at her, the Doctor quickly came back down. “Alright. I’ll have to do it for both of us,” he told her. He turned around and put his back to her. “Climb on,” he told her.

“You can’t possibly plan on climbing that wall with me on your back!” she cried.

“I will if I have to!” he snapped. “Now hurry up before we both fall off this ledge!”

Another bit crumbled away and now her toes were hanging of the edge. She saw that the Doctor, whose feet were a little larger, was even more precariously balanced.

She left out a frustrated sigh before she carefully grabbed his shoulders and pulled herself up on his back. He used his own arms to help her up until she had a good grip around his neck. Turning back to the wall, he again sought out the handholds and began his accent.

Glancing back down, she watched as the rest of the their ledge disappeared. There was no going back now.