The Howling.

Behaviour in wolves of Earth has been carefully documented by scientists and they have reached some interesting conclusions on the behaviour of packs, especially in relation to each other.

Howling helps pack members keep in touch, allowing them to communicate effectively in thickly forested areas or over great distances. Howling also helps to call pack members to a specific location for protection or reassurance.

Rose stared at the man asleep in her bed, his tousled brown sticking up all over the place and one of his hearts labouring to keep going whilst the other stalled in his chest.

She was hurt and confused and more than a little frightened as she watched the stranger toss and turn on her bed. One second it was her Doctor, the man she loved and risked her life to save, and the next a skinny pretty boy grinned manically at her forcing her to accept that hers was gone and that he was the new Doctor.

He'd crashed the TARDIS and passed out and now Earth was under invasion, and Rose didn't know what to do.

Added to all her confusion was a low level pounding in the back of her head, a humming that was growing in intensity and volume, a headache that sounded more like singing, echoing around her skull.

She had no idea what it was, only that it had been there seconds before her Doctor exploded in a ball of light and left another man in his place. She'd tried to push the sound away but it was getting stronger and stronger and Rose grabbed at her head in frustration.

"What?" she cried. "What?"

"Come home, come here. I'll protect you."

Rose shook her head. "What? I don't understand."

Something inside her made her walk towards the broken window. Rose peered out of the smashed panes and looked up into the sky.

As she watched, a dark shadow started to block out the December sun, moving swiftly until the shadow covered the ground. It was a space ship.

An alien space ship.

They were here.

"Oh, god," she whispered. "What do we do?"

"Need to keep him safe, keep you safe. Come home."

The pounding in her head grew.

"Come home."

Rose pressed her hands to her head and raced back into the bedroom, Mickey following.

She stopped and stood in front of the Doctor. "Mickey, we're gonna carry him." She tugged the duvet away from the Doctor's form and yelled for her mother. "Mum - get your stuff, and get some food. We're going."

Mickey stared at her like she'd grown another head. "Well, where to?

"Come home."

Rose bit her lip. "The TARDIS. It's the only safe place on Earth."

Jackie exchanged glances with Mickey and then stared back at her daughter.

"What're we gonna do in there?!"

"I'll protect you, keep you safe."

Rose swallowed hard. "Hide."

Once inside the TARDIS, the drums in her brain faded away to be replaced with a soothing purr, and even the hoards of Sycorax laughing at her couldn't quite dispel the idea that she wasn't alone.

Able to speak for her planet, Rose stood up and stalled long enough for the TARDIS to come to the rescue and restore the Doctor to stand as a champion.

The memories of the howling drifted and Rose allowed herself to ignore it, unease echoing through her every time the Doctor teased her about her stolen words.

But always, in the back of her mind was the presence of something else, like a big brother, watching over her.

Howling can also serve as a declaration of territory, as shown in a dominant wolf's tendency to respond to a "rival" wolf in an area the wolf considers its own. This behaviour is stimulated when a pack has something to protect, like it's young.

"She's tired of your nakedness," the Doctor teased and Rose forced a smile to her lips.

As they walked down the corridor towards the room where Rose was supposed to remedy her nakedness, she found it hard to keep her attention on him.

Her unease had grown since stepping out of the TARDIS and the comforting purr that she had forgotten to tell the Doctor about, had escalated to something of a growl in the back of her mind, distracting her.

With every step towards Sir Roberts's house it had grown, and when he had mentioned the local legend it was all Rose could do not to be sick.

The Doctor noticed her quietness. "You all right, Rose? Not mad about the concert?"

She shook her head. "Don't feel so good,'s all." She plastered another smile to her lips. "Must be the full moon."

His eyebrows waggled. "Nightmares at dinner. Great!" He nudged her. "Get ready, I'll save you some food."

Rose watched him walk away, a thundering growing in her veins.

She tried to dress without acknowledging the feral sounds, tried to comfort the serving girl without letting on that all she wanted to do was throw her head back and howl at the moon that was crawling into the sky.

Even the blessed darkness of being knocked unconscious didn't stop the rumble in her mind.

When she finally opened her eyes it was to the scared faces of people chained to a wall, stuffed in a dank, dark cellar.

Lady Isobel helped Rose to her knees.

"Don't make a sound," she whispered. "They said if we scream or shout, then he will slaughter us."

Rose followed her gaze to a cage standing in a shaft of open skylight. A hooded figure sat cross legged in the cage and stayed very still.

Rose swallowed, bile rising in her throat as roaring starting inside her.

"But … he's in cage," she protested slowly. "He's a prisoner. He's the same as us."


"He's nothing like us. That creature is not mortal." Lady Isobel's voice couldn't drown out the snarl of Rose's own head.

"Not us, not part of our pack. Wrong."

Rose's lips curved around the word. "Pack," she whispered so quietly it was almost a breath. But the eyes of the creature snapped open, purest darkest black.

Those chained to the wall whimpered and the snarl echoed.

"Wrong. Find out who."


"Follow my words, cub."

Rose stood up and stepped towards the cage.

Lady Isobel darted a hand forward. "Don't, child."

"Not child, cub."

Rose walked until the chains were fully extended and knelt before the cage, eyes level with the creature and showing no signs of submission.

"Who are you?" she demanded, voice curling from the back of her throat, a low resonance warning of violation of territory.

"Don't enrage him," someone hissed from behind her but Rose could only hear one voice.

"Where are you from?" She insisted. "You're not from Earth. What planet are you from?"

"Ohhh … intelligence," mocked a voice as deep and resonating as hers. Harsh and insidious.

"Where were you born?"

"This body ... ten miles away ... a weakling, heartsick boy. Stolen away at night by the brethren from my cultivation. I carved out his soul and sat in his heart.

"Once a two-leg, now more. Like you."

Rose bit her lip. "All right ... so the body's human ... but what about you? The thing inside?"

The body grinned. "So far from home."

"My territory, our world."

"If you wanna get back home, we can help."

"Why would I leave this place? A world of industry, of workforce and warfare. I could turn it to such purpose."

The sick feeling returned to Rose's stomach at his words and the voice in her head growled. "How would you do that?"

"I would migrate to the Holy Monarch."

"You mean Queen Victoria?"

"With one bite, I would pass into her blood. And then it begins. The Empire of the Wolf! So many questions..." He suddenly leaped forward and Rose jumped, all the prisoners behind her shrieking in surprise and fear.

"Look!" He hissed, dark eyes wide. "Inside your eyes! You've seen it too!"

"Seen what?" But Rose already knew, knew because the voice hadn't stopped inside her head.

"The Wolf! There is something of the Wolf about you!"

"He sees us as we se him and he fears us. There are more of us."

Us? Rose touched her stomach, feeling it churn. She wasn't any kind of wolf. She was a human girl.

"I don't know what you mean," she denied and the man smirked.

"You burnt like the sun, but all I require is the moon."

Suddenly the cellar doors opened and a bright flicker of light flooded the cage.

"Moonlight," he breathed in ecstasy.


"Oh, really?" Rose snapped and turned back to the prisoners, rapidly coming to some conclusion. She yelled at them to take a hold of themselves and to stop looking at the thing in the cage, pushing away the screaming in her veins to bite his throat, to show him who was in charge.

She mustered them into yanking at the chains, calling time to the howling.

"One, two, three, pull!"

"Fight, bite, die."

The creature rippled and screamed in pain, throwing his head back, his skin rippling and tearing; hair pushing through skin and bones stretching with an audible snap.

"One, two, three, pull!"

"Devour, destroy, death."

A howl from the cage stirred her blood, rivalry and fright tearing into her, even the sounds in her head unable to stop the gut-wrenching terror as a wolf stood in the place of the man.

Rose almost sobbed. "Pull!"


As the chains came away from the wall the door slammed open and the Doctor stood there in all his glory.

"He's here, we will succeed."

Rose's fear turned to anger. "Where the hell have you been?"

Wolves will also howl for communal reasons. Some scientists speculate that such group sessions strengthen the wolves' social bonds and camaraderie. They soothe and calm young ones and comfort each other when one is hurt.

Rose lay on her bed and kept her eyes fixed to the ceiling, watching the dazzling play of lights over her canopy bed as they twisted from a super-nova to a flower show. The beautiful light show was a gift from the TARDIS.

Rose knew that the Doctor was probably in the control room waiting for her to go back and question him about Madam De Pompadour and why he came back so sad.Rose knew that he expected her to come to him after showing Mickey to bed, to comfort him and tell him that everything was okay. Rose knew that he was hurting and alone and needing her.

But right now, she didn't care.

It had taken a few weeks to come to terms with the fact that it was the TARDIS who was in her head, and in more than a translation way. It was the TARDIS who had protected her from the wolf and who had made her stand firm against the Sycorax, giving her a place to run to.

The TARDIS had appointed itself almost like a big brother, to protect Rose and keep her happy and now, Rose wanted that.

The Doctor had walked away to save the life of a woman he had met so very briefly.

That was nothing new.

But he had left Rose and Mickey and the TARDIS alone a million years away from home with no way of getting back.

It hurt, her so bad, and for once Rose wanted to be the one who was comforted.

The TARDIS hummed low and deep in the back of her head, tones and pitches varying like a song, a lullaby.

Rose closed her eyes and listened as the notes drifted through her consciousness, a feeling of safety and well being, of love and protection ebbing through her, washing away her pain and anxiety of the past few hours.

"I'm sorry, I hurt you before," she whispered to the glowing walls. "I didn't want to leave you to rot on some street corner and I'm sorry if I hurt you with the JCB."

She felt something like a hum of amusement and it curved her lips.

"You didn't leave me," purred the voice. "I won't leave you. Part of my pack."

"Family," Rose sighed in contentment and drifted off to sleep.

Observations of wolf packs suggest that howling occurs most often during the twilight hours, preceding the adults' departure to the hunt and following their return.

The Doctor had always noticed Rose's mannerisms and felt comforted by them. He loved it when she poked her tongue out, loved it when she smiled in confusion and adored the way she'd tilt her head when she was trying to understand something.

But her new mannerism had taken him a while to notice; maybe because it was something that he himself did so often that he didn't notice it in others.

But, before leaving on one of their adventures, Rose would pat the doors of the TARDIS; nothing overt, just a little tap as they walked away. Then, once they were a few feet away, she'd turn and smile at the blue box, innocuous on the landscape, just for a brief second before continuing on.

Then, when they returned, Rose would now be the first inside the box, smiling at the pulsating column and giving a quick stroke to a wall, a railing or the console.

On one such return he found Rose grinning lightly at a bare wall and stroking it softly.

"Uh, should I leave you two alone?" he teased, bewildered, and Rose just smiled at him. "What are you doing?"

"She's just saying congratulations on a safe return." Rose poked her tongue out at him and walked away.

The Doctor always noticed Rose's new mannerisms and sometimes, they confused him.

Growling, while teeth are bared, is the most visual and effective warning wolves use. Wolf growls have a distinct, deep, bass-like quality, and are often used to threaten rivals, though not necessarily to defend themselves. Wolves also growl at other wolves while being aggressively dominant.

The fourth time that Rose walked into the bathroom when the Doctor was in it had her swearing a blue streak and backing out before he noticed she'd walked in on him again.

"Not funny!" she hissed at the TARDIS and poked the wall.

She swore she could hear sniggering in her head as she stomped down the corridor.

The third time Rose had tried to find the kitchen and opened the door to the Doctor's bedroom, leaving her blushing and stammering an apology to a naked Time Lord, had her kicking the TARDIS hard.

"Get a hobby!" She demanded with a grimace. "Matchmaking isn't your thing."

The second time the Doctor walked in on Rose getting changed, his face turned a very interesting shade of red and he couldn't move for a full minute.

Rose ended up retreating to the bathroom where she glared hard at the door.

"I'm going to make you into firewood."

She felt a yip of amusement and narrowed her eyes. "I'm not jumping him. You are gonna have to do better than that."

The first time the Doctor came to apologise for the TARDIS' determination to hide all Rose's clothes, he found her in the control room wearing one of his spare shirts and not much else.

His jaw dropped as his eyes drifted up her bare legs, along her shaped rear and silky shoulders.

"I was just … we were … she just … I'll … err." He turned on his heel and beat a hasty retreat to his shower.

Rose folded her arms and bared her teeth. "Ha bloody Ha," she growled.

Wolves bark when nervous or when they want to warn other wolves of danger. Wolves bark very discreetly, and use a low-key, breathy "whuf" sound to immediately get attention of other wolves.

"Spin the dial, spin the dial, where it goes, nobody knows!" the Doctor laughed out loud and Rose shook her head as he tapped in a random set of co-ordinates.

The TARDIS quaked and jolted, a flight as smooth as most.

Rose gripped the railing and felt that buzz of excitement that she usually felt when some kind of adventure was looming.

"We'll go … here!" The Doctor hit 'stop' and the TARDIS shuddered, juddered and whined.

Rose wrinkled her nose. "That didn't sound right."

The Doctor frowned, rubbing his hands over the console. "No, it didn't, did it?"

Rose stepped away from the railings and towards the console.



The Doctor looked up. "I didn't say anything."

"Not you," Rose answered, somewhat distracted. There was something speaking to her, but not in words; it was an odd whuffling sound, like a low level bark or call.

Rose bit her lip and the Doctor looked at her oddly.

"Right, well, just as soon as you've finished going mad, let me know and we'll see where we are."

Rose followed him as they left the TARDIS and she stroked the door as they shut behind them.

"Stay, wrong."

"She all right?" Rose asked concerned.

"I dunno what's wrong with her. She's sort of... queasy. Indigestion, like she didn't wanna land."

With you, Rose thought, that could be anything from an alien invasion to a big old orgy.

"Oh, if you think there's gonna be trouble, we could always get back inside and go somewhere else ..."

They laughed uproariously at the thought of the Doctor walking away from trouble and Rose pushed away the odd feeling in her head.

It was probably nothing.

Wolves can also whimper. Wolf pups whimper when they need the reassurance of security from their parents or other wolves.

Rose couldn't sleep. The moon was high on her new Earth and it stirred her blood like never before.

She walked out of her room in Pete's mansion and made her way into the garden, feeling the wet dew dampen her bare feet.

She stared up at the night sky, relishing the chilly breeze on her skin after the stifling heat of her thick bedclothes.

It had been so very long since she'd last seen the Doctor in Norway and she was getting on with things, travelling and living and enjoying her life.

But once a month she found her body twisting in her sheets, found her heart racing and she had to get out.

She stood in the garden in her night shirt and allowed the full moon to shine down on her, illuminating her still body.

A whimper rose from her, a low, piercing whine that came from her heart, from deep in her soul and travelled up through her throat, humming and purring until it rumbled out of her mouth, spilling into the night air.

Rose leaned her head back and allowed the sound to build, a howl echoing throughout the stillness.

Far away a foreign howl responded and another and another, a cacophony of noise breaking up the darkness. But Rose wasn't interested in those sounds, she didn't care what some strangers were doing, didn't care where other wolves were.

She waited and there it was. Far away but growing in strength. So very faint but demanding.

"I'm coming, I will find you. I will protect you. My pack."

"Family," Rose growled and tilted her head back to the moon.

One last howl cut off all the strangers' voices and Rose smirked triumphantly, turned on her heel and went back to bed, eyes glowing gold in the moonlight.