"Woke up one morning and there they all were," said Jackie. "Ghosts, everywhere! We all ran around screamin' and that. Whole planet was panicking. No sign of you." But what if there was? A story in which the Doctor and Rose show up at Jackie's flat two months earlier, completely changing the events of Army of Ghosts and Doomsday. AU. 10Rose. DoctorWhump.
A/N: So this has been running in my head for quite awhile. I have most of it done, and I should have it finished soon. I just want to start posting chapters before the new Matt Smith episode comes out and no one wants to read Ten stories anymore. That said, please enjoy. =)
Chapter 1: A Visit and a Kidnapping
"Here we are! Earth, England, London, the Powell Estate – "
"You better have gotten the right year this time," said Rose, grinning.
"It's not my fault we landed in 1007 instead of 2007," whined the Doctor as the TARDIS came to a halt. "Besides, we made new friends!"
"Really? Was that before or after the Vikings kidnapped me and tried to sell you as a slave?"
"Before. Remember the nice chap who pointed us in the direction of the village?"
Rose thought for a moment. "The one with the spear taller than the TARDIS?"
"That's the one!" the Doctor said brightly. "Ingvar the Conqueror. Nice bloke."
"Wasn't he the one who clonked you on the head while his mate tossed me over his shoulder and carried me off?"
"Really? My memory of that's a bit fuzzy… Anyway, here we are, 2007!" He flung open the TARDIS doors and stepped into the graffitied alley. Lugging her bag full of laundry, Rose followed him, gazing around for familiar sights.
"Well, the cars don't look too different. 2007 it is, then," announced Rose.
"Of course it is. Your lack of confidence is quite insulting," he said cheekily, taking her free hand. Laughing as they strolled the two blocks down to Jackie's flat, the Doctor and Rose passed two black SUVs parked across the street.
Jackie eyes lit up with delight when she found them on her doorstep. "Rose!" She threw her arms around her daughter joyfully. The Doctor tried to sneak around them, but Jackie suddenly released Rose and turned to him. "Oh, come here, you!" Much to his horror, the Doctor felt Jackie seize him and mash her lips onto his. Repeatedly. Finally, she let him go and eagerly rushed to see what Rose had brought her.
Grimacing, the Doctor wiped his lips off with his sleeve and strode to the living room. Rose was telling her mum about her gift, a device that could tell the weather. The Doctor braced himself for the mind-numbing hours ahead, reminding himself that Rose was happy and surely that was worth a few miserable hours? Outside the window, everything looked gloomy, from the sky that was threatening to rain to the black SUVs across the road. Why Rose would want to be here, when she could be with him on the planet Noone, watching the Fallabo Nebula be born in a brilliant blaze of purple supernovas, was completely beyond him.
"Sorry I don't have the tea ready!" Jackie called from the kitchen, busily putting the kettle on, "I didn't hear that box of yours coming in."
"Yeah, I parked the TARDIS a bit further away than usual," said the Doctor, tugging on his earlobe absent-mindedly as he moved towards the kitchen.
"Course you did, so you could make my Rose carry that whole bag by herself even further! What sort of bloke doesn't offer to carry a girl's bags? Are your alien arms too flimsy or something?" She nattered on and on, and the Doctor found it easier to just sip the tea Jackie handed him rather than bother pointing out that Rose was the one who didn't want him carrying her dirty knickers, and his arms were perfectly capable of carrying very heavy loads, thank you very much. Just because this body was thinner….
After finishing his (admittedly delicious) tea, he managed to extract himself from the kitchen while Rose gushed about her adventures to her mother – edited of course. There was no use telling her mum about almost marrying fifty-year-old Viking kings, after all. The Doctor flipped through the telly channels for or a couple of hours before Rose wandered into the telly room.
"What are you watching?" asked Rose, walking in during the final scene of a movie.
"War of the Worlds," answered the Doctor. "The book was better, although Herbert overdramatized the Mursian invasion in the first place. For starters, they were Mursians, not Martians – "
"Who's Herbert, then?"
"You know, Herbert Wells?" Rose said nothing. "H.G. Wells?" Still nothing. "Wrote The Time Machine? I'm the one that inspired that, you know." Rose's expression remained blank. "Well, I'll have to take you to meet him then. Clever bloke, he was. Bit pompous."
"Is he talking about himself again?" asked Jackie, following Rose from the kitchen.
"Mum," lectured Rose. "Although," she grinned at him, "She's right. You are."
Springing up from the sofa, the Doctor beamed. "Ha, Jackie called me clever! First compliment I've ever gotten from your mother, Rose...Hold on."
He moved closer to the window and frowned. "Those black SUVs haven't moved since we got here. Jackie, how long have they been there?"
"What, those?" said Jackie dismissively, "Been there for a few days now. Me and Bev next door reckon it's the police fixing to bust the people across the street for drugs. She thinks she saw the man there with some needles."
Rose followed the Doctor to the window. Sure enough, at either end of the street sat two black unmarked SUVs. Tinted windows prevented from seeing if anyone was inside. "Doctor, what's wrong?"
"Well, they've been there for hours, plus they're right next to where I usually park the TARDIS," he said, still frowning. "I actually told the TARDIS to park there," he pointed next to where one SUV was parked, "But she decided to park the next street over instead. I thought she was being temperamental, but…" He turned abruptly to Jackie. "Jackie, have you been followed lately? Seen any suspicious people lurking about or maybe on your way to the shop?"
"Well, don't be daft! Why would anyone be looking for me? I haven't done anything!"
"Well, I don't think they're looking for you!" the Doctor snapped back.
Jackie looked ready to slap him, so Rose stepped between them. "So, what, you mean they're tracking the TARDIS?"
"Everywhere the TARDIS lands it leaves a faint time signature, bit like exhaust fumes from a car but longer-lasting, which can be detected if you have the right equipment….but that's wrong, you lot don't have that type of technology for another couple millenia…." He ran his hands through his hair and looked back towards the SUVs parked on the street, puzzlement crossing his features for a brief second before straightening and making his way to the door.
"I should move the TARDIS….park it in here, maybe." He waved a hand at the center of the sitting room.
Jackie looked horrified. "You can't park that thing in here!"
"It's alright, Mum, visiting time's about over anyway." Rose gave her mum a quick peck on the cheek and turned to the Doctor. "To the TARDIS then?"
He brightened. "To the TARDIS! Allon-sy! Hmm, I rather like that. Allon-sy, allon-sy…."
Despite his cheerful goodbye to Jackie, his grip on Rose's hand was tighter than usual as they carefully and quickly passed the SUVs. Adjusting her laundry bag, Rose squinted to see if anyone occupied them, but the SUVs just sat patiently, like a panther crouched and waiting to strike. The Doctor, for once, was being absolutely quiet, and that more than anything else told Rose exactly how worried he was.
They turned into the alley where the TARDIS sat waiting for them. The Doctor's pace quickened and Rose was almost jogging to keep up with him.
They were forty feet from the TARDIS when the men materialized, appearing from around the corner to cut them off from the TARDIS, in windows overlooking the street, and emerging from behind garbage bins lining the alley. Both black SUVs careened around the corner behind them, and more men spilled out of each of them.
Finding themselves suddenly surrounded by men with guns, the Doctor and Rose put their hands up in surrender.
A man with an unfortunately large nose stepped forward. "Surrender your weapons!" he ordered.
"Don't have any!" the Doctor said cheerfully. "Don't suppose we can go now?"
"Sonic screwdriver!" commanded Big Nose.
"What, this?" the Doctor carefully extracted a long silver cylinder from his pocket. Rose glanced at it, hands still in the air. She had no idea what the Doctor was holding, but it wasn't the sonic screwdriver.
"Drop it!" Big Nose commanded. The Doctor obliged, letting the silver cylinder slip from his fingers to clatter to the pavement below.
"Cover your head and run to the TARDIS," he whispered to her, barely audible, "In 3…2…1 – "
He took her hand and bolted towards the TARDIS just as the silver cylinder let loose a piercing shriek, shattering the glass in the windows and streetlights. Flinching at the noise and the sudden shower of shards of glass raining down on them, the gunmen were too stunned to react as the Doctor and Rose dashed through them, leaving the laundry bag behind.
Big Nose was the first to recover. Two seconds after the initial explosion, he barked, "Alpha Team, fire!"
The Doctor stumbled as something penetrated the arm holding Rose's hand. Without stopping, he yanked it out with his other hand. Tranquilizer dart?
Rose cried out as twin darts struck her in the shoulder. Staggering, she remained upright for only another second before relinquishing the Doctor's hand and toppling onto the pavement.
Two more darts landed in the Doctor's back as he scooped Rose up into his arms and kept running. The TARDIS was so close…But yet another dart stabbed into his neck, and another dug into the back of his leg, and he could feel the tranquilizer pumping through his blood, making him sluggish.
He overbalanced as one more dart struck him in the shoulder. Rose tumbled from his arms as he fell to his knees and collapsed. The Doctor lay sprawled over her on the pavement, his head two feet from the TARDIS doors and five darts sticking from his body.
His body was paralyzed and his head was swimming, but the Doctor remained fully consciousness, though unable to so much as twitch a finger. He heard boots stomping towards him and Rose. Forced to play opossum, he felt hands lifting and carrying him in the direction of the SUVs. He heard a faint grunt nearby that indicated someone was lifting something else – Rose? Was she conscious but paralyzed, like him? It had taken a lot of the stuff to affect him; what would it do to her?
The Doctor felt himself being tossed into the back of one of the SUVs. Something soft slammed into him shortly after, and the door shut. Instantly his eyes flashed open to see that he had been right – Rose's unconscious form was on top of him, hair draped over half her face. He tried to whisper her name, but his lips refused to budge.
Alright, so they couldn't escape for now…..Who were these people? They'd known who he was, where and when he would be, and that he had a sonic screwdriver. How much else did they know? Had he met them before? Had they met a future him before?
He heard the engine start and felt the car begin to move. He couldn't know for sure how many people were in the car – possibly five, based on the sound of breathing – but they were silent. He'd get no information from them.
At least he could open his eyes, and he was fairly certain Rose was alright. He took comfort in the fact that their captors apparently wanted them alive. But for how much longer?