AN: Well, I've just officially messed up my sleeping patterns ONCE AGAIN. I also have to reaudition for choir tomorrow...if I didn't think he'd pester me to join again all next year, I might not bother but might as well save myself the hassle. I also haven't been happy with my writing's very frustrating. Don't know why I'm bothering you with my random problems, so I'll cut to the chase and give you this brand new chapter.


The Doctor surveyed the room; it was strange to think that he had collapsed mere hours ago in this very spot. He looked down at the shade of red that now marred the once clean floor, looking at the crimson stain did not bring any comfort or relief, but it did give perspective.

He couldn't help but notice that Rose's eyes did not linger on the red of the floor and she was intently focused on the walls, the ceilings, the chains – where the Xienex once was held to – the lighting fixtures, anything but the floor.

And that made him feel guilty for how fearful of his life she must have been.

He pushed away the thought with a sigh, and went back to studying the scarce articles the room had to offer but found that there was nothing to explain what had happened.

"I've got nothing. Nope, there isn't anything to explain what happened here." He finally said, drawing the attention back to him,

"That proves that the thing had something to do with it then." Mickey concluded, "But the electromagnetic radiation you're giving off – I have no idea how that's even possible-"

"I'm a Time Lord, everything's possible with us." The Doctor interrupted, "Go on."

Mickey took a breath, "It suggests something else is causing this apart from the creature."

"A suggestion I agree with." The Doctor began to pace back and forth, "But the question is what? If Torchwood are as secure as you make yourselves out to be, the security would have noticed if your captives-" He threw Mickey a glare, still seething at the amount of species being locked up, "-had escaped or if something had entered the building that it isn't supposed to be here. That suggests that I must have been something I've been in contact with is causing this."

"The Xienex is something you've been in contact with." Mickey replied.

"I know…but you've said so yourself, it can't have done this."

Rose stared between the two men as she thought. There had to be a possibility that something had done this. It wasn't everyday after all that your head decided to crack open. She eyed the Doctor's bandage and noticed he was fiddling with it again, "Stop touching them." She warned him.

He threw her an innocent look, "But they itch!" He whined, imitating a child for a moment. He already was a big child half the time as far as she was concerned.

"Keep them on." came her reply. She hoped he would. He had not suspected that a slightly large portion of his hair was no longer there and as long as the bandaged stayed on for the meanwhile, it meant he wouldn't have to find out. She silently dreaded his reaction when his bandages would have to be changed later.

She thought back to how something could have happened as the Doctor and Mickey began to argue about Torchwood's security.

There had to be some possibility, which would explain this. Maybe the Xienex could be the cause of this…no, the Doctor was intelligent enough to know the species well. Maybe there was equipment in Torchwood was being affected by something else and it wasn't the Doctor giving off the electro…whatever it was. Yet that seemed unlikely seeing as when the Doctor went past anything electric at the moment, a buzzing noise seemed to emanate from the electrical device.

'What if-' Rose stilled.

"Oh whoop-de-do, you're Torchwood. Mickey, let me tell you that simply because you're a big organisation hording aliens in like-

"We are protecting people!" Mickey insisted.

"Protecting humans! What about those aliens? Huh?" The Doctor smiled smugly down, "Are you protecting them?"

"It's not our jobs to. We can't be sure if they pose a threat! We also can't let them go free if they have no way of returning to their planet." Mickey shot back.

"And you haven't thought to-"

Rose interrupted, "What if you got in from before you came into Torchwood?"

The two men looked at her, "What?" Asked Mickey.

She turned to the Doctor, "What if it wasn't something you got in Torchwood? What if it came from before we landed? What if you already had it before entering Torchwood?"

The Doctor face scrunched up. He would've noticed if something had been wrong beforehand. He wasn't dismissive of things, in fact he noticed a lot more than people realised he did, but surely he would have noticed if something had occurred beforehand. And other than the headache, which he was sure had been caused by the concussion he got, there was nothing out of the ordinary, save for landing in a parallel world – the Tardis unharmed – and kissing Rose excessively.

Other than that…no, there was nothing out of the ordinary…but it was a possibility. It made more sense than the other possibilities.

"You brilliant human." He announced after a moment, a large grin overtaking his face, "I always say your lot are a smart bunch but you take the cream of the crop…" His face went confused once more, "What does cream of the crop even mean? Do you know-" He took a look at Rose's and Mickey's faces and decided he would enquire about the phrase another time, "Never mind, where was I? Oh yes, what a brilliant possibility. Why didn't I think of that?"

"Because you're an idiot." Mickey suggested.

"No, my friend, you have that title." He said jokingly, "That's why they…well, I call you Mickey the Idiot."

"The important thing is that we have a possibility. Now, what external thing exactly caused this is a big mystery, but if I did get this before I came into Torchwood then there must be a reason why the Xienex set it off."

Rose sighed as reality dawned on her. She knew what he was about to suggest, and she silently prayed that she was wrong in her assumption, but the look in his eyes told her otherwise, "You're going to see the Xienex, aren't you?"

"Yes, yes I am." He smiled, "This is why you know me so well."

That was unlikely. She barely felt like she knew him most of the time. He was so secretive and kept his past a secret that she dared not ask in fear of what devastation might be held in it.

"What if sets this off again? What if this time it kills you?"

"It won't." The Doctor simply said, as if stating an irrefutable fact.

"It could." She insisted, "Are you really going to risk that?"

"Yes." He exclaimed, "I have to know. I can't fix whatever this is if I don't know what caused it in the first place."

"If you leave it alone you'll get well. You won't have to fix anything if you simply let yourself heal."

The Doctor sighed. He wanted to tell her that he had to do this because there was no other way; that he wouldn't just simply get better, the persistent throbbing in his head gave light to that fact. He wanted to go off and say that everything would be fine, to forget the matter but he couldn't. Even if he weren't ill, his curiosity would get the better of him.

The simple truth was he was not getting better, he would not get better on his own, and the only way he could get better was to find out what was wrong in the first place and he needed the Xienex for that.

And he needed a way to tell Rose that without worrying her too much or divulging that his head was giving off more pain that he dared admit to.

"Rose, we know that's not true." Her face shadowed shock, "I'm giving off an electromagnetic pulse. That's not normal for a Time Lord. That's not normal at all. We can't leave in the Tardis if I don't get rid of this so I need to find out what's going on before I can get rid of it." She looked at him, on the verge of saying something but he couldn't let her. He turned to Mickey, "Now, take me to the Xienex."

To be continued...


AN: There is a button at the end of every story...well, chapter...that gives you - yes, YOU - the opportunity to review. Use this information as you feel free to. :D