A/N: So my computer got a virus and died. I had to reformat it and lost everything on it. Fortunately, I had most of my stuff backed up, including this story, but I lost a paragraph and had to rewrite it.
Thanks for all the lovely reviews. They make me infectiously happy for the rest of the day. Yesterday my family asked me what was wrong with me, because I wouldn't stop grinning for about an hour after checking my computer. =)
But enough about me! I'm sure you want to know what happens next....
Chapter 5: Rose Wreaks Havoc
Rose opened her eyes to find herself lying on a stretcher in a blindingly white hospital room. Was she in the med center of the TARDIS? What had happened? Where was….
The Doctor! Where was he, what had they done to him? The gas….Torchwood had meant to kill her, but she was still alive. Had the Doctor gotten through the glass in time? Had –
"She's awake early! Hurry, we need another dose." A brunette woman in a lab coat quickly approached Rose, placing a hand on her shoulder to keep her from getting up. "It's alright," she said to Rose, smiling. "You're safe."
"Where….Where's the Doctor?" Rose asked, frowning. Something wasn't right. Why was that woman smiling like that?
"He's waiting for you. We just need to process you before you can leave."
"Process me? But – "
"Got it, it's online!" said a man, grabbing a tube off a large machine in the corner. The woman nodded.
"What's that?" Rose demanded, fully awake now.
"It's alright, dear. We're just going to put you to sleep for awhile and then you'll wake up safe at home, and you won't remember any of this horrible place."
"Where's the Doctor?" Rose asked again, suddenly terrified. The man came closer with the tube.
"Just relax…" said the smiling woman, extracting a syringe from her lab coat.
"No!" Rose rolled herself off the stretcher and kicked. The stretcher hit the woman in the stomach, making her double over and gasp as the wind was knocked out of her. The syringe tumbled from her hand. Rose snatched it, flung the door open, and bolted as fast as she could down the hallway.
She heard the other man in the room yelling and chasing her, but with all her running experience, he had no prayer of catching up.
Randomly jiggling door handles in search for a place to hide, Rose discovered all the doors were locked or at least required some sort of password. She was relieved to not run into anybody, but a nagging voice in the back of her mind wondered where everyone was.
Oh. She finally got one door at the end of the hall to open, only to find it crammed with people in lab coats gathered around a large blue police box. Startled, they all looked up as she opened the door.
"Well, there's the TARDIS, anyway," Rose said brightly, then shut the door and resumed running. Alarms blared through the hallway as she rounded another corner, then immediately turned around and ran back as she met with more security guards.
A lift at the end of the hall opened. Rose snatched the card from the surprised man in a lab coat inside, shoved him out of the lift, pressed the card to the computer, and pushed random buttons. The doors slammed shut just as the guards reached them. Giggling slightly in the rush of adrenaline coursing through her body and still clutching the syringe, Rose stepped off at the first floor the lift stopped at, and took off running before Torchwood could call it back.
Chest heaving, Rose rounded another corner and slid to a stop.
She had almost run straight into the back of a man pointing a gun at the Doctor and – Jack?!
The man fired straight at Jack. The captain yelled as the bullet penetrated his chest, and he crumpled to the floor. The Doctor, who now had nothing to lean on, toppled over. His eyes moved in horror from the gun to Rose. He opened his mouth to shout a warning, but Rose didn't need one.
She launched herself straight at the man who shot Jack, screaming like a banshee in outrage, and stabbed him in the neck with the syringe. The gun clattered to the floor as Rose tackled him, and he savagely yanked the empty syringe from his neck and slammed her against the wall, wrapping his fingers around her throat.
"Rose!" the Doctor tried to stand, then cried out as his knees buckled and he fell back to the floor.
Seconds after being stabbed, Big Nose's grip loosened as his eyes rolled back into his head. Choking, Rose shoved him away, and he collapsed to the ground, unconscious.
Stepping over the limp body, Rose dashed to the relieved Doctor and knelt beside him, enveloping him in a hug.
"You're ali – ah, ooh, ouch!" the Doctor yelped. Rose immediately let go.
"You're hurt! What happened?" she asked, voice still a bit hoarse from her near-strangling.
"Just some fractured ribs. Your hug is most definitely returned, though." He took her hand and squeezed it. "Are you – I thought – I thought you were dead."
"It's alright, I'm fine, see?" she said, smiling sadly. "Woke up in some sort of lab, right before they were about to wipe my memory. Got out of there, came down the lift, ran into you and Jack…." Eyes shining, she turned to the dead captain, who was sprawled next to them in a pool of blood. "Jack…I can't believe it…" Her hand brushed his cheek.
Jack gasped and jerked into a sitting position. Rose shrieked.
"Aw, another shirt ruined," he said sadly, inspecting the blood stain splattered across his chest.
"You – but you were…Jack?" Rose stammered.
"Some greeting that is! Hello – "
"If you don't mind," said the Doctor, rolling his eyes. "We need to get to the TARDIS. I – " He tried to stand up again, and winced as he failed.
Jack and Rose each wrapped one of the Doctor's arms around their shoulders and helped him stand.
"TARDIS…is in the warehouse…." groaned the Doctor.
"They must've moved it then; I just saw it," said Rose, "This way…Jack, I thought he killed you!" They staggered in the direction Rose had come from.
"Oh, he did," said Jack nonchalantly, "Did I mention I'm immortal?"
"Explanations later," begged the Doctor, face crinkled in pain. "We – " The alarm suddenly went completely silent. "Ooh, that's not good."
"We need to hide, fast," said Jack.
"Wait, wait," the Doctor gritted his teeth. "Rose, do you have your TARDIS key?"
"Yeah. Where's yours?"
"They took it. It's inside a bio-openable box, so they'll need me to get to it, but…point is, I don't have it." Jack opened his mouth to make some smart comment, but the Doctor cut him off. "Never mind, just give it to me."
Rose took it off from around her neck and handed it to him.
"Jack, give me the stun gun."
"Doc, it's our only weapon – "
"I need it." Reluctantly, Jack handed over his stun gun. Grimacing with every labored movement, the Doctor aimed his sonic screwdriver at Jack's gun, prying it apart. The high-pitched sound seemed horribly magnified in the sudden silence, and Rose and Jack both glanced anxiously at each other and down the hallway. Voices were approaching, although it might be another minute or two until their owners appeared.
"There," said the Doctor, tossing the remains of Jack's stun gun to the floor and holding up the TARDIS key triumphantly. He pulled Rose closer and put the key around both their necks. "Bit awkward, but it'll do."
"Is that – whoa, it is!" said Jack, his eyes crossing slightly when he looked in their direction.
"What is it?" asked Rose.
"Perception filter," said the Doctor woozily, "Makes people not want to notice us. As long as we wear it, anyone we pass will just overlook us."
"So you mean we're invisible?"
"Pretty much, yeah."
"Any room for me in there?" asked Jack, trying to focus on them and going cross-eyed in the attempt.
"No," said the Doctor, holding his side gingerly, "Fortunately for you, unless Hartman's already woken up, the rest of Torchwood should trust you. We'll follow you up to the TARDIS."
"Floor 23, fourth door on the right," said Rose, quietly because the voices from the hall were very close.
"Got it," Jack muttered, as a dark-skinned woman and brown-haired man rounded the corner.
"Who are you?" demanded the woman on the left.
Smiling charmingly, Jack flashed his Torchwood ID. "Captain Jack Harkness, Torchwood Three. I recommend you not go down there; Hartman puked all over the floor and she's not too happy right now."
"Hartman puked? That's rich!" laughed the man on the right. "Come on, Adeola, I'd rather not run into her."
Whispering and snickering to each other, the couple turned right, avoiding the hallway where Big Nose had been left.
"Good, bought us a bit more time," muttered the Doctor. With the Doctor leaning heavily on Rose, they followed behind Jack as he confidently strode to the lift.
He left the doors open for a while before letting them close. "Are you in here? You okay?"
"Yeah," answered Rose, although the Doctor's eyes were still clenched shut, and his face was paling more with each breath. Had Rose not been holding him steady, he would have been swaying dangerously.
The lift doors opened, revealing armed guards clustered in the hallway.
"Captain Jack Harkness, Torchwood Three," Jack showed his ID. Careful not to touch anyone, Rose maneuvered herself and the Doctor through the throng of guards. Jack used his ID to open the fourth door on the right, and strode inside.
"Torchwood Three, Level One," Jack said authoritatively, waving his ID. "Clear out – I'd like to look at the ship alone."
A few of the scientists were on the brink of protest.
"That's an order. Do you want me to tell my superiors how you decided to ignore orders?" thundered Jack. Casting almost lustful looks back at the TARDIS, and in some cases, at Jack, the scientists cleared out.
As soon as they had gone, Rose yanked the key off from around their necks and handed it to Jack. "Get it open, fast," she pleaded. She was practically carrying the Doctor, who had slumped against her, barely even conscious.
"There you are, old girl," the Doctor murmured absently, stroking the door weakly as Jack fiddled with the key. The TARDIS seemed to shudder violently as Jack put the key into the keyhole. "Ooh, she doesn't like you…."
Jack slid the key in and pried the doors open.
Once inside, Rose hurried the Doctor over to the infirmary while Jack headed to the wardrobe to replace his shirt. Returning to the console room, Jack studied the familiar machinery.
The TARDIS' comforting echo stirred long-ago memories in Jack's mind. It'd been over a century since he'd set foot in here. Back when he'd been mortal, but had felt so invincible. So much had changed since then. His eyes ran over the coral columns and the undecipherable writing on the screens. The Doctor may have changed his face, but the TARDIS at least, felt unchangeable, even if it shared the Doctor's aversion.
Now, did he remember how to work the outer view screen?
"Get the….occiferous regenerator….bottom drawer," the Doctor gasped. Leaning against the wall, he fumbled with the buttons on his jacket and shirt one-handed while Rose dug through the bottom drawer.
"Just sit on the stretcher, yeah?" asked Rose, grabbing the device. "I'll get your shirt."
The Doctor collapsed on the stretcher and let Rose remove his shirt. She gasped when she saw his injuries. "What did they – "
"Doesn't matter. Press that button there…"
Rose held the occiferous regenerator up to his chest and pushed the button. The Doctor screamed, and Rose immediately switched it off, horrified.
"No, no, keep going, Rose, you've got to keep going." Rose bit her lip, then turned it back on. She shut her eyes and didn't open them until the Doctor's moans had stopped.
"Thank you," the Doctor sighed. "Much better. Now stick on that patch; it'll help the burns heal faster."
Rose stuck it on. "Are you sure you're – "
"I'm fine, Rose," he snapped. The topic of his health was apparently off-limits.
"Great….Then how about explaining how Jack is here when you told me he was dead!"
"Well, technically I told you he was rebuilding the Earth…."
"I thought he was dead! You let me believe he was and you let me mourn him – Why?"
The Doctor sighed. This was going to take a bit of explaining.
One long explanation about Bad Wolf, time vortex absorption, and the exact events that transpired between tricking Rose into leaving and the moment when she awoke on the TARDIS floor, Rose was stunned.
"I have some apologies to make, then," she said, her voice wavering. "I'm sorry I….killed you."
"Rose – "
"I'm sorry for killing you and being such a stupid ape and – "
"Rose!" She stopped, tears ready to spill.
"Rose," the Doctor started again, "I meant what I said, right before I regenerated. You were absolutely, utterly fantastic. I don't regret dying for you, and I'd do it again. Alright?"
Rose's cheeks were wet as she nodded. Then she bit her lip and smiled playfully. "So you kissed me. Seems a shame I can't remember that."
The Doctor hesitated for a moment, considering. He took a deep breath. "Do you want to fix that?"
Much to her delight, Rose discovered that the Doctor was brilliant at fixing things.