AN: Planned to have this up yesterday, but I got distracted by the new ep of DW, obviously, and well... the Sims 3 which I just got so... Yep, easily distracted, but one day late isn't that bad. Oh, good news or bad... depending, I'm planning out a new story. And I plan to get a beta. And I plan for it to be relatively few chapters so it's almost like an episode. I'm actually planning. I know! Surprising! Not sure which Doctor to write for - 11 or 10? Ah, the plan will probably fall apart at some point but still... Anyway, on with this story...
Rose was curious by the silent exchange that seemed to be going on between the Doctor and Jinx. When neither said anything more on the subject as they left, with the Doctor possessing both the ring and his sonic screwdriver and Jinx far out of reach from both of them, Rose decided to enquire after they stepped out of the elevator.
"Who's Jermaine Sleeverante the Fifth?"
The Doctor's eyes moved towards Jinx and Edmund, who were just ahead of them. He gently took her by the wrist and hung back as the two ventured ahead.
Once Edmund was out of earshot, Rose asked again.
"Jermaine Sleeverante the Fifth is, or I suppose will be is more specific, going to be one of the most famous serial killers in the universe during this century."
Rose eyes widened.
"He's going to be a serial killer?"
Rose could barely believe she had been so near to a serial killer. It seemed unreal.
"Yes..." He then frowned, "Well, also an assassin. The Cantani Assassin, to be exact, but that's a few years after he starts on his killing spree. In his lifetime, he has a recorded death toll of 127 people."
She couldn't think of what to say.
She had heard about serial killers on the news back home, everyone had, but it was such a normal horror; not like the ones stuff she'd seen with the Doctor. It seemed like stuff like that didn't seem to happen on alien planets. It was naive of her to think so, she knew that, but still...
She could remember her mum would make an offhanded comment about it, with a cup of tea placed firmly in one hand. It often that went something along the lines of 'Oh, that's horrible, isn't it sweetheart?' and for the next few days she would warn her to be careful. Rose would simply smile at her and promise half-heartedly that she would. It had worked, and she did look over her shoulder on the walks home from a night out more often than not.
Rose had a sudden urge to ring up her mum, and ask her to be careful.
"Why couldn't Jinx kill him?" She asks, when she regained her voice.
"His last victim is going to be the President of Sherbi – Delgade St. Clais. His death is a fixed point in time. It leads to a worldwide peace organisation being formed. His death will end up saving millions. It stops a war, which ironically was not the Cantani assassin's hirer wanted. Sleev has to kill Delgade St. Clais otherwise time falls apart."
Her mind flashed back to her father, and she closed her eyes for a moment, willing his image away. That memory was saved for more private moments.
She opened her eyes again.
"A paradox?" The Doctor nodded. "Reapers?" He nodded again. "I know you say it saves millions, but that's still horrible. All those people are destined to die and he has to kill them... That's just..."
The Doctor laid a hand gently on her shoulder, "I know."
She leaned into his touch, and realised she missed it today. After everything that had happened, she was glad that he was with her again. It made things seem better.
She turned to look at him, "I missed you today."
He smiled, "I missed you too, Rose Tyler."
They went to Jinx's room because it was closer.
Edmund looked around the room as he entered, not quite settling his gaze on anything particular. He felt awkward, out of place.
He, too, had heard the exchange between Jinx and the Doctor. Sleev had once been his friend, and they had acted as if they had known something about him. It was definitely something they didn't want him to know. He understood. He wasn't exactly high on their list of trustworthy people. He still felt guilty about what had happened to Rose.
A patch of red caught his eye as his eyes passed Jinx. Blood was seeping slowly through her shirt. It seemed striking against the pale shirt.
"You're bleeding." He said.
"Am I?" She looked down, touched the wound gently, "Damn it, the stitches opened again." She looked over to the Doctor and Rose, frowned, eyes closing momentarily, and then turned back to Edmund. "You know how to do stitches, Ed?"
"I thought we'd agreed that I'm calling you Ed." She said with a smile and he threw her an irritated look, which seemed to make her smile even more.
"Yeah, as in you do know?"
"Great," She caught him by the arm, "You can suture me up then." She turned back to the Doctor and Rose, "I'll leave you two to talk."
With that she dragged Edmund into the bedroom, or was it bathroom? Rose thought as she watched them. She wasn't quite sure.
"What was all that about?"
The Doctor's eyes were drawn together as he looked at the now closed door they had gone into. He looked confused, and even more surprised. To Rose, it reminded her of normalcy. That made her smile. It almost made her laugh at how adorable he looked, like a puppy, but she held her laughter back.
"I think... she was giving us some privacy." He laughed, as if the thought brought him great amusement. "Me and you," He turned to Rose with a smile, "We don't need privacy."
Even though a part of her mind understood what he meant; knew their closeness, knew that they held no secrets – well, that wasn't entirely true. She still didn't know much about his past and after 900 years of being alive, it'd probably take the whole of her lifetime to divulge all his history.
Yet even though she understood his point, Rose couldn't help but feel a twinge of dissapointment at his statement. Espscially when he turned away, and took out his sonic screwdriver, practically ignoring her once again.
Jinx was lying on the bed, unnaturally still; all save for her right hand. No, her hand was not still. It was twitching. She hated it when her hand twitched.
Adrenaline, she reminded herself, Just adrenaline.
After everything she had faced in her life, she thought that by now she would've gotten used to the effects of adrenaline, and for the most part she had, but every so often adrenaline still caught up with her. It didn't help that her knuckles were injured, but she didn't bring that up. An unlucky punch was all it had been. Her hand would be fine in a few hours.
That was why she needed Edmund's help with her stitches. Normally, she would deal with them herself, even when the difficulties of self-suturing arose, but she had lost too much blood today and she couldn't afford to wait for her body to calm down to do these things for herself.
Her pulse was fast. She closed her eyes, and focused on her breathing.
Her mind went back to Sleev. She had been so close to killing him. So close. This was his fault, she decided, it all came back to him. Her wound was his doing. She wouldn't need stitching up if it weren't for him.
"How did you know Sleev's real name?"
Her eyes opened. She looked up at Edmund, broken from her thoughts. His hand was raised slightly abover her skin, the needle gleamed like a stretched star against the light.
"I asked him." Jinx replied simply. She had. If she hadn't though… She almost dreaded to think of the concequences.
"I hope you don't mind the enquiry, but did you actually kill him, or were you just saying that?"
His hand was moving again. She tried not to focus on the slight twinge of pain she still felt as the needle pierced her skin. With her untwitching hand, the one that was currently holding on to the helm of her shirt, she moved it up a little higher for him.
Jinx eyed him warily, "Why?"
He met her gaze, and for a moment she could see the hate in his cold and curious eyes. The hate was not directed at her though, but Sleev, she presumed. It made her curious. What had went on with them?
"After everything he did to me, I want to know if he's really dead or not. That's why."
She was never one for holding back, so she had no problems prying.
"What did he do to you?" Jinx asked, "How did you even get mixed up into this?"
"When we were kids, me and Sleev were friends. Best friends. Growing up, he changed and most of the time, I had to fold to his whims, but he wasn't bad. Not then. He was still my friend back then and I didn't have many friends. I guess I just wanted to hold on to what I still had." He grew silent for a moment, and her eyes took in his expression, "Then the war came."
"Everything comes back to the war." Jinx murmured offhandedly.
Her own memories of it came back. Just for a moment, before she pushed them to the back of her mind again. She wasn't sure if they were talking about the same war, but didn't they all lead back to one big one. It hardly mattered anyway. War was war, and all it brought was pain.
"Did you fight?" she asked.
Edmund shook his head, "Sleev saved me from having to fight so when he came back I welcomed him with open arms." He laughed; it sounded bitter to her ears, "He wasn't the same though. He started killing; killed his own damn mother. I didn't know it was him though, not at the time. He started following in Enignamia's footsteps and when my father died, I was getting pushed in from all sides to stay even though I had been so close to getting out. Sometimes, I wonder if he had something to do with my father's death..."
He lapsed into a calm quiet, lost in thought. She knew the feeling.
"I'm sorry." Jinx said, when the silence had grown uncomfortable for her. She didn't really know how to break it, so she said what she had seen so many others say at such times. She almost laughed at the thought. As if saying sorry meant much…
Edmund smiled appreciatively nonetheless.
Ok, Jinx thought, maybe it meant something…
"Yeah, even if he didn't have anything to do with it, I'd still hate him for who he is. He's a monster who preys on the misery of others; misery he causes. That's why I'm curious as to whether he's still alive or not."
"He isn't dead." She said, "Really."
"I would've killed him if I'd been in your position."
"I would've too if I'd been allowed to."
Edmund frowned. "What does that even mean?"
Jinx's lips pursed together tightly, "Nothing of importance to you." She looked down at her side, and the a string of neat stitches looked back. "You done?"
Edmund nodded, and Jinx could still see he was annoyed by her vague replies. He wouldn't understand though. "I'm all done."
She stood up, and pulled her shirt up and over her head to inspect her stitches in the mirror. Edmund watched, half amused, by her actions. The other half quickly roamed over her body. His eyes caught the edges of well hidden scars.
"You did a good job." Jinx commented. She ran her thumb against them lightly. He'd even added butterfly stitches; that was almost fancy for an amateur. "For someone who wasn't in the war."
"Just because I didn't fight in the war didn't mean I wasn't there at all."
Ah… That explained things. She nodded, understanding and began to bandage up her side again. When she was done, she slipped on a new shirt. It was black this time. If her wound did seep again, she didn't want any observant eyes picking up on the fact. She would just have to be careful when she left town.
Jinx turned, and walked back to Edmund. She pulled him up from where he had taken a seat on the edge of her bed and began to remove his shirt with nimble fingers. His eyes widened momentarily.
"Right, let's get a look at your battlewounds." The edge of her lip twitched, "Ed."
In response, he merely rolled his eyes at her.
The Doctor went straight to a computer, sonic screwdriver clasped in one hand, and his other flying over the keyboard as soon as he took a seat.
The sonic screwdriver buzzed as he shot past the hotel firewalls, breaching their security measures.
Rose walked up behind him, "What are you doing?"
"Hacking into the hotel."
She frowned, but looked over his shoulder nonetheless. Numbers and words flew past the screen faster than she could take the time to read them. She wondered how he was able to do it; how did he see things when they moved so quickly and she wondered what it would be like to see as he did, if only for a moment. Would it be dizzying for her?
"What are you doing that for?"
"To stop little Edmund's-" The Doctor began but was quickly interrupted by Rose.
"It's Edmund." Rose replied automatically.
The Doctor stilled. He frowned. Hadn't he said that? He thought back to a second ago, and his frown deepened. He looked over his shoulder at Rose.
"That's what I said."
"You did?" She seemed surprised. The Doctor nodded, "Oh, sorry."
"Apology accepted." He turned back to the keyboard, returning to his task, "Anyway little Edward's-" Rose didn't mention it this time. She was pretty sure he did this on purpose. Poor Mickey had complained about it all the time whenever the Doctor took her home for a visit. "-kidnappers are still in the building. Now with the Passing of Angelsidus overhead the hotel has had to redirect its power supply to its own backup generator. Well, actually it must be an alternate energy generator otherwise it would be affected by the Passing too."
"What is the Passing of Ang- Anglel-" She struggled to repeat the word.
"Yeah. Passing of Angelsidus." She smiled, "That."
"Oh, a natural anomality. It gives off a powerful magnetic field that affects effects many of the energy sources commonly used in large planets such as this. It's effects are only temporary, but it's necessary for the planet to maintain balance."
"Right, so it basically turns off the power so the electrician can come in and do an upgrade."
The Doctor beamed at that, and shouted, "Correctamundo!"
As soon as the word graced his lips, he froze, and scrunched up his fac, offended by his own choice of words…well, word, technically. He then threw a cautious look at Rose. She shook her head lightly at him, a laugh escaping her lips before she could capture it, "Never saying that again." He assured himself, and had the nagging feeling of deja-vu.
Rose patted him reassuringly on the shoulder, "Probably for the best."
"Anyway, the hotel has a backup generator. Now if we lock everyone in, we can get Edmund's help in identifying who is part of Enignamia and-"
"Get them arrested?" Rose queried. The Doctor grinned and nodded. His smile held the gleam of a time lord on the verge of triumphance, "But that's brilliant!" She exclaimed.
Rose hugged him from behind. He leaned back against her, and felt the press of the diary in his pocket burn like a fiery reminder. He quickly leaned forward again, away from her touch.
"Now all I have to do is press a few buttons and voila!"
Suddenly, and rather expectantly, a loud warning bell rang loudly in the distance. It grew louder as more and more joined in. The view from the windows was suddenly blocked by shutters slamming harshly down.
Jinx suddenly burst from the room; Edmund followed on her heels, and was noticably not wearing a shirt. Rose winced in sympathy at the bruises visible on his torso, now battered black and blue and violent purple.
"What the hell did you do?" Jinx demanded, glaring at the Doctor. There was a roll of bandages in her hand.
"I am making sure his kidnappers don't get away." The Doctor stood, and moved towards Edmund. "And you." He grasped his shoulders, careful not to pressed against that wasn't his natural skin colour or bandaged. "You are going to help me." He pushed Edmund into a seat.
"Can I at least be wearing a shirt while I help you?"
Rose supressed a smile. "I'll go get your shirt." She said, and went into the bedroom.
To be continued... (obviously)
AN: Ok, so this is the point where all you brilliant people press that nice little review button... And I go all giddy like I've eaten too much sugar at getting reviews... :D