Title – Right Time, Right Place
Prompt - #58 Dinner
Rating – PG
Summary – The Ninth Doctor Jack and Rose, save someone from certain death, but get little thanks!
A/N – X-over with Ironside, and Ironside fans would probably enjoy it more than the Doctor Who fans. Written for julie_o as a request.
Right Place, Right Time
The monster screamed in its death-throws, lashing out at whatever was close by, furious that its dinner was being taken away. But, finally, it was still.
As the Doctor had fought the monstrosity, Jack and Rose had dragged the half-conscious man out from the lair where he'd been trapped and away from danger. Slowly, to the sounds of wheezing and wailing, they pulled him up the slope towards the line of the trees in the park. Behind them, the Golden Gate Bridge loomed out of the early morning fog. Jack looked up at it and gave a small smile.
'You know,' said Jack. 'I always wanted to visit San Francisco in the sixties, such a happening place, especially the bathhouses. But I didn't think it would be so much like hard work!'
'Hard work?' said Rose, gasping. 'What do you know about hard work?'
'Oh, you'd be surprised!' said Jack. 'I've been know to work, now and again!'
Safely away from the dying beast, they let the man slip to the ground.
His jacket was half-torn off, his shirt was tipped down one sleeve, showing the flecks of blood on his arm. It was covered in what looked like hundreds of tiny needle marks, but were really tiny teeth marks. Rose winced.
'That must really have hurt,' she said.
'Must be a cop,' said Jack. He pointed to the man's waist, there was a holster attached to his belt.
'Makes sense,' said Rose, 'if he'd come to take a look around.'
'Well, that thing had been making meals out of the locals for a while,' said the Doctor, coming over beside them. 'Wonder what he was doing down here?'
'He wasn't to know what was waiting to make a meal out of him,' added Rose. 'Good job for him we were in the right place at the right time.'
She smiled up at the Doctor, but he shrugged.
'We've got the Tardis to thank for that!' said the Doctor. 'But there were others that weren't so lucky.'
Rose nodded sadly. Jack had reached down to the man's jacket pocket and pulled out his wallet.
'Hey, I'm not going to steal anything! Look at this.'
He handed the wallet up to the Doctor, then reached down to gently turn the man's face towards him.
'Sergeant Ed Brown, San Francisco Police Department,' read the Doctor. He looked down at Brown's tranquil face. 'Well, Sergeant Ed Brown of the San Francisco Police Department, it's been nice meeting you. But we should go. The last thing I want is to have to explain all this to anyone!'
'But don't you think he's going to remember,' asked Rose. 'That, what-you-call-it sime-ret-whatever, did try to eat him!'
'Well, for his sake, I hope not!' remarked Jack. He looked down at Ed and gave a wistful sigh.
'Shame, really,' he said. 'I suppose we have to leave him?'
'I'm just saying,' Jack replied with a grin. 'Besides, he looks kinda f…'
'Jack!' warned the Doctor.
'I was going to say familiar!'
A voice came from behind them.
'Start with what?'
At the fringes of the tree line was a man in a wheelchair, his face as thunderous as an oncoming storm. He was also holding a gun directly at the Doctor.
'Now, which one of you is going to give me an explanation?'
'Um… explanation?' said the Doctor, a manic grin sweeping over his face. 'Those are our specialities!'
'Who the flamin' hell are you? And why is my sergeant unconscious on the ground?'
'Oh, yes. That! And you are? Apart from the man with the gun, obviously.'
'I am Robert Ironside. Chief Robert Ironside, San Francisco police.'
'Well, I'm the Doctor.'
Ironside narrowed his eyes, but didn't ask for any more details. He looked between Rose, Jack and the Doctor, then down to the unconscious man on the ground.
'Well,' said Ironside eventually. 'Which one of you is going to give me my explanation?'
Jack jerked his thumb towards the Doctor.
The gun didn't shift an inch. Ironside glared at the Doctor, looking more intimidating than he had earlier, something which was hard for a man in a wheelchair to do.
'Why is my Sergeant lying on the ground?'
Jack opened his mouth to add something witty, but Rose jabbed him sharply in the ribs.
'He'll be ok,' the Doctor assured Ironside. 'Just a bang on the head. A few cuts. Nothing too serious.'
'And what gave him the bang on the head?'
Rose and Jack exchanged glances then looked round at the Doctor.
'I don't think you would believe me if I told you,' the Doctor said, slipping his hands into his coat pockets. 'I don't believe me, and I was here.'
Ironside blinked slowly, his gaze steady on the Doctor. In the silence that followed, Ed Brown gave a small groan. Rose knelt down by his side once more.
'He should probably be taken to a hospital,' she said. 'Jack?'
'None of you are going anywhere,' said Ironside. The gun was still held in a firm grip.
'I don't like people with guns,' said the Doctor coldly.
'I don't like it when my people get hurt,' Ironside replied.
'Neither do I. That's one thing we have in common.'
The two men stared at each other. Very, very slowly, Ironside put the gun back in his side pocket.
'Help Sergeant Brown up,' said he. 'Then you can get the hell out of my city!'
'Fair enough!' said the Doctor, slipping his arm under Ed and pulling him to a sitting position. Jack grabbed his other arm and pulled him standing. Ed groaned again.
'Some people get a lot worse from their first encounter with an alien,' Jack muttered. 'Shame about his shirt too. It's a nice shirt.'
He rubbed the tattered edge of the white sleeve between his finger and his thumb.
'Jack, shut up!' snapped Rose.
'What? You don't think it's a nice shirt?'
'Shut up about the shirt!'
She turned. Ironside was glaring at them.
'I like his tie too,' added Jack.
'Jack, keep your mind on what you're doing!'
Carefully, they helped the recovering Brown over to one of the seats near Ironside.
'It's time you left,' said Ironside, rolling himself unsteadily forward along the path, positioning himself protectively beside his Sergeant. 'Get out of my city!'
'That's our cue!' sad the Doctor. 'Come on!'
'And,' said Ironside pointing, 'you can take that with you!'
For the first time, the Doctor looked surprised and worried.
'That? What that?'
'Your blue box. I don't want to see it here again! Am I making myself clear?'
Jack, Rose and the Doctor shared a meaningful glance.
'Right you are then, Chief Ironside!' said the Doctor. He turned to his two companions. 'You heard the man!'
The Doctor walked off, but Jack hesitated for a moment longer. Then Rose grabbed Jack's arm, pulling him back towards where the Tardis sat deep in the shadows of the trees.
'But you know what,' said Jack quietly as they walked. 'He really did look familiar.'
He must have imagined it all. That was the only explanation Ed could come up with. Maybe some one had spiked his drink at the canteen as a joke. Maybe he'd just been working too hard. Maybe he had gone mad.
There were images of thousands on thousands of tiny, nipping teeth pulling at his arm, and then there was a tall man with a bright blue light in his hand who'd might have been a doctor. Then someone else, a pretty blonde English rose with a lovely smile, and then a man with a long coat that Ed could have sworn he'd seen before.
But he must have imagined it. The mind can play some strange tricks, after all.
The idea of a monster trying to eat him was just too far fetched. He hadn't even dared tell anyone what he saw, or thought he saw; the doctors would have him locked in the white room in the psychiatric ward so fast his feet wouldn't touch the ground!
At last, Ironside wheeled himself into the hospital room.
'It's good so see you in one piece, Ed,' said the Chief, coming forward to beside his bed. 'I wasn't even sure we'd find you.'
'Thanks for coming after me,' he said.
'Good job I did,' Ironside replied.
There was a short but uncomfortable silence. The Chief didn't ask for any explanation, he didn't ask for any answers. And that wasn't like the Chief at all.
'Chief?' started Ed. 'It all seems so unlikely, what I remember. But you were there, so I tho…'
'I know how it seems, Ed,' Ironside interrupted. 'But in this city you see a lot of strange things. A lot. And there are some things that you should just forget about.'
'Forget about it?' he said incredulously. 'Chief, how can you say that? We still haven't found those men. There's got to be another angle…'
'There are some things that you should forget,' Ironside said firmly. 'As far as the Commissioner is concerned, the case is closed.'
'Trust me, Ed. It's better to forget you ever anywhere near what happened, especially so since that Doctor was there as well. Now let's get back to some real police work!'