A/N: How brilliant was that bit in The Poison Sky, eh? The bit which I can't mention because of the poor non-British folk so many weeks behind us who don't have torrents (wink, wink). I've been looking forward to episode six for MONTHS now! I actually can't wait for Saturday, but I bet I'll go and do something stupid now like fall off a cliff and NEVER GET TO SEE IT!
Chapter 5 – Remember Kids, Don't Play With Fire
Rose woke up in a moving vehicle.
She moaned a little, opening her eyes and blinking a few times to focus her vision. A man was standing over her, grinning.
"Doctor?" she asked, her voice muffled. She could feel her breath catching in her throat – she coughed. The figure shook their head.
"Nah sorry Rose, only me." Then the figure turned and addressed someone else, "hey, can we hurry this up a bit? UNIT priority!"
The figure turned back. "Don't worry," he kissed her on the forehead. "You and the Doc are both safe."
"Jack!" she finally realised. "What…" she launched into a coughing fit, and Jack quickly adjusted the mask on her face, ordering whoever was next to him to turn up the oxygen.
"Sweetheart I'm here, it's okay," another voice said as the coughing came to an end.
"Mum," she murmured, "mum how's the…" – she breathed in deeply – "…Doctor?"
"He's fine sweetheart, he's right here," Jackie said, moving slightly so Rose could see the man in question lying on the other side of the ambulance, skin partially red in some places with heavily bandaged hands. He was covered in dirt and an oxygen mask was also placed over his mouth. Currently a paramedic was tending to his ribs, where dark bruises covered his skin. That must be where…
"…The wall fell on him," Rose muttered. "Oh Doctor, I'm so sorry…"
"He's gonna be fine Rose, and so are you," Jack assured her, brushing back her hair. "I'm not ready to lose you yet. We're on UNIT priority. That means no one'll scream 'bout the Doc being an alien and we'll get transported to their headquarters once the Royal Hope clean you up."
Rose nodded. "Thank you, Jack. Look after him."
She fell asleep.
"Really Doctor, did your mommy never teach you not to play with fire?" came the American banter as the world came back to focus once more. The Doctor opened his eyes, looking left at the man sitting next to him.
"I think once. But I wasn't listening," the Doctor answered nonchalantly. "I don't think I was very attentive as a child."
"I don't think you're very attentive as an adult, either," Captain Jack Harkness remarked, giving him a grin. The Doctor shrugged. He quickly checked himself over – still brown haired, brown eyes, tall and thin…mole between shoulder blades…he hadn't regenerated. He lifted his hands up to his face, seeing them encased in reels and reels of bandages. Several flashbacks instantly leapt to mind.
"Where's Rose?" he asked instantly, the vision of her lying next to him on the concrete imprinted in his mind. "Is she okay?" He coughed.
"Ain't you gonna ask me how I found you? Where you are? How I've been? What I've been doing? How I got back to Earth?"
"No," the Doctor answered straight, trying to work out a way to get out of the bed without hurting his hands. "Where's Rose?" He coughed again. "I wanna see her."
"And there's no point in telling you to get back into bed?"
"No," the Doctor answered again already moving towards the door, leaning towards his bad side. "Through this door then?"
Jack sighed, getting up and following him out. "Rose's mom is gonna freak out over you getting up."
"Yeah well she's not my mum so…" – cough – "…I'm not too worried about the concept," he said, pausing for a moment before adding, "…ish."
He turned left, following the plain white corridor along for a bit whilst hoping it was correct. Jack didn't seem to be stopping him at any rate. He kicked open the wooden door at the end of the corridor, before hanging a right and kicking through another door into a leisure area. Two people turned from the sofa to stare at him, and the Doctor beamed.
"Am I good or am I good?" the Doctor declared, looking back over to Jack for a moment before turning back around to Rose and Jackie. Jackie was staring at him as though he'd just smashed her window with his football.
"What the 'ell are you doin' up?!" she wanted to know, infuriated. The Doctor gave her his best puppy-eyed expression.
"I wanted to see Rose," he said, turning to the girl in question. She beamed, getting up off of the sofa and running across the room, throwing her arms around him.
"You…" – cough – "…saved my life…again." She tightened her hug, but not tight enough to hurt him. "Thank you."
He shrugged. "Well if I didn't your mother would've killed me."
She laughed, pulling away and taking his arm before leading him towards the sofa. She unnecessarily helped him to sit down, before taking his hands and examining them over. "Do they…" – cough – "…hurt?"
The Doctor paused before giving a little shrug, trying to seem manly. "Oh, y'know. I can bear it."
"…And you've just become a human," Jack said with a sigh.
"Stop acting macho and tell me the truth," Rose said with an exasperated roll of the eyes, fixing him with a hard stare. The Doctor crippled.
"It huuuuurts Rose!" he burst out in a moan, holding his bandage-clad hands to his chest and whimpering loudly, leaning forward into Rose. "I really don't like fire!"
"Neither me." Rose rubbed his back gently. "I can't stop…" – cough – "…coughing!"
"But you're both safe, that's what matters," Jack said with a nod. "That fire wasn't far off killin' ya."
"What started it?" Jackie asked suddenly, bringing all attention back to her.
Jack breathed in, glancing over the Doctor, Rose and Jackie before answering, "accidental. Seems you had a leak right on a plug."
"That's unlucky," Rose commented. The Doctor shot her a glare.
"We almost died three times between us…" – cough – "…in one day and you call that 'unlucky'?"
"If it wasn't for those premonition things…" Rose tailed off, looking into the Doctor's eyes. He nodded.
"We would both be dead."
"Premonitions? What happened?" Jack asked, confused. The Doctor explained, telling the tale from when he heard the voice warning about the vase to the moment he got back into his real body in the fire. Jack's eyes were wide. "What d'you reckon it was?"
"I don't know," the Doctor said with a sigh.
"It was like somethin' was watchin' us durin' the whole of that day. They spoke to you inside your head, made me dream the future, helped you in the fire…" Rose surmised. "Come on. It has to be the good ghosts on Hallowe'en, protecting us from the bad ghosts."
The Doctor smiled in pity at her, feeling sorry for her childish logic. "No such thing, Rose. I guess we'll never know." He drew her close in a tight hug. "But the last thing I wanna do is lose you. I just hope your 'good ghosts' don't have to come back again soon."
Somewhere in the UNIT HQ in a guarded room stood the TARDIS, waiting patiently for her pilot to recover and come back to her, taking him and his human companions back out to the stars once more for adventures everlasting.
But she'd always protect them, no matter what. She just hoped her 'good ghosts' won't have to come back again either.
After all, the last thing she wanted to do was lose them.
A/N: Eh, draw your own conclusions. What a completely randomly spur of the moment 'let's-burn-the-Doctor' fic. Won't you all be just so gripped when I post a Ramble the Fourth. Ooo. Let's call it that. Maybe. Dunno. Not sure. Do I even do it? Ugh, don't you HATE these kind of decisions?
BRING ON EPISODE SIX! This week is probably going to be even slower than the week leading up to the premiere of VotD...