This is my first attempt at a Doctor Who fic. Outside of blucougar57, I tend not to read most of it. But I love the show, and I often wondered what would happen to the Doctor if he didn't have the TARDIS and what would happen now that he's pissed off the Shadow Proclamation and become known as the Destroyer of Worlds. Let me know what you think!
"Rift activity," Gwen Cooper called from the computer station. She hit a few keys on the keyboard. "Right upstairs, actually."
"Can you get it on the CCTV?" Captain Jack Harkness asked, taking the stairs two at a time to stand beside Gwen.
Ianto Jones glanced up from the fresh load of paper work he was trying to sort through from the Daleks stealing the Earth.
"Trying. I'm still not as fast as Tosh," she said, before biting her lip.
Ianto and Jack shared a look. It was barely a week since Owen Harper and Toshiko Sato were killed fending off Jack's psychotic younger brother Gray and saving Cardiff from his plot for revenge. Their names were still a sort of taboo – every time they were mentioned, the remaining three of the Torchwood team would falter and immediately switch topics. It wasn't healthy, but the wounds were too fresh to care.
The computer screen picked up the outside of the Millennium Stadium, scanning the wharf for whatever caused the rift detector to go off.
Ianto saw it first. "Isn't that…" he tapped at the screen where they saw a familiar blue box.
"The TARDIS," Jack confirmed. "What the hell is he doing back so soon?"
"Maybe he wanted to make sure we were all right?" Gwen suggested. She couldn't help a small grin. The Doctor was cute, even if he was as old as Jack claimed he was.
"Probably refueling," the ever-practical Ianto said. "The TARDIS refuels on the energy from the rift. After towing the Earth back, he probably needs more energy."
"But he would've left by now." Jack shook his head. "Something isn't right. Ianto, with me, Gwen, stay here in case something goes wrong. Call Martha Jones or Mickey Smith if we need back up."
"Got it," Gwen said, tapping away at the keyboard to focus all cameras on the blue box, making sure it didn't disappear as Jack and Ianto headed for the stairs.
Outside the hub, Ianto glanced cautiously over at Jack as they made their way towards the TARDIS.
"Jack, I don't hear anything, do you?" Ianto asked.
Jack paused for a moment, listening for the TARDIS's engines, but Ianto was right. The ship was silent, and stood as still as if it were a real police call box.
As they approached, Jack with his Webley drawn and Ianto with their rift detector, which honestly performed more functions than computer twice its size, Jack was almost half convinced that the TARDIS was going to take off as soon as it sensed him, like it did last time.
But it didn't. It stood dead and dark in the middle of the plaza, no hum from the engines, and no sounds of life inside.
"Any life signs?" Gwen asked over the Blue tooth.
Ianto glanced down at the palm pilot. "There's someone inside," he answered.
Jack carefully placed a hand on the door of the TARDIS, and immediately pulled it back as if burned, eyes widening in shock.
"What, is it hot?" Ianto asked.
Jack shook his head, unable to tear his gaze away from the ship. "Ice cold…" He gently pushed on the door, and it swung open with little effort, revealing nothing but darkness.
The reaction was instantaneous. Jack's face hardened and his lips pressed into a firm line. He raised his hand, two fingers raised and signaled for Ianto to cover him.
Ianto gave a brief nod and Jack darted into the darkened ship, making a visual sweep, following the line of sight with his gun. The interior was black and cold. The heart of the TARDIS, normally vibrant and alive was just as dark as the rest of the ship.
"Torch," Jack said, not even looking as Ianto tossed him a flashlight. He deftly caught it and turned it on, sweeping the beam across the dark interior of the living ship. There was nothing in the shadows that he could see, and he cautiously started around the main console in the center of the bridge.
"Ianto, you said there were life signs in here. Where?"
Ianto glanced down at the monitor in his hand, the other firmly holding his own weapon out, trained on one of the darkened corridors where Jack was creeping by. Just in case. Who knew what a Time Lord kept as a security defense?
"There's only one," he said.
"One?" Jack echoed, frowning. When he last saw the Doctor, there were two of him, Rose, Jackie and Donna still aboard the TARDIS. "Are you sure?"
Ianto nodded. "It's right in front of you. Not moving."
Jack glanced around the console, craning his neck to see around the corner. "I don't see anything."
Ianto checked the readings again and gestured in front of Jack. "Look down," he suggested.
Jack fought the urge to roll his eyes, but a flash of color caught the corner of his eye. In the blackened interior of the ship, it was the only thing that stood out and Jack focused the flashlight on it.
It was the tip of a formerly blue trainer, spattered in red. Absurdly, Jack thought it was rather strange for the Doctor to be painting anything inside the TARDIS, but he knew that it wasn't paint. If he hadn't worked for Torchwood for over a century, the suddenly strong metallic smell in the air would've made him gag.
"Ianto, get over here," he hissed.
"Did you find him?" Ianto asked in the same hushed tone. It seemed absurd to be whispering to one another, but there was something about the coldness of the once vibrant ship that demanded reverence.
Jack didn't answer, instead he handed the flashlight off to Ianto as he crouched down to see underneath the console, following the bloody shoe up a ragged and twitching leg that glistened in the meager light. The dark suit pants absorbed most of the color, but Jack knew the blood for what it was.
"Doctor?" Jack whispered.
The shadowed form of the Time Lord didn't move, didn't respond at all to the sound.
"Ianto, get the light down here," he said. The Welshman did as commanded and Jack heard the slight gasp as Ianto finally got a good look at the Doctor. It occurred to Jack at that moment that this was Ianto's first introduction to the Doctor beyond a two-minute conversation on a web link before the Daleks tried to destroy the universe. It wasn't quite the meeting he envisioned…
"He looks like shit," Ianto said bluntly, putting the back of his free hand up to his mouth briefly.
In the wavering light of the flashlight, Jack could see the damage a little better, though honestly wished he couldn't.
The Doctor was worse off than Jack had ever seen him, but then, the Doctor was almost never injured in his escapades. The most obvious injury was the ragged tear in the Time Lord's upper leg, just above the knee; a long, uneven gash that cut deeply into the flesh and was still bleeding. His left hand was clamped around he right arm near the elbow, his right hand twitching convulsively from what Jack assumed was shock, like the badly wounded leg, but didn't look nearly as badly injured. If Jack had to guess, he would say that the arm was probably broken rather than torn like his leg. Disturbingly, the spasming muscles were the only movement the Doctor exhibited. He hadn't reacted at all to Jack's presence, Ianto, or the light that was now shining almost in his face.
Ianto had the sense not to shine the full force of the beam into the stricken alien's eyes.
Beside the leg wound, the most obvious one was the head injury. It looked like the Time Lord had smashed the crown of his forehead against something hard, rupturing the skin along his hairline. The entire left side of his face was covered in a sheen of fresh blood, shining in the torch light. Whatever he'd hit had also ruptured a blood vessel in one eye, and the disturbing half red stare made the Doctor appear almost demonic in the darkness.
Jack could hear the Doctor's ragged gasping as his chest heaved like he'd been running for miles without stop.
But the worst thing of all was the wide-eyed, terrified look on his face, and the unfocused gaze as he stared off at something only he could see.
"Doctor?" Jack said.
There was no response.
"Doctor?" Jack repeated. He carefully brushed one hand across the undamaged part of the Doctor's leg, half expecting to be kicked in surprise. He would've preferred that to the complete lack of response he got. The Doctor didn't so much as blink. There was nothing to suggest that the Doctor even knew they were there.
"Jack…with those wounds…even if he is a Time Lord, he's going to need a doctor," Ianto said.
"Do you know a doctor who treats aliens?" Jack bit back, and immediately bit his lip. Ianto was trying to help, but Jack was beyond clueless how to deal with an injured Time Lord. Most species in the universe didn't even know that they existed, and even the ones that did didn't have much of a medical background on the Doctor, except that he had two hearts.
"Martha," Ianto said simply. "We still have her number and she's still in Cardiff working out things with UNIT."
Jack could've smacked himself. Of course Martha would be the one to call. Not only was she a doctor who had clearance to deal with the Doctor, but she also was around him during the most medical emergencies he probably ever experienced.
"Gwen," he said, tapping the Blue tooth headset.
"Thank God, I was wondering what had happened to you."
"Call Martha Jones. Tell her we need her help with the Doctor," Jack ordered.
"She's going to want details Jack, why do you need her?"
"The Doctor's hurt. Pretty bad, judging by the looks of things. Just tell her we need her here ASAP."
"Come on Doctor," Jack said, refocusing on the Time Lord. "We need to get you out of here. " He turned back to Ianto. "What do you think is the best way to move him? I want to get him out of here on our own if we can. I don't think he wants a lot of people wandering around on the TARDIS." He shot a look over his shoulder at Ianto, who was fighting off a greenish tinge. Ever since the Brecon Beacons, blood always made him more nauseous than before.
"If he allows you to touch him, try and pull him up by the uninjured arm without moving his leg too much," Ianto suggested. "We can try and carry him ourselves, but are you sure that won't do more harm than good?"
"We can't leave him here like this, and I don't think the Doctor wants UNIT or anyone else bungling around in the dark in the TARDIS. Besides, who knows what UNIT would do to her now that her captain is out of commission..." Jack turned back to the Doctor, gently touching his right hand. "Doctor, if you can hear me, we're going to try and move you now, okay? It's just me and Ianto. We're going to take you back to the hub and call Martha for you, okay?"
The Doctor didn't move.
Jack cast a glance back and Ianto. "Ready?"
Ianto nodded, sliding back out of the way so that Jack would have room to maneuver should he actually manage to pry the Doctor out of his hiding spot.
Jack placed one hand on the Doctor's undamaged shoulder, pausing for a moment to see if the Doctor reacted to the touch, but when he didn't, Jack tentatively pulled the Doctor forwards so he could actually try and move him out from under the console.
It happened so fast that Jack didn't even register it at first. One minute he was looking at the Doctor, and the next he was flat on his back staring up at the underbelly of the TARDIS's main controls seeing stars.
"Jack!" Ianto glanced down at him but kept the torch and his gun, which had suddenly replaced the rift detector, pointed at the Doctor.
The Time Lord scrambled backwards as fast as possible, which wasn't very considering his injuries. His leg dragged behind him, apparently useless, as he bolted for the walls of the TARDIS, a bloody trail smeared across the paneling. He practically threw himself against the side of the TARDIS, slumping against it with his wounded arm behind one of the supports and his back to the wall. From there, he barely moved, except for the frantic gasping. But, now he registered that someone was there, though whether or not he actually recognized who they were was up for debate.
"Jack, are you okay?" Ianto said, eyes darting to his fallen boss.
"Fine. What the hell happened?" Jack groaned, sitting up. He felt the back of his head where it collided with the deck of the TARDIS and felt a lump growing. Nothing to worry about, it would be gone in an hour.
Ianto kept his eyes trained on the Doctor as he answered. "He's still got one good leg it appears, sir."
Jack smiled ruefully. "I suppose I should've expected that." He focused on the Doctor, and couldn't help the twinge of sadness at seeing the great Time Lord reduced to hiding the corner like a frightened child.
"How are we going to move him if we can't touch him?" Ianto asked the obvious. "We can't make him walk on that leg, it would just be cruel. Who knows what kind of damage he would do to it?"
"We have any industrial strength tranquilizers in the hub?" Jack asked, only half joking.
"Industrial, yes. But strong enough for the Doctor?" Ianto shrugged. "Do you even know what it would do to him? Torchwood One had nothing on the Doctor as far as physiology…well, beyond the fact that he has two hearts…"
"You can put the gun away Ianto," Jack said, climbing to his feet. "He's not going to hurt anybody. And I'd rather not make him regenerate again. I like him this way."
"Right. Doctor doesn't like guns," Ianto said, mostly to himself, as he tucked the gun away inside his coat and out of view.
"Doctor, you have to come with us now," Jack coaxed gently. "You need help, and we're going to try, but you need to come out of the TARDIS."
The Doctor focused in on Jack, but there was no recognition in his eyes. Just a mixture of terror and anger.
"We need to find out what happened to you, Doctor. We're going to take you someplace safe. I promise," Jack said, kneeling in front of the wounded alien, this time out of reach of the one good leg, just in case. Though, it appeard that the Doctor used up what little energy he had on his short outburst. The gasps of air were more irregular now, and Jack was a little shamed to say that he hoped the Doctor would pass out from the injuries, or hyperventilate.
The wide, terrified brown eyes locked on Jack's and for the first time, the Doctor actually spoke.
Except Jack couldn't understand a word he said.
He glanced back at Ianto to see if it was just his hearing, but Ianto looked just as confused.
"What language is that?" Ianto asked. "I've never heard anything like it."
Jack glanced around the TARDIS and as soon as his eyes lit upon the dead console, his heart sank, and he rubbed a hand across his face. "If the TARDIS is dead, then it can't translate. There was a similar problem when he was regenerating that Christmas the Sycorax attacked, according to Rose. When the Doctor is out of commission, the TARDIS doesn't work right. Maybe it works in reverse?"
"Wouldn't you think that the Doctor knows most languages anyway? He's spent most of his time on Earth, you would think someone of his genius could pick up on English," Ianto pointed out.
"Unless the TARDIS translates everything for him, all the time. Besides, he's not exactly in the right mindset anyway," Jack replied. He turned back to the Doctor, a look of awe suddenly crossing his face. "Which means he's speaking Gallifreyan…"
"Which nobody knows since he's the last of the Time Lords," Ianto said mildly. "I don't suppose he knows sign language?"
Before Jack could respond, the Time Lord gave a shout in the same foreign tongue, free hand suddenly clutching at his head, eyes squeezed shut in obvious agony.
"Shit," Jack swore, reaching his hand out to the Doctor.
The Doctor had apparently one last burst of energy in him and sprang to his feet, wobbling violently for a second. His injured arm hung dead at his side, and the leg he was able to stand on shook violently. He hissed in pain, the good hand still held firmly to his temple as if trying to literally shove the pain out of his head.
He spoke the same sentence again, or it at least sounded like the same words as before. It sounded like a warning of some sort, but Jack was only guessing based on the distress the Doctor was in. It could've been complete gibberish even in Gallifreyan, for all he knew.
The words themselves seemed to cause the Doctor pain, and there was a sharp gasp as he doubled over once more.
"What the hell is he saying?" Ianto asked, though he knew it was pointless.
"I'm recording it from here," Gwen said over the set. "We can see if someone has any idea how to translate later."
"Doctor," Jack said, inching closer to the Doctor and hoping he wasn't going to get punched or headbutted for his efforts. Kneeling on the metal floor he managed to be able to see eye to eye with the Doctor, who still had his shut. Perhaps the most disturbing part was that Jack could see a tear leaking out the corner of his eye from the pain.
When the Doctor realized that someone was in front of him, his eyes cracked open. The Doctor had pathetic puppy dog looks down to an art form, but this was something different. Jack didn't see the Doctor in those brown eyes anywhere.
The Doctor spoke again, this time barely above a whisper before clutching at his head again. This time seemed to be too much for him and he collapsed forwards into Jack. Fortunately, the Captain was prepared and caught him before he had a chance to do any more damage to himself.
"Is he out?" Ianto asked, trying to stay objective. He knew that Torchwood was originally supposed to capture the Doctor on sight, but that was before Jack…now he fought against a pang of jealousy towards the wounded alien.
"Yeah…" Jack said, shifting the unconscious Doctor in his arms so he could actually pick him up.
The Doctor looked skinny as a rail and he felt it too. Jack might as well have been lifting a ten year old instead of a full grown adult.
"At least now we can get him back to the hub without sedating him or injuring him further. Ianto, lock up the TARDIS. We'll move it out of the plass as soon as we can get him settled. I don't want UNIT or one of the other Torchwoods getting wind of this. Gwen, get the medical bay ready. We're going to need it. And see if Tosh has any sort of translation programs on her computer that can translate what he was speaking. He might have been trying to tell us who did this," Jack directed, swinging the Doctor up into his arms like he was carrying a child. "Make sure Martha knows what she's in for."
Ianto nodded, following behind Jack so he could get something to seal the TARDIS with. As the three men exited, Ianto turned to shut the door behind them when he noticed something he had completely missed the first time. Originally they were solely focused on the fact that the TARDIS was quiet and dark, and Ianto had automatically assumed it was because the Doctor was so badly out of it once they saw him.
"Jack," he called over his shoulder. "I think he was being chased," he said.
Jack turned to see what the hell Ianto was talking about and he could feel the blood drain from his face…before it started to boil.
The TARDIS was scorched in multiple places, as if it had been caught in a battle recently. And if whoever was shooting at the Doctor managed to score the TARDIS, it was serious fire power they were dealing with.
And then there was the obvious potential that he hadn't managed to lose his pursuers entirely…and they could already be on their way.
"Dammit Doctor…you never do anything half assed…"