Thank you for all your lovely comments xx
This chapter's longer than the previous two, I just got carried away xx
Chapter 3: Cave-in in the Blackout
Breaking News: The Blackout that hit Yorkshire last night caused panic and mayhem. The police attempted to prevent widespread looting and crime with extra visibility, but they couldn't stop the general chaos caused by the accompanying landslide. One child who was reported missing during the evening's events was safely returned to his family just before the cave-in. So far no explanation has been given for the two events, neither has a link between the two been confirmed.
"This is no ordinary blackout," the Doctor said in a dark voice. He shook the torch in frustration, and tried the switch again. Nothing. He took out his sonic screwdriver and aimed it at the torch. Nothing. He frowned, his brow suddenly showing his concern.
"Definitely not an ordinary blackout."
He turned and headed out of the shed, making Rose and Mrs. Mathers stumble out of his way into the dark, murky garden. The Doctor strode across the lawn towards the gate, Rose and the worried woman at his heels.
"I promise you Mrs. Mathers, we will find your son," he said without turning to look at her.
Rose noticed a large tear fall from the worried mother's face in the moonlight. She squeezed her arm in what she hoped was a comforting fashion.
"Believe him, we'll bring Jake back. I promise."
Mrs. Mathers nodded uncertainly and left them at the gate, watching them disappear into the gloomy night.
They headed down to the rocky cliff face. Rose shuddered. She usually loved these quaint little seaside villages, but with no streetlights, no cosy yellow glow from cottage windows, and clouds masking all the stars and the best of the moon, she found fear crawling into her heart. There was something strange about this place. Something... wrong. She gripped the Doctor's arm through his overcoat to halt her shudders.
As soon as they were out of earshot of the worried mother, Rose turned to the Doctor, and tried to speak in a confident tone.
"So, what d'you think's going on here? If something's stopping the torches and the sonic screwdriver, there's gotta be something wrong."
"It's not just the lights. Or the screwdriver."
Rose swallowed nervously. "What d'you mean?"
He stopped abruptly, making Rose jump.
"Can you hear that?"
Rose strained her ears trying to hear what the Doctor was listening to. But, with his superior hearing, she knew might be out of her range.
"What? I don't hear anything. Just the ocean."
"Exactly. It's not exactly late. So where are the gulls?"
Rose finally understood. Whatever was happening here, it was affecting the birds, too.
They made there way right to the cliff edge, where the Doctor peered out to sea, looking for anything that would give him a clue.
"There aren't many species who can manipulate electronics and animals without leaving some sort of trace. Now, I'm guessing because its affecting the sonic screwdriver, whatever it is must be using some sort of sonic signal that cancels it out. On the right frequency that could affect the birds, too, and... Rose?"
Rose wasn't listening. She was crouched on the ground examining... something. He knelt down to get a closer look. It was a red woollen glove. A child's glove. The Doctor noticed a narrow, rocky path down the cliff face, hidden among grass and sand. He tapped Rose on the arm and indicated the path.
"Down?" she asked.
The Doctor nodded, and grinned manically before heading down the cliff at top speed. Rose watched him in horror.
"Doctor, you're going to break your neck!" She started her more careful descent, and when she finally reached the bottom, the Doctor was already halfway up the beach. She ran as best she could across the sand to catch up with him.
She eventually reached him when he stopped to stare at the cliff face. She was out of breath, and it took a moment for her to realise what he was looking at. Then she saw it. The cave.
"Now, what d'you suppose..." the Doctor murmured, and headed towards the cave.
Rose groaned quietly. Blackout, creepy beach, now this? She shuddered, and followed him reluctantly.
The cave was damp and dingy, and not particularly roomy. Rose had to stoop past several pieces of loose rock along the way. She narrowly avoided grazing her knee on a sharp edge, when she heard a whimper to her left. Her head shot round in the direction of the faint noise. Had she imagined it?
She noticed a flicker of movement, and in the very limited moonlight she could make out the shape of a head. A child's head.
"Doctor!" Doctor, Doctor, Doctor... echoed all around her. In a flash the Doctor was beside her, lifting the small boy from his hiding place. He beamed at the child.
"Hello there! Jake, isn't it?"
Jake gave a weak little nod.
"Don't worry Jake, we'll get you back to your mum." He turned to Rose. "Good job, Rose. Can you get him back to Mrs. Mathers? I just want to check something."
Rose raised an eyebrow at his secretiveness, but she didn't say anything. She took Jake from the Doctor, and headed out of the cave, carrying the little boy on her hip.
It didn't take long for them to reach Jake's house, where Rose smiled at the tearful reunion as he ran to his mother's arms. This was the type of thing the Doctor travelled for, so why was he missing this? What could there possibly be to check in a cave?
Escaping from Mrs. Mathers' thanks and hugs, Rose made her way carefully back down the cliff to the beach, and over to the cave. She was getting concerned; no sign of the Doctor and she was sure the tide would turn soon. She ventured a little way into the cave, wrapping her arms round her stomach, partly to keep out the cold, and partly to avoid touching the grimy rock.
"Over here, Rose."
She made her way over towards the familiar voice, and frowned when she saw his silhouette crouched over something. It was glowing.
He poked it with the dead screwdriver. "A Glagonian Palm Ring," he replied, as if that explained everything.
Rose sighed, and the Doctor sensed her exasperation. "It's a marker."
Rose glared at him. "Doctor, that doesn't help!"
"Shh!" he hissed with eyes wide with panic. Too late. A low rumble like thunder echoed around them.
"Out, now now now now now!" he pushed Rose towards the mouth of the cave, but too late. It started to cave in. Rose stumbled and fell, and the Doctor tripped over her. And then everything went black.
"Rose? Rose, can you hear me?"
Rose groaned at the voice, and forced her eyes open. Everything was blurry and dark, apart from a vibrant blue light near her head. She tried to bat it away, but her hand it skin and rock.
"Ow! Watch it."
Then she realised.
"Mhmm," came the brief reply.
It took her a moment to get oriented, and when she realised where she was, she blushed. The rocks had fallen on top of them both, leaving them with only inches of room between them. The Doctor was trying to loosen the rocks near their heads to get a little air, leaving him so close that Rose could feel his breath on her cheek. She swallowed, closed her eyes, and tried to focus.
"You got the sonic screwdriver working again, then? How'd you do that?"
"Just happened," he stated simply, resting the screwdriver against the rock and looking down to face Rose, who glowed a strangely fascinating shade in the blue light.
"I think the tide must have changed. Glagonian Palm Rings send out a signal, a bit like a radio signal, that interferes with electronic connections. This one has been damaged, and was sending out a sonic frequency, too, which affected the screwdriver and the birds..."
Rose trembled a little. Was it just her or was he getting closer with each word?
"... once the tide turns it turns itself off. They're harmless information collectors, this one just got a bit stuck in a loop. It'll be fine now."
Rose nodded slightly, and bit her lip to stop her saying something she'd regret.
The Doctor frowned. "Are you alright, Rose?"
"Yeah," she whispered.
"Are you sure?"
He smiled, sending a shiver down her spine. "You're heart's racing."
"Is it?" she asked breathlessly.
"Yes, Rose. And you're all flushed."
"No I'm not."
The Doctor chuckled at her indignant tone. "Must be the enclosed space," he said, turning back to the rock, which was starting to crumble under the onslaught from the screwdriver.
"Yeah, that must be it," Rose rolled her eyes.
A few moments later, the Doctor had managed to make a gap in the rock large enough to get out. He squeezed through the gap and helped Rose wriggle free and to her feet. He grinned at her in the moonlight, his hair a dishevelled mess.
"That was fun."
He frowned at her, concerned. "Are you sure you're okay? You really are all... hot and red." He tried to feel her forehead, but she pushed him towards the mouth of the cave instead.
"Just walk, Doctor." She sighed quietly to herself, trying to cool herself down with a deep breath. "Just... walk."