So, this is an idea I had ages ago. I decided to finally write it, and put it up here. Enjoy!
(Will possibly be romance later on)
"Doctor, what's happening?" Rose cried as she gripped tightly to a railing. The TARDIS was rocking and shaking uncontrollably and throwing her occupants around.
"I don't know!" The Doctor called back from his place by the console. "She's been caught by something, I think. Like a gravity beam. She's trying to get out of it, but can't."
The TARDIS shook again, and both travellers were thrown to the floor. Rose struggled up on the shaking grilling and stumbled over to the Doctor. "Anything I can do?"
"No – and I don't think there's much I can do either." He glanced at Rose, worry for his ship evident in his eyes. "And that's saying something. We'll have to let her ride it out, or succumb to it." He gazed up at the rotor, biting his lip.
The shaking stopped. Exchanging a glace with the Doctor, Rose said, "Did she get out? Is it over?"
The Doctor gave an off-hand shrug, one hand stroking the console soothingly. "No idea. She's stable at least, whatever she's done…"
His words were hardly out of his mouth when they were both thrown to the ground again, more violently than the last times. There was silence again.
"We've landed?" Rose asked quietly as the Doctor helped her to her feet.
Again, he shrugged. "I can only hope so. She's gotta rest."
Rose nodded, heading towards the doors. She was almost at them when the TARDIS gave a final and almighty heave of some description, sending them both flying to the ground again. This time, Rose couldn't avoid the railing, and her world went black it connected with her head.
"Is she awake yet?"
"No, Antonio, not yet."
"I'm starting to get worried about her. She's been out for a while. Where is the other – the Doctor?"
"He said he was going to check on his ship."
Voices. Her eyes were so heavy, but there were voices. She moved her head in their direction, groaning slightly as she did so.
"She wakes! Quickly, Leo – go get the Doctor."
Rose slowly slid open her protesting eyes and lay for a moment letting the room come into focus. She was lying on a bed in a long room. It seemed to be a small infirmary of some kind, but there were only five or so beds. Blinking, and trying to make sense of it, Rose turned, jumping in surprise when she saw the figure sitting next to her.
He was humanoid, apart from the six fingers on each hand and the matching hair and eye colour. As in the exact shade – peroxide blonde, in this case. He smiled as her as she recoiled in caution.
"Now, now Rose – you've had a bad whack on the head. Just relax."
"How…" Rose had to pause to get her thoughts in order. "How do you know my name?"
"The Doctor told me."
The Doctor! "Where is he? Is he alright?" She tried to keep any anxious tones or urgency out of her voice, but Antonio saw she was worried for her friend.
"He's fine. He went back to your ship to work on it. I just sent my friend, Leo, to get him."
Rose lay back on her pillows. Her head was killing her. She must have hit it hard. She wondered, in passing thought, how long she'd been asleep…where were they? When were they? What had happened to the TARDIS?
"Rose!" She looked up to see a familiar figure hurry into the room. He came straight over and pulled her into a tight embrace. "You're awake. How are you feeling?"
"Umm, sore. My head's killing me. How's the TARDIS?"
The Doctor grinned. Trust Rose to ask about the ship. "She's a little confused and tired, but should make a full recovery." He seemed to remember they were not alone and turned to Antonio. "Can you get that messenger away? I'll explain to Rose what's going on."
Antonio nodded. "Yes, yes. I'll be back as soon as the messenger has an answer."
He left the two of them alone. Rose, by now thoroughly confused, watched him go.
"Doctor, what's going on? What happened? Where are we?"
"You always were one for questions, Rose Tyler. The planet's called Thespiter. It's a planet of theatre – where theatre is life and Shakespeare is a God. Seriously."
Rose did a double take. "Shakespeare's known here?"
"Why's that so surprising, then?"
"Well, it's just he's human, and…" She stopped at the look of amusement on the Doctor's face. "What? Oh god, you're not going to say what I think you are…"
"Yup! Shakespeare, a human? You wish. He came from here."
Rose didn't want to back down. "Oh yeah? What about Wilde? And Marlowe?"
"Wilde? You can't be serious. That guy radiated alien. Marlowe was just a talented human. But Shakespeare was not, and here he is a god."
Rose laughed. "Really? That's just weird." She stopped laughing as another thought came into her sore head. "But what happened? How did we get here?"
"The TARDIS got caught in a gravity beam – I was right. We were dragged down to the surface while she tried to escape it. Apparently, Thespiter's run by this real jerk called the Duke. He drags down all ships that go to close to the planet without authorisation. Including us."
Rose nodded. It seemed to make sense. She opened her mouth to talk, but the Doctor held up his hand. "There's more. And it gets worse."
He paused. "After we crashed, because crash we did, Antonio and Leo came to help. They helped me get you here, and explained to me the situation. Antonio's gone to send a messenger to the Duke requesting authorisation to leave."
"What situation? Can't we just go back to the vortex?"
"Nah – irritatingly enough the Duke's got a macro-wavelength polygravimetric barrier." He pulled a face.
This made Rose's head hurt even more. "A what?"
"Ah, it's a tiny bit like a one way mirror. Ships can come through, but special things need to be done to get back out. So we can't just leave. See?"
"Yeah. So, how long was I out for?" Her headache was beginning to ebb.
"Only about half an hour. You cracked your pretty head pretty hard." He grinned. "But you're made of strong stuff. You'll be fine."
Antonio appeared at the door. "Doctor? The messenger has returned. I'm afraid the news is not good."
He came over to them, Leo appearing behind him as well. Leo's eyes and hair was a dark brown in strong contrast to that of his friend. They both looked troubled.
"The Duke has said no. He says that he will not give authorisation just because you ask him to. I'm sorry."
"Did you tell him I was a higher authority than him?"
"He said it wasn't possible, because only men of amazingly high intellect can be of a high authority like himself." (Rose bit her lip at the look on the Doctor's face.)
He rolled his eyes. "Is there any other way to do it without possibly making your planet an enemy of me? I'm going to get off here, don't doubt me, but I'll try do it the lawful way first. After that I'll just get troublesome."
"No, an appeal is the only way it is sometimes granted, and due to your insistence, I do not think the Duke will smile kindly on you." Antonio shook his head sadly. "I am sorry, my new-found friends."
Leo shifted uncomfortably. "There…there might be one way…"
His three listeners turned to him eagerly. "And what, pray tell, is that?" asked Antonio, his brow furrowed in concentration.
"Well, there was a crew a few years back…they performed for the Duke. The Tragedy of the Algopahiens. He let them leave, remember Antonio?" Leo looked to his friend expectantly, as the creased marks on Antonio's head were smoothed away with a look of realisation.
Antonio nodded. "Yes. Well, maybe we could do that again…" he lapsed into thoughtful silence.
"Algopahiens?" Rose asked the Doctor in a low voice.
"Written by Max Welign, from Ovoon 6. Think Shakespeare's Othello, but Iago and Othello are brothers and they're blue, not black. Everyone dies. Not too happy – and not one of my favourites." Rose nodded in understanding.
Leo seemed to be more confident. "The Duke loved their performance so much he granted their leads one wish within his power. They asked to leave, so he let them. Theatre performances are his weakness. He attends heaps all the time."
The cogs of Rose's mind were beginning to turn again. "So, what you're saying is that we need to be in play? Jesus, I haven't acted for years!"
Leo nodded. "All we need to do is send another messenger asking what sort of play the Duke wants to see, then we cast the two of you as the leads, rehearse and perform. If you do well, he lets you leave."
Rose cringed internally. She liked acting, yeah sure – but as a lead? And with the stakes so high? Lord – this might not be good. And a play she doesn't even know? The Duke will laugh as she trips over the alien words…no pressure. No, none at all.
Antonio spoke up from where he was sitting. "Leo, run over to the manor now, yourself. That way we get lots of warning."
Leo nodded, standing and leaving the room. Antonio turned back to the bed to address both the travellers. "Can you act?"
"I haven't in years, but I have before," said Rose. She neglected to mention the words at school and I wasn't a lead. She pointed to the Doctor. "Don't even ask him. He lives half his life on improvisation. He's fine, I'm sure."
The Doctor grinned, leaning back with his hands behind his head. "Well, yeah, course I've done a bit of acting – ever see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? I was good in that, I was. Great role to play too. He was nothing like me…"
Antonio nodded. "I have contacts – well, we all do here – for more actors, a theatre, backstage…we might be able to pull this off in…oh, I'd say two weeks."
"Two weeks?" the Doctor said sharply from beside Rose, sitting up straight. "That long?"
Rose could see he was itching to get away, and put her and on his shoulder. "Come on. It's only two weeks. Maybe less?" She directed the last part towards Antonio, who nodded.
"Quite possibly. It depend on how good your fellow actors are, how quickly things get sorted – and how fast you are at learning your lines…"
The Doctor wasn't happy, but agreed to do it, as the time would also give him time to tinker some more on board his beloved ship. Rose fleetingly wondered if the TARDIS would appreciate him wandering around practicing lines.
Leo reappeared, breathless and red-faced. "The Duke wants blood and love. That mix, he says, is the most beautiful."
Immediately, Antonio's brow furrowed. "Blood and love? So what play…?" There was a moment of silence, before he clapped his hands in realisation. "I've got it! A play with blood and love, with a lead male and female, written by our good Shakespeare himself – we will perform Romeo and Juliet!"
So, how was it? Is it interesting? Have you guessed I'm an absolute theatre/Shakespeare freak?
Is it worth continuing? That is the major question, as when I was reading it I felt I was missing something. Maybe it's because I've stared at it too long. Please, review!