A/N: Disclaimer: NEVAAAAAR!

I'll admit, it's totally my bad that Ransom hasn't been updated in FOREVER, I hit a massive wall which I just CAN'T get by, so in the hopes that my muse will come back I wrote a couple of other things...

Canon is post-Journey's End. Pre-Torchwood: Children of Earth. It's an A/U where 10.5 and Rose stayed on the TARDIS with the Doctor at the end of series four. Don is 10.5, and incase you find yourself wondering, Don is short for Donald, which is sort of like Donna :D I imagine Rose calls him Donny to annoy him... :P

This would've been the plot to Ramble 5 had I continued. Or at least a variation thereupon :P

09/05/2016 ETA: THERE IS A REWORKED VERSION OF THIS STORY IN ARCHIVE OF OUR OWN UNDER THE PEN NAME LAURAWRZZ.


Prologue

They'd shot him. They'd shot the Doctor.

Rose Tyler's heart was threatening to burst through her chest as tears streamed down her face, dragging the Doctor's blooded body down the alien's spaceship corridor as he gasped and cried out in pain from the very distinct and bloody wound in his chest. She could hear the sounds of the aliens still in pursuit, talking frantically amongst themselves in a language that – up until five minutes ago – had been translated perfectly by the TARDIS. Now they hissed and clicked like mantids, their language lost to her ears from the broken part of the translator circuit lying bleeding to death in her arms.

"Rose, run!" Don, the Doctor's clone grown out his severed hand but months previously appeared at the other end of the corridor, gesturing frantically for her to keep running away from him. "Get him back to the TARDIS!"

She could only hope the TARDIS hadn't been moved from where they'd left it just an hour previously, standing in the engine room down the next flight of service steps. Her back and arms ached their protest from the effort of pulling the Doctor across the cold and steely grating, but she had to keep going. Had to keep fighting…

Tears were disrupting her vision so she reached up and wiped them away from her eyes, but only succeeded in smearing the Doctor's blood all over her face. She pressed her hand back over his chest wound, trying to stop the bleeding but it just kept coming out.

She could hear the stampede of aliens getting closer and closer as Don arrived beside her, slinging the Doctor's arm around his shoulder and pulling him with Rose along the corridor.

"Halt!" one of the aliens yelled and instantly something exploded from beside Don's head as they began to fire off shots in their direction.

"Quicker!" Don yelled as they found the service steps, the TARDIS still parked where they had left it. Never had she seemed so far away.

They reached the doors, Rose fumbling clumsily for her key.

"Hurry up!" Don yelled, checking over his shoulder. They were rapidly gaining now. One of them had its stinger out, pointed directly at Rose whilst she tried to find her key. Don's eyes widened. One sting was completely toxic…

Without even thinking he tore himself away from the Doctor and threw himself in the stinger's path as it launched towards the human girl. Everything seemed to go in slow motion as it screamed towards him, but he was completely powerless to move as it connected directly with his stomach. Pain screamed instantly as he gasped in surprise, and he felt the deadly toxin begin to spread through his body…

He fell backwards in through the now open TARDIS door, grasping onto the metal railing to try and stay upright. Rose shut the door behind them, shutting off the advance the alien creatures. But they weren't safe yet.

"Are you okay?!" Rose asked Don anxiously. He forced himself to straighten up, blinking erratically in an attempt to focus his vision. He pulled his jacket over his wound, shielding it from her.

"I'm fine, get him to the infirmary!" he said, slinging the Doctor's arm back around his shoulder and supporting him as they rushed him to the TARDIS Infirmary. It was a race against time as the Doctor left a trail of blood over the floor of the TARDIS. He'd since passed out.

They reached the Infirmary and together they lifted him onto the examination table. Instantly Don assumed authority, barking orders at Rose as he cut up the Doctor's clothing and began to work on saving his life.

In ten minutes he'd managed to stop the bleeding, clean the wound, extract the bullet and bandage him up. But he could feel the poison slowly working its way through his system, the colours of the world bright and dizzying.

"Move him to a bed," he ordered Rose, would've having done it himself but the poison was quickly sapping away his strength.

Rose obeyed, taking the still unconscious Doctor now bare-chested and dressed in grey jogging bottoms and moving him to one of the Infirmary beds, tucking him in. Don quickly drew an Oxygen mask over his face to aid his breathing and connected him to several drips.

"Is he gonna be okay?" Rose asked anxiously.

Don nodded, but his legs were turning to jelly beneath him. He dropped down onto the nearest bed to prevent himself from falling over. "He'll need round the clock care for a while, he's going to be weak and lethargic. You need to change his bandages everyday, and stock up on his drips. You know how to do that, right?"

She nodded, not looking at Don as she sat on the Doctor's mattress, brushing back the hair from his eyes.

"Good," Don said, wincing and holding a hand to his stomach. "He should heal fast, but you're gonna have to cater to his every need for at least three days. Don't give him anything too difficult to digest, like steak, stick with soup for a few days. He might moan but it's all he can have."

He couldn't stop a groan from escaping his lips as the poison continued to work itself around his body, killing his cells. His right arm was starting to go numb…

Rose finally looked up at him, hunched over and holding his stomach, groaning in pain. Her eyes widened. In seconds she had jumped off of the bed and over to him, ripping his hand from his stomach and pulling back his shirt.

"What the hell?" she said as the sight of the puncture mark in his stomach became apparent, the skin around the hole inflated and red.

"Rose," Don gasped, brow furrowing. His right arm was now completely dead. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

"What is it? What's happened?!"

"The sting of a Howcrass is poisonous," he explained, losing the strength to sit up now. "Deathly poisonous."

"No!" Rose yelled, tears pouring down her face. "You're not dyin'!"

He gave a half-smile, then grimaced. "It's slowly killing all of my cells. They're dying. I can't feel my right arm…"

"No, no, we can find an antidote!" Rose made to get up and search the medicine cabinets, but Don quickly grabbed her elbow with his already numbing left arm.

"There isn't an antidote…" he muttered, closing his eyes in an attempt to stop the world spinning. "I'm really sorry."

"You can't die!" Rose yelled, suddenly angry, angry at the world, angry with him, angry with herself for being unable to do anything.

"I'm only human," he replied with a drunken smile, before slumping back down onto the bed, losing strength.

"Rose?"

"Doctor!" Rose jumped back over to the other bed in a frenzy. "Doctor, you've gotta help him!"

The Doctor eased open his eyes, looking as though he might pass out again at any moment. "What?"

"Don's dyin'! He's been poisoned! You've gotta do somethin'!"

The Doctor weakly turned his head to the bed next to him, where Don lay moaning softly in pain. He blinked, surprised.

"Help… me… up…" the Doctor gasped, looking up at Rose desperately. She slipped his arms underneath him, conscious of his cries of pain as he forced himself onto his feet, stumbling over to Don with the added support of Rose still attached to his drips. Pain burned through his chest but that was the least most important thing right now. He looked down at Don lying on the bed, the puncture wound open and obvious above his navel.

"I'm sorry," Don whispered, opening his eyes to look at the Doctor through a haze of fog.

"Rose, get… some… water, slows… it… down" the Doctor ordered her, dropping down on the bed next to Don. She rushed off in an instant. "The How…crass?" he asked, and Don nodded.

"It was going for Rose…" he replied, closing his eyes again. "I couldn't…" he gasped as pain shot through the wound. His left arm was now completely numb, his left leg not far behind. "Couldn't let it…"

The Doctor knew there was no antidote. There was no point trying to deny fate. Don was dying…

"Thank… you," the Doctor said, hand on his own chest.

"Promise me something," Don said, opening his eyes to look at the Doctor. He was now completely pale as the poison continued to infect every part of his body. He could feel his heart slowing as his left leg completely lost feeling, and the poison began to take away his last limb. "You'll look after her."

The Doctor nodded.

"I know how you feel," Don continued, "I have your memories, feelings and thoughts… and the Donna part of me is screaming to let them out."

The Doctor could only nod again.

"Make Rose happy. Stop living in the past. It's okay, it really is…"

The Doctor couldn't stop a tear from rolling down his cheek.

"Promise me," Don said again.

"I… promise…" the Doctor gasped. Don nodded approval. His body was now completely numb.

"Thank you," he whispered. Then he closed his eyes. For a few moments, nothing happened, so the Doctor reached up to Don's chest, resting his hand on the place of his heart. Nothing was thudding against his palm. He checked for a pulse. Nothing.

He was gone.

When Rose returned, the Doctor was straightening Don on the bed. She burst into tears at the realisation he was finally dead.

The Doctor, still pale and weak, drew the shaking Rose into a tight hug. He couldn't stop the tears then. Together they cried for the loss of Don, lying dead on the Infirmary bed.

It was then and there the Doctor decided he couldn't dance around the topic anymore as he had done for the past four years. He loved Rose, and he knew she loved him. It was time to make the change he'd been denying.

He pressed a kiss to her lips. For moment she seemed surprised, but then she began to kiss back. And he knew it would only be the beginning.


A/N: Be assured, I didn't want to kill 10.5! I had to! :( So I did it in the most epic and awesome way I could.