Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who. I'm nowhere near awesome enough:(
Travels with the Doctor, a Doctor Who fanfic by French_Shark
Chapter 2: Rose
March 26, 2005.
It started out a day like any other. But it ended a day like no other.
My alarm woke me at 7:30am, same as always.
I quickly sat up and got out of bed and begun my routine: get dressed, fix my hair and makeup, get some breakfast, that sort of thing.
When I'd finished, I grabbed my bag off the chair in the front room and quickly kissed my mother goodbye before heading off to work at Henrik's.
I took the stairs down to the street two at a time, then hurried to catch the bus to Regent Street.
Unfortunately, I find it difficult for my original energy to carry over into my work. At Henrik's I trudged a bit through the store as I went around restocking displays and putting things back in place.
Lunch was good, though, as it usually was. Mickey would meet me over at Trafalgar Square by the fountain and we'd eat lunch together.
After the hour had passed, I returned to Henrik's and finished putting in my work hours.
"This is a customer announcement: the store will be closing in five minutes. Thank you."
Finally, I could go home. Unfortunately, though, my exit was cut short by one small sound.
"Oi!" the security guard handed me a package containing the lottery money for Wilson, the chief electrician.
This would mean that I would have to turn back around, take the lift down to the basement, and go and track Wilson down to give him the package.
I took the package and entered the lift, my expression clearly displaying my attitude towards this task.
When the lift pinged to signal it's arrival at the basement, I exited and called out for Wilson, hoping he would just come out and meet me so I wouldn't have to go and track him down.
Unfortunately, I had no such luck. He didn't even reply!
I strode further down the corridor towards his office. The door was closed.
"Wilson, I've got the lottery money." I said as I approached the door.
Still no reply. I knocked on the door.
"Wilson?" I called again. "You there? Look, I can't hang about 'cause they're closing the shop. Wilson!"
Again, no answer.
"Uhh, come on!" I grumbled to myself.
I heard something like a bucket falling to the floor behind me. If Wilson was just waiting for me to come find him while he just hung about the back, I swear...
"Hello?" I called out, turning to follow the sound, hoping that Wilson would just hurry up and reply or at least come out so I could give him the money and go.
"Hello, Wilson, it's Rose." I called out again into the silent corridor. "Hello? Wil-Wilson?" I could hear my voice echo as I stopped outside the fire door for a moment.
I still didn't hear anything from Wilson (or anything at all, really) so I opened the door, finding myself in a room filled with storage shop dummies. I quickly turned on the light before going further into the room.
"Wilson? Wilson?" I called out more to ward off the silence now instead of actually to get Wilson to answer at this point.
I quickly walked to the next door, deciding to try it. Just as I reached for the handle, though, the fire door I'd come through banged shut, causing me to jump.
I panicked, running back to the door and tried to get it back open but it wouldn't budge.
"You're kidding me," I said as I remembered that the store was probably long ago closed by now and there would be no one to help me get out of here if Wilson didn't show up.
I heard another sound of something falling behind me. So maybe there was someone in here. Hopefully whoever it was would be able to help me.
"Is that someone mucking about?" I called, slowly making my way back further into the room from the door, taking very small steps.
"Who is it?" I asked loudly.
I could feel my panic increase with every passing second.
My steps became larger but I still kept up my cautious stance as I kept walking.
The sound of squeaking plastic stopped my progress.
I nervously turned on my heel and my breath caught as I came face to face with what appeared to be one of the shop dummies leaving its place in one of the storage shelves.
Slowly, with jerking movements, the dummy approached me.
I laughed, trying to hide my fear.
"Heh...you got me, very funny." I backed away, but the dummy merely kept its advance.
Two more joined in.
"Right, I've got the joke! Whose idea was this? Was it Derek's?" I asked as they continued after me. Once another joining them.
"Derek, is this you?" I called, turning to pass a clothing rack, only to find the rest of the dummies had come to life. I sped up my backwards path, but ended up tripping over an unseen box.
Quickly, I pulled myself back up and backed against the nearest wall by the door I'd come in.
The original dummy raised its arm to strike me. My face screwed up and I closed my eyes, preparing for what was surely my impending death.
Instead, I felt someone grab my hand. Had Wilson finally come about? I opened my eyes to find out, turning the owner of the warm hand in mine.
It wasn't Wilson. In fact, it wasn't anyone I'd ever seen before. But, before I could have the chance to think beyond that, he quickly told me to "Run!"
And with that, he tugged me out the door and away from the dummies as we ran down the corridor. Unfortunately, we were being followed. Swiftly.
The man kept hold of my hand as we ran down the corridor, through the next doorway, and into the nearest lift.
I pressed myself against the back wall of the lift as the door closed, but they weren't fast enough. One of the dummy's arms managed to come through the open gap between the doors.
Thankfully, the man who'd come to help me quickly grabbed the arm and wrestled with it, trying to pull it off.
It took three or four tries, but he was successful, and I watched the lift doors close on the rest of the dummies.
"You pulled his arm off!" I gasped.
"Yep!" He tossed the plastic arm to me. "Plastic."
I fumbled as I catched the flying arm. "Very clever, nice trick!" I said, perhaps this man was behind the whole thing in the first place. How else would he have known what was going on? He obviously didn't work at the shop upstairs... "Who are they then, students? Is this a student thing or what?"
"Why would they be students?" the man asked.
"I don't know..."
"Well, you said it! Why students?"
"'Cause..." I thought it through for a moment, "to get that many people dressed up and being silly...they gotta be students."
The man turned and grinned.
"That makes sense! Well done."
"They're not students." He said darkly.
"Whoever they are, when Wilson finds them, he's gonna call the police." I said.
"Chief Electrician." I answered. And lazy bum when it comes to collecting the lottery money, I finished silently in my head.
"Wilson's dead." the man replied seriously.
The lift doors opened then, and he strode out and examined the lift controls.
"That's just not funny, that's sick!" I yelled, following him, only to have him shove me aside rudely.
"Hold on! Mind your eyes." He returned to the controls, blocking my view of his actions.
"I've had enough of this now!" I complained, flinching when a spark burst from the controls.
He walked off without a word or a second look. But I wasn't through with him yet, so I followed him, continuing my stream of questions. Surely he'd answer me eventually.
"Who are you, then? Who's that lot down there? I said, who are they?"
"They're made of plastic. Living plastic creatures." He finally answered, still charging down the halls. "They're being controlled by a relay device in the roof. Which would be a great big problem if I didn't have this." He flashed an electronic box of some sort briefly which I could hear beeping steadily before opening the fire exit door for me. "So! I'm going to go up there and blow them up, and I might well die in the process."
He pushed me through the open doorway. "But don't worry about me, no. Go home, go on! Go and have your lovely beans on toast. Don't tell anyone about this, because if you do, you'll get them killed."
And with that, he shut the door in my face. I began to turn away, slightly bemused at the strange first impression this man had just made.
Suddenly the door opened again, and I turned back.
"I'm the Doctor, by the way, what's your name?" the man (The Doctor, apparently, what a strange name!) said, holding the door open.
"Nice to meet you, Rose. Run for your life." He brandished the electronic beeping box again before shutting the door once more.
Not needing to be told twice, I ran away from the building, plastic arm still in hand.
Out in the street, nobody was aware of the dark events inside Henrik's Department Store. I looked once more at the store, nearly getting run over by a passing taxi.
"Watch it!" the driver called.
Once I'd gotten far enough away, I looked back once more, just in time to see the top floor blow apart and burst into flame.
And I ran home, fast as I could.
Back home, I was sitting on the couch in the front room, watching News 24 as they covered the Henrik's Department Store blaze. The plastic arm was on the chair next to me and Mum was wandering about the flat on the phone, talking animatedly to her friends, exaggerating my condition.
"The whole of Central London has been closed off as police investigate the fire." the news reportor was announcing. "Earlier reports in the..."
Mum had made her way back into the room with a mug in one hand and the phone in the other, holding it to her ear.
"I know, it's on the telly!" she was saying, "It's everywhere! She's lucky to be alive!" she handed me the steaming mug. "Honestly, it's aged her. Skin like an old bible. Walking in now you'd think I was her daughter! Oh and here's himself..."
I looked up to see Mickey standing in the doorway.
"I've been phoning your mobile, you could've been dead!" Mickey said, crossing the room. "It's on the news and everything! I can't believe that your shop went up!" He gave me a tight hug from my spot on the sofa.
"I'm alright," I tried to tell him, a bit muffled at first with his arm covering my face as he hugged me, "honestly, I'm fine! Don't make a fuss."
"Well, what happened?"
"I don't know!" I sighed, getting a bit annoyed with the questions by now. I'd already had to endure the face-on questioning with my Mum. That'd taken forever. The only reason she'd stopped was because her mates had begun calling her in rapid succession after they'd seen the report on the news.
"What was it though, what caused it?" Mickey asked.
"I wasn't in the shop, I was outside, I didn't see anything..." I replied, hoping he'd just leave it at that, but then Mum came back in.
"It's Debbie on the other end, she knows a man from the Mirror-five hundred quid for an interview!"
"Oh, that's brilliant!" I exclaimed. "Give it here!"
She handed me the phone and I quickly hung it up and slammed it on the table.
"Well, you've gotta find some way of making money. Your job's kaput and I'm not bailing you out." Mum complained.
For once, I was almost happy to hear the phone ring again.
"Beth!" Mum answered, exiting the room again. "She's alive! I tell ya, due for compensation! She was within seconds of death..."
I merely sighed and settled back into the sofa next to Mickey.
"What're you drinking? Tea? No, no, no, that's no good, that's no good. You're in shock, you need something stronger." He complained, taking my arm and trying to pull me up.
"You deserve a proper drink, you and me, we're going down the pub, my treat. How about it?"
I smiled, knowing what he was really up to. "Is there a match on?" I asked.
"I'm just thinking about you, babe!"
"There's a match on, ain't there?" I asked again.
He sighed, dropping my hand and sitting back on the sofa, knowing he'd been caught.
"Well, that's not the point. But we could catch the last five minutes."
"Go on then. I'm fine, really. Go." Then I remembered the plastic arm. "And get rid of that..." I gestured to the arm.
Mickey gestured to his lips, asking for me to kiss him. I obliged, only to have him push me back onto the couch, both of us laughing. He got up to go, then, and I put my leg out to trip him up. We laughed again, and he picked the arm off the chair, waving with it.
"Buh Bye!" he said.
He pretended to strangle himself with the arm and then finally left. I shook my head fondly, turning my attention back to the news.
"...fire then spread throughout the store..." the news anchor continued, "there is very little chance of saving the infrastructure..."
I waited awhile before finally going to bed that night, anxious of what I would dream about.
I awoke the next morning to my regular 7:30 alarm. I slapped it off, anticipating the day that was awaiting me. I rubbed my eyes, preparing to start my routine again when I heard Mum yell from the other room.
"There's no point getting up, sweetheart. You've got no job to go to."
I flopped back onto my pillow, the memories of yesterday, swarming to the front of my mind. So it hadn't been a dream, then.
Having to bring the lottery money to Wilson, not finding him anywhere, getting stuck in the storage room, nearly being attacked by living shop dummies, and...that man. What had he called himself again? The Doctor...Doctor Who?
Sighing, I decided against trying to go back to sleep. I never really could go back to sleep after opening my eyes in the morning. Except when it was very early in the morning at like 3 or 4am.
I pushed back the blankets, got up, and wandered into the bathroom to brush my hair, and then returned to my bedroom to get dressed.
Once I was dressed in my grey shirt with the double sleeves and some comfortable cargo jeans and my white tennis shoes, I went and got some breakfast. Unfortunately, though, not much seemed very appetizing. So I grabbed an orange, sat down at the table, and began picking at it.
"There's Finches..." Mum started in, talking about money and jobs again, "you could try them. They've always got jobs."
"Oh, great." I said dryly. "The butchers." I tried to concentrate on my orange again.
"Well it might do you good!" Mum replied, sitting down across from me. "That shop was giving you airs and graces. And I'm not joking about getting compensation-you've had genuine shock and trauma!" She'd stood back up again. I tucked my hair behind my hair as I tried to ward off the annoyance I was feeling to my mother at the moment. "Arianna got two thousand quid off the council just because the old man behind the desk said she looked Greek! I know she is Greek, but that's not the point-it's a valid claim."
That's when I heard the cat flap rattle.
"Mum, you're such a liar, I told you to nail that cat flap down. We're going to get strays!" I said, wandering off to the door.
"I did it weeks back!"
"No, you thought about it!" That's when I noticed the screws on the floor.
I picked one of the screws up to examine it when the flap moved violently. I lept backwards, then returned, poking the flap open carefully.
I gasped, seeing the Doctor's head through the open flap, and I quickly stood and opened the door.
"What're you doing here?" the Doctor asked, getting to his feet.
"I live here."
"Well, what do you do that for?"
"Because I do!" I replied angrily. "And I'm only at home because someone blew up my job."
The Doctor pulled out some sort of electronic wand from his coat pocket. It whirred with a strange sound for a moment as he spoke.
"Must've got the wrong signal. You're not plastic, are you?" he knocked rudely on my forehead. "No, bonehead. Bye, then!"
He turned to go, but, determined to get some more answers, I yanked him inside the flat.
"You, inside. Right now." And I shut the door.
"Who is it?" I heard Mum call from her bedroom.
I poked my head in quickly, saying, "It's about last night, he's part of the inquiry." I lied. "Give us 10 minutes."
And I continued down the hall.
"She deserves compensation." I heard her call to the Doctor.
The Doctor caught up with me in the living room as I was straightening magazines and making room on the sofa.
"Don't mind the mess." I told him. "Do you want a coffee?"
"Might as well, thanks! Just milk." he replied as I went into the kitchen and started the coffee.
"We should go to the police." I began, speaking loud enough for him to hear through the wall. "Seriously. Both of us. I'm not blaming you, even if it was just some sort of joke that went wrong. They said on the news they'd found a body." I continued, thinking of Wilson.
"All the same, he was nice. Nice bloke. Well anyway, if we are going to go to the police, I want to know what I'm saying. I want you to explain everything." I continued.
"...You got a cat?" I heard the Doctor ask suddenly.
"No..." I answered. I wondered why the interest in my household pets as I carried the finished coffee into the living room. "We did have, but there's these strays, they come in off the estate..."
I caught the Doctor playing around with the plastic arm, pretending to strangle himself, much like Mickey had last night.
"I told Mickey to chuck that out..." I commented, putting the coffee down on the table. "Honestly, give a man a plastic hand...anyway, I don't even know your name, Doctor...what was it?" I asked, trying to remember what he'd said yesterday.
The Doctor threw the hand off then, and I screamed as it suddenly flew across the room and attached itself to my face. I tried to yank it off and felt the Doctor's hands cover mine as he helped me. It was quickly becoming hard for me to breathe. And I could only see bright colors in the edges of my line of vision. The colors swirled as I was rocked back and forth on my feet as the Doctor pulled on the plastic arm. Suddenly I felt myself be pulled horizontal and we crashed into what must've been the table and rolled over onto the floor. Suddenly I was shoved backwards and I landed on the sofa, the arm still glued to my face. I could see spots starting to cover the last bit of my vision. I heard the weird whirring sound of the Doctor's electronic wand again, then my face was free.
I took deep breaths, staring as the Doctor continued scanning the arm with the strange wand.
"It's alright, I've stopped it." The Doctor said, the fingers of the arm now immobilized. "There you go, you see?"
He tossed the arm to me (again). "'Armless." he joked.
"Do you think?" I replied, unamused, and I whacked his shoulder with the plastic arm.
"Ow!" He rubbed his shoulder, grabbed the arm back from me, then quickly stood up and walked out of the flat and began down the staircase.
Angrily, I snatched up my red jacket and rushed after him.
"Hold on a minute, you can't just go swanning off." I called after him as we ran down the stairs.
"Yes I can. Here I am, this is me, swanning off. See ya!" he called back.
"That arm was moving, it tried to kill me!"
"Ten out of ten for observation."
"You can't just walk away, that's not fair! You've got to tell me what's going on."
"No I don't."
We'd reached the bottom of the staircase and continued through the doors.
"Alright then." I said stubbornly, struggling to keep pace with his quick stride. "I'll go to the police. I'll tell everyone. You said, if I did that, I'd get people killed. So, your choice. Tell me, or I'll start talking."
"Is that supposed to sound tough?" he asked disbelievingly.
"Who are you?"
"I told you! The Doctor."
"Yeah. But Doctor what?"
"Just the Doctor."
"The Doctor." I repeated questioningly.
"Hello!" he waved.
"Is that supposed to sound impressive?" I asked.
"Come on. You can tell me. I've seen enough. Are you the police?"
"No. I was just passing through. I'm a long way from home."
"But what have I done wrong? How come those plastic things keep coming after me?"
"Oh! Suddenly the entire world revolves around you! You were just an accident, you got in the way, that's all."
"It tried to kill me!" I said angry with his responses to my questions.
"It was after me, not you!" the Doctor replied. "Last night, in the shop, I was there, you blundered it. Almost ruined the whole thing. This morning, I was tracking it down, it was tracking me down...the only reason it fixed on you is that you met me."
I scoffed. "So, what you're saying is, the entire world revolves around you." I replied, a bit annoyed at the ego he seemed to have.
"Sort of, yeah."
"You're full of it!"
"Sort of, yeah."
I laughed. Maybe he wasn't all bad...
"But, all this plastic stuff-who else knows about it?" I asked as we passed by the next block of flats.
"No one." he answered.
"What, you're on your own?" I asked, surprised.
"Well, who else is there? I mean, you lot, all you do is eat chips, go to bed, and watch telly! When all the time, underneath you, there's a war going on!"
I reached in front of him, then, to take back the arm.
"Okay, start from the beginning. If you're gonna go with this living plastic, and I don't even believe that, but if we do...how did you kill it?"
"The thing controlling it projects life into the arm. I cut off the signal, dead." he answered.
"So that's radio control?" I guessed.
"Thought control." he corrected. "Are you alright?" he asked, when I didn't immediately reply.
"Yeah. So, who's controlling it, then?"
"But what's it all for? I mean, shop window dummies...what's that about? Is someone trying to take over Britain's shops?" I joked.
He laughed with me.
I laughed again. "I know."
"It's not a price war." Then he became serious. "They want to overthrow the human race and destroy you." he said. "Do you believe me?"
"No." I answered.
"But you're still listening."
I stopped walking. The Doctor didn't notice.
"Really though, Doctor. Tell me-who are you?"
Finally, he stopped.
"Do you know like we were saying? About the Earth revolving?" he walked back to me. "It's like when you were a kid. The first time they tell you the world's turning and you just can't quite believe it because everything looks like it's standing still. I can feel it."
He took my hand and I could only stare at his face as he continued.
"The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour, and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour, and I can feel it. We're falling through space, you and me. Clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go..." he let go of my hand then, "That's who I am. Now, forget me, Rose Tyler."
He took back the arm and waved it in my face. "Go home." he said.
And with that, he stalked away across the street. I watched his retreating back for a couple moments before finally turning back and walking back home.
I stopped, though, when I heard a bizarre grinding noise fill the air around me. I quickly turned back and ran as fast as I could back to where the Doctor had left me, but he was nowhere to be seen. Something was different about the street corner down the small hill. I couldn't place what it was, though. I shielded my eyes from the sun, looking around me, before finally walking away again.
It wasn't until I was outside his door that I realized I'd gone to Mickey's flat. He lived only one building over from me, so it wasn't that far off. The whole time I'd been walking I'd been trying to remember what had changed, and then I remembered. There was a blue telephone box at the bottom of the hill. Or at least that's what I'd thought. I'd thought I'd seen the Doctor walking up to it before I'd turned away, but it wasn't there when I'd gone back. Maybe it was the key to how the Doctor disappeared so quickly?
I knocked on the door.
"Yahey, there's my woman!" Mickey cried as he opened the door, slapping me in the back as I came in. "Kit off!"
"Shut up." I replied and he gave me a kiss. "Mwah!"
"Coffee?" Mickey asked.
"Yeah, only if you wash the mug." I replied. "And I don't mean rinse, I mean wash. Can I use your computer?" "Yeah. Any excuse to get in the bedroom." he joked, entering the kitchen.
I closed the door to his room behind me.
"Don't read my emails!" I heard him shout from the kitchen.
On the computer, I went straight to search-wise. Then, I settled back in the computer chair, wondering what to do next.
I decided I'd started out by trying his name. So, I leaned forward in the chair again and quickly typed 'Doctor' into the search box.
The results returned with several links to famous medical doctors, nothing resembling what I was looking for. I looked into the top left corner.
Results 1-10 of about 17,700,000.
Clearly, this wasn't going to work. So, I typed into the search box again, this time trying 'Doctor Living Plastic'.
The top result was labelt 'The Living Plastic Creations of Dr. Rhenburg'.
I decided to try once more by typing 'Doctor Blue Box' into the search box.
...Do you know this man?
contact clive here...'
Curious, I clicked the link. The page loaded a picture, surrounded by the words, 'DOCTOR WHO?' and 'HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN? CONTACT CLIVE'. The picture finished loading. It was a computer-enhanced closeup of the Doctor's face. Short dark hair, large ears, serious face, blue eyes, looked about 40 years old.
And with that, I contacted Clive.
After talking with Clive Finch for awhile, I had short discussion with Mickey before meeting him. Naturally, Mickey insisted on driving me there.
"You're not coming in!" I told Mickey again when we pulled up outside the Finch home in Mickey's rusty yellow BMW. "He's safe, he's got a wife and kids."
"Yeah, but who told you that? He did. That's exactly what an Internet lunatic murderer would say." Mickey replied, obviously annoyed.
I merely got out of the car anyway, grinning at him, and went up to the house.
I knocked on the door and it opened a moment later to reveal a boy that looked about 11 years old.
"Uh, hello, I've come to see Clive?" I said, glancing back to Mickey now and then, who was staring at me from his car, still waiting to check if Clive was alright no doubt. "We've been emailing."
"Dad! It's one of your nutters!" the boy shouted over his shoulder and an older man who could only be Clive replaced the boy in the doorway.
"Sorry." he said. "Hello. You must be Rose. I'm Clive. Obviously!" He laughed.
"I better tell you now," I said, gesturing back to Mickey across the street, "my boyfriend's waiting in the car, just in case you're going to kill me!"
"No, good point." He laughed, waving to Mickey, who nodded, still looking distrustful. "No murders."
"Who is it?" a woman's voice called from the staircase behind Clive.
"Oh it's something to do with the Doctor! She's been reading the website. Please come through, I'm in the shed." Clive said, stepping aside to let me in and I walked down the hall and around the corner.
Again I heard the woman's voice speak, saying, "She? She read a website about the Doctor? She's a she?" And I heard the front door close.
In the shed, nearly every surface was papered with photographs and newspaper cutouts.
"A lot of this stuff's quite sensitive, I couldn't just send it to you. People might intercept it, if you know what I mean." Clive said, going over to a shelf and pulling out a blue folder that looked to be about 2-3 inches thick. "If you dig deep enough-keep a lively mind-this Doctor keeps cropping up all over the place. Political diaries, conspiracy theories. Even ghost stories." he set the folder down on a table in front me and opened it. "No first name, no last name. Just 'The Doctor'. Always The Doctor. And the title seems to have been passed down from father to son, it appears to be an inheritance. That's your Doctor there, isn't it?"
He pointed to a computer monitor behind us, his web page up on the screen showing the picture of the Doctor I'd met yesterday.
"Yeah," I answered.
"I tracked it down to the Washington public archive's last year. The online photo's enhanced, but if we look at the original..." He showed me some photos of the Doctor, standing as part of the crowd in front of the Kennedy car just before the JFK assassination, a circle by red marker along with an arrow pointing out the Doctor's face.
"November 22, 1963. The assassination of President Kennedy."
"Must be his father..." I murmured, trying to figure out what was going on behind the picture. Because it didn't just look like the Doctor's father...it looked like him.
I took a closer look at the photos while Clive went and pulled out another folder of photos.
"Going further back...April 1912." He pulled out a photo and showed it to me. "This is a photo of the Daniels family, Southampton. And friend." He pointed to another photo of the same Doctor, this time dressed in a period tuxedo.
"This was taken the day before they were due to sail off for the New World." Clive continued. "On the Titanic. And for some unknown reason, they cancelled the trip and survived. And..." He pulled a sketch off a nearby wall.
This time he was wearing the same leather jacket, jeans, and dark shoes that he'd been wearing when I'd seen him earlier today. But how was that possible?
"1883." Clive said. "Another Doctor. And look-the same lineage. He's identical. This one washed up on the coast of Sumatra on the very day Krakatoa exploded. The Doctor is a legend woven throughout history. When disastercomes, he's there. He has a storm in his wake. And he has one constant companion."
He'd said earlier today that he was alone. Had he lied?
"Who's that?" I asked.
There was a moment of silence between us as it sank in.
"If the Doctor's back..." Clive continued finally, "if you've seen him, Rose...then one thing's for certain-we're all in danger. If he's singled you out...if the Doctor's making house calls...then God help you."
"Who is he? Who do you think he is?" I asked him.
"I think he's the same man. I think he's immortal. I think he's an alien from another world."
A few minutes later, I walked back out to Mickey's car, my body not feeling very much in my own control. My mind was still trying wrap itself around what Clive had said.
"Alright! He's a nutter! Off his head! Complete online conspiracy freak. You win." I said as I got into the car, although if I was being honest with myself, I was lying to Mickey about what I thought.
"What're we going to do tonight? I fancy a pizza."
"Pizzaaaa! P-p-p-pizza!" Mickey said.
"...or a Chinese..." I continued.
"Pizza!" Mickey cheered, and we took off in a wobbly line down the road.
We were sitting at a table at a local restaurant a couple hours later, trying to talk to Mickey about what I should do for a new job. Hopefully, he'd be better about it then my Mum had been this morning.
"Do you think I should try the hospital? Suki said they had a few jobs going in the canteen." I sighed. "So that's it then...dishing out chips...I could do A Levels..."
Mickey just stared at me with a grin on his face.
"I dunno." I continued. "It's all Jimmy Stone's fault. I only left school because of him, and look where he ended up. What do you think?"
"So," Mickey finally said, "where did you meet this Doctor?"
"I'm sorry, wasn't I talking about me for a second?" I asked, wondering why he was bringing it up again.
"Because, I reckon it started back at the shop, am I right? Is he something to do with that?" he asked.
"What was he doing there?" Mickey pressed.
"I'm not going on about him, Mickey, I'm not, because, I know it sounds daft but...I don't think he's safe. I think he's dangerous." I may not have been able to decide whether I believed Clive's thoughts of the Doctor's background, but of this I was convinced.
"But you can trust me sweetheart! Babe, sugar, darling, sugar."
What was that about?
"You can tell me anything." he continued. "Tell me about the Doctor and what he's planning, and I can help you, Rose. Because that's all I really wanna do, sweetheart, babe, sugar, sweetheart."
"What're you doing that for?" I asked, wondering why he was being so weird.
"Your champagne," a waiter interrupted, coming up to the table.
"We didn't order any champagne." Mickey answered, and he suddenly grabbed my hand. "Where's the Doctor?" he asked.
"Ma'am. Your champagne," the waiter said again, this time from behind me.
"It's not ours." I replied, keeping my eyes on Mickey, trying to figure out what was wrong with him. "Mickey, what is it? What's wrong?"
"I need to find out how much you know, so where is he?"
"Doesn't anybody want this champagne?" the waiter spoke up again.
Mickey looked up, exasperated.
"Look, we didn't order i-" he froze. "Ah. Gotcha."
I looked over my shoulder to see none other than the Doctor, shaking up a bottle of champagne.
"Don't mind me. I'm just toasting the happy couple." The Doctor said. "On the house!"
The cork popped out of the bottle and hit Mickey squarely in the forehead. But what happened next was beyond bizarre. The cork didn't bounce off his forehead, but was absorbed by it, and suddenly Mickey was spitting it back out of his mouth.
"Anyway," the plastic Mickey said, and suddenly his hands became clubs and he smashed the table just as I stood up and screamed, running out of the way.
I ran to the door and when I turned around I saw that the Doctor had the plastic Mickey in a chokehold, and suddenly pulled off his head.
"Don't think that's gonna stop me." the head of the plastic Mickey said, and his body continued to mindlessly wreck the restaurant as the other customers began to scream.
Glancing around for a solution, I spotted a fire alarm next to me.
I quickly pressed it, yelling "Everyone out! Out now!"
Everyone scrambled for the exits. Meanwhile, the plastic Mickey's body continued smashing the tables left and right with his club-hands.
"Get out!" I continued yelling. "Get out! Get out!"
I quickly ran back through the kitchen, continuing my warning to the staff in there as the Doctor joined me, holding onto the head as the body followed close behind. We found the back door to the restaurant and I ran through while the Doctor stopped to pull out his strange electronic wand again, as I heard its strange whirring. I continued on toward the gate of the yard, but they were locked.
"Open the gate!" I yelled to the Doctor, banging on the gate again desperately. "Use that tube thing, come on!"
"What, this?" the Doctor asked. "This is a sonic screwdriver."
"Nah. Tell ya what, let's go in here."
I turned around to see the plastic body was beginning to make dents in the metal door as the Doctor unlocked and entered a blue police box. Wait a minute...
I ran over to examine it. Wasn't this the blue box I'd seen back at the corner hill earlier this afternoon when the Doctor split? But why would the Doctor say to go in there? It was made of wood, for goodness sake!
"We can't hide in a wooden box!" I yelled to the Doctor, who was unseen in the small box. I ran back to the gate, rattling the chains again. "It's gonna get us! Doctor!"
I ran back to the police box then, closing the door behind me as I ran inside. I took a few steps, then froze.
But that's not possible...! I ran back outside again, frightened and confused. How could that work? How could it be so huge? I circled the police box, examining it. But it looked so small...! With once another bang, I saw the plastic body had made a hole in the door. I ran back inside the box to get the Doctor's help.
"It's gonna follow us!" I yelled to him once I'd gone back inside, and I saw him several feet ahead, circling some main control panel, surrounded by orange coral-like pillars and metal flooring and stairways, which appeared to lead off into even more places inside the supposedly tiny box.
"The assembled hoards of Genghis Khan couldn't get through that door, and believe me, they've tried. Now, shut up a minute." The Doctor replied calmly, doing something with a bunch of wires and the plastic Mickey head.
Meanwhile, I glanced around again, trying to force my head to wrap around the idea that the inside was so huge...and having trouble doing so.
"You see, the arm is too simple," the Doctor continued, and I realized he was referring to earlier today, "but the head's perfect. I can use it to trace the signal back to the original source. Right."
He turned to me, finally giving me his full attention. "Where do you want to start?" he asked.
"Um..." I struggled to speak again, "the inside's bigger than the outside?" I suggested.
"It's alien." I guessed.
"Yup." He answered simply.
"Are you alien?"
"Is that alright?" He asked.
"Yeah," I answered, perhaps a little too quickly.
"It's called the TARDIS, this thing." the Doctor said. "T-A-R-D-I-S, that's Time And Relative Dimension In Space."
A small sob escaped me as the whole of it all finally sunk in and I realized something that I hadn't had time to earlier in the rush to save everyone.
"That's okay. Culture shock." the Doctor continued, misinterpreting my cry. "Happens to the best of us."
"Did they kill him?" I asked finally. "Mickey? Did they kill Mickey? Is he dead?"
The Doctor's face fell as he realized what I was upset about.
"Oh...didn't think of that."
"He's my boyfriend." I said angrily. "You pulled off his head-they copied him and you didn't even think? And now you're just going to let him melt?" I cried angrily, pointing to the plastic head, which was indeed melting into the console.
"Melt?" the Doctor asked, confused. And he turned around to see the melting head. "Oh, no no no no no NO!"
He ran over to the console panel and began frantically messing with various buttons and levers.
"What're you doing?" I asked.
"Reviving the signal, it's fading! Wait I've got it..." He glanced at a nearby screen. "No No No No No No NO!" He cried out again and the floor beneath us started to shake and that strange grinding sound I'd heard this morning filled the air as the room shook.
"Almost there! Almost there! Here we go!" the Doctor cheered.
Suddenly the shaking and grinding stopped, and the Doctor ran out the doors without saying so much as another word.
"You can't go out there, it's not safe!" I yelled after him, following him through the doorway.
"I lost the signal, I got so close." I heard him say and I looked around at our surroundings, confused.
"We've moved!" I said. "Does it fly?"
"Disappears there, reappears here, you wouldn't understand." the Doctor said. He seemed to be pouting.
"But if we're somewhere else, what about that headless thing? It's still on the loose."
"It melted with the head, are you going to witter on all night?" the Doctor said rudely.
"I'll have to tell his mother..." I said, feeling as thought I might cry again.
The Doctor just looked at me questioningly.
"Mickey!" I yelled at him angrily. "I'll have to tell his mother he's dead, and you just went and forgot him, again!"
The Doctor merely rolled his eyes, seemingly unconcerned about it.
"You were right, you are alien." I said, turning to walk away from him and I was pretty sure that I wouldn't return.
"Look," the Doctor interrupted my retreat angrily, "if I did forget some kid called Mickey-"
"Yeah, he's not a kid." I replied.
But the Doctor ignored my words as he continued. "it's because I'm trying to save the life of every stupid ape blundering on top of this planet, alright?"
"Alright?" I repeated, shouting in my anger and frustration.
"Yes! It is!"
I shook my head. This guy was unbelievable!
"If you are an alien, then how come you sound like you're from the North?" I asked.
"Lots of planets have a North." the Doctor replied, his back somewhat towards me with his arms folded across his chest.
"What's a police public call box?" I asked, reading the panel across the top of the wooden box's doorway. My tone had returned to normal now, my curiosity having replaced my anger.
"It's a telephone box from the 1950s." the Doctor replied, his tone cheerful now, as he wandered over to pat the TARDIS fondly, a grin on his face.
"It's a disguise." He explained.
I smiled, shaking my head at the complete 180-degree change in attitude he'd just had.
"Okay," I said. "And this living plastic, what's it got against us?"
"Nothing, it loves you." he answered. "You've got such a good planet. Lots of smoke and oil, plenty of toxins and dioxins in the air...perfect. Just what the Nestene Consciousness needs. It's food stock was destroyed in the war, all its protein plants rotted, so Earth..dinner!" He mimicked eating with his hands.
"Any way of stopping it?" I asked.
The Doctor grinned, pulling a tube filled with a blue liquid of some sort from his jacket pocket.
"Anti-plastic!" He exclaimed.
"Anti-plastic..." I repeated.
"Anti-plastic!" He said, running his hand over the tube. "But first I've got to find it. How can you hide something that big in a city this small?"
"Hold on..." I said, following him as he began to walk away down the bridge we were on. "Hide what?"
"The transmitter." he said, stopping and turning towards me, and we were now standing in front of the London Eye, his back to it. "The Consciousness is controllign every single piece of plastic so it needs a transmitter to boost the signal.
"What's it look like?" I asked him, suddenly feeling a strange urge to help him however I could.
"Like a transmitter. Round and massive, slap bang in the middle of London." he replied.
I glanced around, looking for something that would match his description.
"A huge circular metal structure..." the Doctor continued, "like a dish..."
And that's when it dawned on me. The London Eye! It fit the description perfectly.
"Like a wheel." the Doctor continued even still. "Close to where we're standing. Must be completely invisible."
I continued to look at the Eye behind him, wondering when he'd notice.
"What?" he asked, finally taking notice of my offward gaze.
I nodded towards the Eye. He turned around, then returned his glance to me, completely oblivious.
"What?" he asked again.
I continued looking at the Eye. When would he realize? He looked again, but still failed to get the point.
"What is it? What?"
I kept my gaze fixed on the structure as he glanced back one last time, finally understanding.
"Oh..." he gasped. "Fantastic!"
He grinned widely before running off. I followed after him and next thing I knew, he'd taken hold of my hand as we raced down the London Bridge until we reached the foot of the Eye.
"Think of it." the Doctor said when we'd stopped. "Plastic, all over the world. Every artificial thing waiting to come alive. The shop window dummies, the phones, the wires, the cables..."
"The breast implants..."
"Still, we've found the transmitter. The Consciousness must be somewhere underneath."
I ran off without him and quickly found an entrance to a manhole just below the wall nearby.
"What about down here?" I called.
The Doctor quickly joined me, looking over the edge of the wall at the manhole.
"Looks good to me," he said.
And we ran down the stairs to it. The Doctor took off the lid, red light and smoke pouring out of the now open hole. We climbed down the ladder inside the shaft. At the foot of the ladder, there was a dark tunnel room, chains hanging across it, and a dark red light surrounding us. The Doctor continued on down the tunnel, opening the door to another chamber and descending another set of steps. Inside was a massive orange jello-looking monster lying in a vat on the floor. The Doctor pointed to it.
"The Nestene Consciousness, that's it, inside the vat. A living, plastic creature.
"Well, then. Tip in your anti-plastic and let's go." I said.
"I'm not here to kill it." The Doctor replied. "I've got to give it a chance."
We continued down once another set of steps. The Doctor leaned over the railing to speak to the Nestene Consciousness, while I stayed behind aways.
"I seek audience with the Nestene Consciousness under peaceful contract." The Doctor began. "According to convention 15 of the Shadow Proclamation."
The Consciousness wobbled around, shifting its shape, apparently speaking some alien language of some sort that I couldn't make out.
"Thank you." the Doctor replied, obviously having no problem understanding the bizarre creature. "That I might have permission to approach."
Suddenly, I saw a bit of movement from the corner of my eye. Mickey! He was huddled against a corner. I quickly ran over to him, while the Doctor continued down another level to speak with the Consciousness.
"Oh, my God! Mickey! It's okay!" I hugged him, exstactic that he was alive after all. "It's alright!"
"That thing down there, the liquid, Rose-it can talk!" Mickey whimpered.
"You're stinking!" I said, wrinkling my nose. "Doctor, they kept him alive!"
"Yeah, that was always a possibility. Keep him alive to maintain the copy." the Doctor replied, unsurprised.
"You knew that and you never said?" I asked.
"Can we keep the domestics outside, thank you?" the Doctor said.
I helped Mickey up to his feet.
"Am I addressing the Consciousness?" the Doctor said loudly, having turned his attention to the wobbling lava thing again. "Thank you. If I might observe, you infiltrated this civilization by means of warped, shunt technology. So, may I suggest, with the greatest respect, that you shunt off?"
The Consciousness roared again, and although I couldn't understand what it was saying, I knew it wasn't happy with the Doctor's words.
"Oh don't give me that, it's an invasion!" the Doctor said. "Plain and simple! Don't talk about constitutional rights!"
The plastic reared what looked like a face, looking angry.
"I-AM-TALKING!" the Doctor yelled. "This planet is just starting. These stupid little people have only just learnt how to walk, but they're capable of so much more. I'm asking you on their behalf-please, just go."
I spotted two shop dummies approaching the Doctor, his back to them.
"Doctor!" I warned.
But it was too late. The dummies had grabbed his arms and held his arms behind his back. One of them pulled out the tube of anti-plastic from the Doctor's pocket.
"That was just insurance!" the Doctor cried. "I wasn't going to use it."
The Consciousness roared angrily.
"I was not attacking you. I'm here to help. I'm not your enemy. I swear, I'm not..what do you mean?"
I jumped as suddenly doors opened behind me and Mickey, revealing the Doctor's TARDIS.
"Oh, on no-honestly, no! Yes, that's my ship."
The plastic roared.
"That's not true. I should know, I was there." the Doctor said to the Consciousness, his tone pleading. "I fought in the war-it wasn't my fault! I couldn't save your world! I couldn't save any of them!"
"What's it doing?" I yelled, trying to figure out what was going on.
"It's the TARDIS! The Nestene has identified its superior technology-it's terrified! It's going to the final base. It's starting the invasion! Get out, Rose! Just leg it! Now"
But I didn't. Instead I ripped out my mobile, ringing my mother.
"Mum?" I yelled when she answered the phone.
"Oh, there you are, I was just gonna phone." Mum answered. "You can get compensation. I said so. I've got this document thing off the police-don't thank me!"
"Where are you, Mum?" I asked.
"I'm in town!"
"Go home! Just go home, right now!"
"Darling, you're breaking up, look, I'm just going to do a bit of late night shopping. I'll see you later. Tra!"
She hung up. Great, this was just perfect!
"Mum?" I shouted into the phone again, uselessly. "Mum!"
Suddenly, a bolt of lightning of sorts burst from the Consciousness.
"It's the activation signal!" the Doctor cried. "It's transmitting!"
"The end of the world..." I mused.
"Get out, Rose! Just get out! Run!" the Doctor yelled as a part of the ceiling fell in.
"The staris have gone!" I yelled, the ceiling having smashed the stairway to the exit.
I shoved Mickey toward the TARDIS, trying to get in there instead but found the door to be locked.
"I haven't got the key!" I yelled.
"We're gonna die!" Mickey cried, grabbing hold of my leg like a small child.
I watched as the Doctor struggled to get to the anti-plastic. Then I had an idea. I searched around the room for what would help me.
"Just leave him!" I heard Mickey yell as I walked away from him. "There's nothing you can do!"
I picked up an axe I found nearby on the floor and went up to a spot on the wall where the chain was hooked to the wall.
"I've got no A Levels..." I said. "No job...No future..." I swung the axe at the chain, releasing it from the wall.
"But I tell you what I have got." I continued. "Jericho Street Junior School under 7s gymnastic team."
I grabbed hold of the chain. "I got the bronze."
And with that, I swung across the gap over the Consciousness, kicking the shop dummies off of the Doctor and into the Nestene, one of them still holding the tube of anti-plastic. The Consciousness began to writhe and scream as I landed safely in the Doctor's arms.
"Now we're in trouble." he said, glancing towards the squirming Consciousness, which started to explode as we ran off towards the TARDIS. I turned back to grin smugly at the Consciousness before following the Doctor and Mickey inside and closing the door behind us.
As soon as the TARDIS landed again, Mickey ran straight for the door and all the way back until he fell against a wall in the alleyway outside. I followed calmly after him, ringing my mother again to check that she was alright.
She answered immediately. "Rose!" she cried. "Rose! Don't go out of the house, it's not safe!"
I laughed in relief that she was alright.
"There were all these things!" Mum continued. "And they were shooting! And they-"
I hung up then, my call having served its purpose, and ran over to Mickey, who was cowering against the wall.
"A fat lot of good you were!" I said.
Mickey whimpered as I saw the Doctor situate himself in the doorway of the TARDIS.
"Nestene Consciousness?" he said, clicking his fingers. "Easy."
"You were useless in there." I teased him. "You'd be dead if it wasn't for me."
"Yes, I would." he replied. "Thank you. Right then!" I'll be off! Unless, uh...I dont' know...you could come with me."
I looked at him for a moment, putting my hands into my pockets awkwardly. Should I...?
"This box isn't just a London hopper, you know," the Doctor continued, "it goes anywhere in the universe free of charge."
Before I could answer Mickey pointed at the Doctor accusingly, saying, "Don't! He's an alien! He's a thing!"
"He's not invited." the Doctor replied. "What do you think? You could stay her e and fill your life with work and food and sleep, or you could go, uh...anywhere."
"Is it always this dangerous?" I asked.
"Yeah," he nodded.
Mickey grabbed hold of round my legs again, acting like a small child.
"Yeah, I can't..." I answered finally, though I wasn't sure if I believed my words yet or not. "I've um...gotta go and find my mum and um...someone's gotta look after this stupid lump..." I said, laughing softly as I patted Mickon on the back. "So..."
"Okay." the Doctor said quietly. I couldn't tell the emotion behind his face though. "See you around."
I looked on intensely, still not sure if I was sure of my decision. The Doctor kept my gaze as he closed the door to the TARDIS. I stood there for a moment, watching it disappear, before finally turning my attention to the man I called my boyfriend, still with his arms wrapped tight round my knees.
"Come on, let's go." I said.
Mickey was still staring in shock at the space where the TARDIS had stood moments earlier.
"C'mon...come on..." I prodded, helping him to his feet and we began making our way down the alley towards home.
Until I heard a familar grinding noise. But it couldn't be...I spun round to see the shape of the TARDIS fading back into sight. The Doctor poked his head out of the doorway.
"By the way," he said, "did I mention, it also travels in time?"
He grinned and pulled his head back in, leaving the door open, as if he knew that I'd accept his offer this time. And he was right.
I turned to Mickey. "Thanks."
"Thanks for what?" he asked.
And I kissed him on the cheek before running into the TARDIS, a wide smile on my face.
A/N: Please, whether you like it or hate it, leave a review! I'd love to know what you think!