The Methuselah Hunters
Lt. Commander Richie
Disclaimer: Doctor Who is property of BBC, Trinity Blood of Sunao Yoshida (may he rest in peace). It's their sandboxes full of toys, and while they're inside for lunch I'm the angry neighbor kid that jumps the fence and puts their action figures in compromising positions.
Warnings: Humor, completely made up jargon, an awful lot of running, the requisite 10/Rose flirting and spoilers for Trinity Blood up to but not into Know Faith/Silent Noise and Who up through but not surpassing "The Satan Pit". Disregards the timeline of the varying Great and Bountiful Human Empires because I am lazy. Contains 10 and Rose trussed up in artbook Trinity Blood uniforms (feel free to laugh and/or fangasm).
A/N: I am a bad person and I love it. I've also combined Firefly and Bleach before, and though I promised that the internet would never see that I eventually ended up posting it and it's available on my profile. SO YES! Two of my favorite things, Trinity Blood being an old favorite and Doctor Who being a brand new one, combined into one thing! This will either end very well or very badly. Allons-y!
In what Rose was beginning to sense was a theme, she cursed her clothing choices. Of course what she had been stuck in this time wasn't actually her choice, but she still cursed silently and fluently in as many inventive ways as she could as she tried very hard to breathe around the corset she was wearing. Being the body-double of the unfortunately sick Lady Angelique de Huono, Baroness of Nottingham and foreign dignitary, was not turning out to be the exciting undercover operation she had almost hoped for. That probably had something to do with the twenty pounds of skirt and other dressings she was wearing- never mind the large sawed-off shotgun that had been buckled to her upper thigh against her wishes.
All-in-all, though, she had it better than the Doctor. He was wearing fifty pounds of Vatican guard armor and was standing at a very fidgety attention behind and to the left of the altar. The worst thing she really had to worry about, besides the gun strapped to her thigh and whether or not she would be breathing in twenty minutes, was making sure that the bejeweled hat and circlet she was wearing didn't fall off her head. He had to worry about those fifty pounds of armor, visibility through his helmet and not tipping his halberd over onto the floor or the altar.
At some point the Pope had entered the cathedral, because a hush fell over the already rather quiet crowd. Rose resisted the urge to fidget in the pew, settling instead for crossing her hands in her lap and trying her best to look serene. As the procession passed her she caught a glimpse of the small boy in the brilliantly white and gold Papal vestments at the front and center of it, a massive gold staff topped with an ornate cross in one of his hands. For a moment she entertained the idea that the boy was cute, if not anxious-looking and a little wide-eyed, but then she reconsidered. He was the Pope after all; it was just a little odd.
Rose suddenly got a much better view of said Pope as she and the Doctor, almost in unison, focused their attention on a light that had begun flashing on the altar along with a loud stream of beeps. She jumped to her feet and dove in front of the Papal procession, grabbing the fifteen-year-old religious leader by the shoulders and pulling him to her chest as she rolled them both out of the way of what was suddenly a very large fireball instead of an altar. They came to a stop in a tangle of rich vestments and multiple skirts, the frightened mousy-haired boy cowering against her as chaos erupted in the cathedral. Both their hats had been knocked clean away, and his light brown hair was flopping into his eyes as he whimpered in fear. Rose held onto him and patted him as reassuringly as she could, waiting for the roar of the explosion to die down and for her hearing to properly restore itself.
"Y'alright?" Rose asked, looking down at the boy whose life she had just saved. "M'Rose Tyler, from Cardinal Sforza's Special Operations Section." Not waiting for the boy to collect himself, she let him go and peered over the top of the pew. The altar was gone, shrapnel and burning debris littering the cathedral. There was a burning pit where the explosion had gone off, crackling merrily and starting to spread without anyone to curb its progress. "Doctor?!" She called, looking for some movement where she had seen the man last. If he could hear her over the cacophony of panicked noise in the cathedral, he didn't answer. A trembling hand found one of her wrists, and the blond turned around to face the frightened teenager she had just saved. He was quite literally shaking like a leaf, shrinking in on himself and nearly drowning in his vestments. Rose's worry immediately turned to the waifish boy, and she gave him a reassuring smile.
"T-thank you," Pope Alessandro XVIII stuttered. He looked apologetic as he held onto Rose's hands, and she furrowed her brow at the expression.
"Quite alright, we do this sort of thing all the time." With a clang and crunch of armor, the Doctor crouched next to the duo behind the pew. Rose's smile quickly gained a tinge of relief, and she immediately grabbed his proffered gloved hand with one of her own. "Hello Alessandro, I'm the Doctor!" The Pope shook like a leaf as the Doctor smiled at him, and Rose let him cling to her as she patted him awkwardly on the back of the head with her free hand. His sooty eyebrows rising, the Time Lord gave the blond a very pointed look that conveyed his exact feelings on her picking up strays. No matter how adorable the boy might be, and no matter how much he seemed to like Rose, this was one kid the Doctor was not letting come along thankyouverymuch.
Rose returned the look and continued to comfort the young religious leader that clung to the front of her beautiful, if not ruined, dress.
"Didn't the Inquisition sweep the church 'fore Mass?" Carefully letting go of Alessandro, the blond turned to the Doctor as she spoke. "How'd anyone get a bomb in 'ere?"
"Inside job, no doubt." The Doctor fiddled with the sonic screwdriver as he spoke, already having stripped off his heavy leather and metal gloves in order to gain a greater amount of dexterity. "We could be looking at any number of radical terrorist groups- there's quite a few of them in this time period, you know. Neue Vatican, the Rosenkreuz Orden, the Albion Methuselah Rebellion Army, they've all got reasons to take potshots at young Alec here." He paused, then, his expression looking as though it had frozen halfway between thoughtful and consternation. "Though at this point right now I think only Neue Vatican an' a bunch of independent warmongers from the Empire want anything t' do with tryin' to blow him up. That quite possibly makes this a very volatile political situation." Almost as soon as the words had left his mouth, a look that seemed to rather resemble horror crossed his features. "We can't let the Inquisition get involved."
"Why not?" Rose asked. She was torn between listening to the Time Lord and keeping the teenage Pope from hyperventilating. The poor boy was already shaking like a leaf in a gale and getting worse, and looked as though he might be going into shock.
"Imagine a bull in a china shop," the Doctor began. He looked deadly serious even as he whipped the screwdriver around several times to take a reading from the air, continuing his speech as he did so. "As silly as the metaphor is, it sort of works- now imagine that the china is all international relations and even so much as someone looking at that china wrong could make th' rest of the china start hurling bombs and targeting other pieces of china with orbital ion cannons. With me so far?" He wasn't exactly looking, as focused as he was on the readings on the sonic screwdriver, but Rose nodded anyway. She felt Alessandro let her hand go and she turned the smile on him distractedly without really looking.
"I'm guessin' the Inquisition's the bull?" The Doctor turned a brilliant smile on her as she spoke, a good amount of pride on his face. She smiled back, a little bit of cheek tinting the expression in her normal, natural way.
"The Inquisition's most definitely the bull," he began, "an' we've got to get Alec to safety before they call in the big guns." The Doctor looked over towards the religious leader, then, his expression immediately cycling through surprise and a slight amount of fear before settling on indignation and then something that looked a good deal like the Oncoming Storm. Rose's focus switched straight to the scared fifteen-year-old, her heavily lined eyes widening in unconcealed shock as she registered a very important problem.
The Pope was gone.
"Alessandro?!" Rose immediately jumped to her feet, turning quickly with her ruined skirts twisting in the debris on the floor. In a clanging and crashing of armor the Doctor was up right after her, sonic screwdriver held in one hand and surveying the rapidly-spreading fire that was beginning to take over the room. "Alessandro!" Rose yelled again, this time worried and a little frightened. The boy in question made a squeak that was lost in the crackling of flames and the panic that had taken over the cathedral, petrified and shaking so hard that he couldn't think to reach for the hand that held his neck in a vice grip.
The face of the boy's attacker was a cruel one, twisted into a fanged scowl with hard green eyes full of malice. Her fingers elongated into ten inch silver spikes- the edges and tips no doubt as sharp as a knife- and two of those fingers were lightly tracing lines down the Pope's cheek that beaded with bright red droplets of blood in their wake. The girl's habit was spattered with burnt holes, blackened edges contrasting starkly with the bright blue fabric. She scratched another line and her scowl turned into a wicked smile, her small pink tongue peeking out from between her dangerous fangs to taste the red fluid dripping down the frightened religious leader's cheek.
"Ah," the Doctor began. "Our inside agent."
"But that's-" Rose began, her focus flipping between the Doctor and the Methuselah girl in the novice's habit several times before settling on the girl and her captive. "That's the novice from this mornin'! She wasn't a Methuselah then, was she?"
"Yeah, I imagine she kinda was." The Doctor only spared Rose a cursory glance as he focused on the pink-haired Methuselah in the novice's habit. His stance shifted forward with a clatter of armor on armor, and he fixed the girl with a dark gaze. "What is it you want?" He asked, the tone of his voice belying just how genuinely interested he was. "Th' dissolution of th' Catholic Church? Freedom for all Methuselah? Th' death of th' Pope? New world order? Whatever it is, you're goin' about getting it all wrong."
The Methuselah girl bristled, her grip on the frightened teen's neck tightening imperceptibly. The boy cried out, and she snapped at him with her impossibly sharp teeth.
"Wot wou'djou know, y' filthy Vatican dog? All I wan'-" What the inside agent wanted would remain unknown, however, as at that moment a portion of the ceiling decided it was the perfect time to explode inward. The Doctor and Rose were showered with chunks of masonry and painted plaster as a massive crash shook the ground around them. The dust began to settle as a hellish whine pervaded the room, growing steadily louder with each passing moment. One glance at the Doctor from Rose confirmed her suspicions- the bull he had spoken of had deigned it time to arrive.
In front of them was the back of an impressive man. His suit of armor gleamed in the waning natural light, the red and gold tabard worn over the top of it a crimson warning to his enemies. The hellish whine, quickly rising to a fever pitch, came from the massive figure's spinning weapon. With an artful shift the man slid into a fighting stance, swinging the weapon around so that the spinning head threatened the pink-haired Methuselah agent.
"You will release His Holiness, vampire!" The Inquisitor's ultimatum was met with an angry screech and a flash of claws as the Methuselah girl threw her captive to the ground and raked her deadly pointed fingers through the air. The silver claws went flying from her fingers, and though the Inquisitor moved out of the way in a surprising display of agility they embedded themselves only inches from where Rose and the Doctor peered over the pew they had taken cover behind. The companions shared a wide-eyed expression before the Doctor noticed the silver beginning to bubble and hiss against the wood.
"Rose, run!" He ordered. In a clatter of bent armor plates he shoved the blond away from the silver spikes, his wide-eyed expression one of fear. Rose struggled to her feet, but her ankles were caught in the twisted remains of her dress and she toppled back down to the ground. She hit the marble floor with a whump and a surprised epithet, struggling to rip her skirt free and tangling herself further in the process.
Three things happened then.
First, Rose felt her skirt tear quite to pieces as someone with hands the size of dinner plates picked her up by the waist and hauled her into the air so fast she felt the world fall through space for a moment.
The second Rose barely had time to register, as one moment she was looking at a sea of smashed and broken pews and the next she was behind the Methuselah girl and the teenage Pope.
Third, the claws embedded in the wooden pew exploded with enough force to make her ears ring. More than that, the few remaining stained glass windows that had survived the force of the initial bombing shattered outward with heartbreaking crashes.
"Doctor?" Rose's initial question was faint, and she barely registered that she was being carried in one arm against the shoulder of the Inquisitor- like a toddler. "Doctor?!" she yelled, coming to her senses and beginning to squirm against the man that had just saved her life.
"'m alright!" Three rows of pews back from the explosion, the Doctor's head popped up from behind his impromptu cover. He shucked dented and utterly useless armor from his skinny frame as he rose, revealing the vestments he wore underneath.
"My Lady-" the Inquisitor that held Rose began, looking mildly awkward under his helmet as he tried valiantly to keep her from falling out of his grip. At the height he held her, Rose's décolletage was at about his eye-level. "My Lady, please-" the angry blond continued her efforts to be let down, regardless of the pleas of her savior. "My Lady Huono, your safety does not come before that of His Holiness-"
"'m not Angelique de Huono! 'm 'er bloody body double- look out!" Rose ducked as more of the hissing silver nails flew from the Methuselah's fingers and straight at her head, then let out an enraged yelp as the Inquisitor shifted his grip from her thighs to her bum so as to keep her from falling. With his other hand he brandished his massive weapon- the head of which began to spin and emit that same high-pitched keening from a minute before. Before Rose could express her opinion as to the contrary, the large man rushed the Methuselah with a feral yell.
The Methuselah jumped out of the way just in time to avoid a crushing blow from the screaming mace that the Inquisitor brandished, and for good reason. The rubble-strewn floor of the Cathedral exploded where he made contact, slivers of stone and wood zipping about like miniature projectiles.
"'y gon' get me killed! Put me down," Rose ordered. The Inquisitor attempted to put her down gently, but with the sheer amount of armor he sported the gesture was rendered largely moot. She stumbled and nearly fell on her face, but recovered quickly and tore away what was left of her heavy skirts to reveal the bloomers she wore underneath and the massive gun that had been strapped to her thigh. The blond quickly stumbled her way across the broken floor to where young Alessandro still lay in a dazed heap where the Methuselah had thrown him.
Behind her, the Inquisitor rushed at the inside agent once again. They collided in a shower of sparks, the rotating mace head of the knight's weapon still making its shrill noise. The Methuselah's fingernails never seemed to end, re-growing almost as quickly as she could shoot them as explosive projectiles. The Doctor ducked as the Inquisitor got in a lucky shot to the girl's stomach and sent her flying just over his head to crash into a far wall. The exquisite marble façade crumbled under the force of her impact, but the pink-haired Methuselah just gave a fanged grin and jumped right back at her attacker with a feral scream.
"Alessandro?" Rose sank to the floor next to the dazed religious leader, quickly checking for a pulse before turning his head towards her and gently patting his unblemished cheek. "Alessandro, y'alright?" She was awarded with a faint groan from the boy, and he blinked owlishly up at her before flinching as something exploded behind the blond AX agent. She gently pulled him to his feet, carefully wiping the crusting blood from the cut on his cheek and giving him a reassuring smile as she tried to keep herself between the Pope and the brunt of the danger. "C'mon," she started, "lets getcha outta 'ere, yeah?" Alessandro nodded meekly, his eyes wide with fear.
"S-" Alessandro tried to begin, "Sister Tyler? W- What about-"
"The Doctor?" Rose smiled reassuringly as the boy nodded, and turned to look over her shoulder at the fight going on behind her. The placating smile slid from her face and she ushered the young religious leader towards the service door behind the now-destroyed altar. "He'll be alright, jus' buyin' time 'til Cardinal Sforza gets th' rest'a th' AX mobilized." She bit back an angry epithet as she realized that the service door- their safest route out of the cathedral- was barred shut by a collapsed column. "Doctor!" she turned as she yelled, bits of hair that had fallen free of her complicated hairstyle getting in her face as she did so.
"Bit busy!" the Time Lord ducked and sidestepped an angry attack by the Methuselah as he answered. He ducked again just in time for a wide swing by the armored Inquisitor to fly over his head, the spinning mace still screaming as it went. "That's quite enough of that, thank you," he pointed the Sonic Screwdriver at the Inquisitor's weapon, and with a high-pitched whine that was nearly drowned out by the screaming mace he shut the impressive weapon down. As the armored man whirled around to face the Doctor he found himself faced with the business end of the sonic multi-tool.
With no more warning than a flash of light and a high-pitched whine, the man's armor seized up at every joint with a lurch.
"Blasphemous traitor-" he began, only to stop short as the Doctor put his finger to his lips and shushed the Inquisitor- actually shushed him- and then turned to the pink-haired Methuselah girl that had backed off to a safe distance. She looked wary, but her lips still curled in a snarl that revealed her razor-sharp fangs.
"Right then! Now that he's taken care of I'll skip the introductions an' get right to the point, I suppose," the Doctor looked over towards where Rose and Pope Alessandro XVIII stood and the inside agent followed his line of sight with her own green eyes. "Why d'you want him dead?"
"Woz'it matta t'you?" the Methuselah's green eyes snapped back towards the Time Lord, fine pink brows knitting in anger as her lip curled further into a sneer. "Y'jus' buyin' time 'til y'murderin' friends get 'ere!" As she spoke she brandished her sharp silver nails at the black-clad alien, her pointed teeth lending an extra bite to her thick Northern accent. "Y'don' care why it is I done it- y'jus care tha'ah tried!"
"Oh, come on though," the Doctor made a face as he spoke, looking rather incredulous as he stuffed his hands in his trouser pockets. "Y'didn't just fly inta this blind, right? There had to've been a plan at some point- you know, 'Step One: Steal Vatican Secrets, Step Two: Kill the Pope-'"
"Why d'you care?!" The Time Lord's focus turned from idle examination of the ruined cathedral ceiling to careful regarding of the Methuselah across the aisle of pews from him. The look in his eyes wasn't accusatory or angry, but instead oddly blank. Still the pink-haired girl- relatively young for a Methuselah but still much older than most humans- felt utterly small under the power of the Time Lord's gaze. She crouched low on the wooden bench she stood on, one hand grasping the back for support and the other poised to strike with her explosive nails. "Most powerful man in'na worl'- I try'ta kill'im an' you wanna know why?" she bit the words out with incredulity, and her eyes were full of confusion.
"Yes," the Doctor said. The girl's wide green eyes blinked in surprise at the power behind the simple word. "Alessandro's the most powerful man in the world, but he's still just a boy. Fifteen years old, can you imagine?" he gestured towards the boy in question as he spoke, and the young brunette reflexively flinched towards the blond that held him. "He sits on one of the most powerful thrones in the world right now an' he's treated like a puppet by every last warmonger in the clergy. To them he's nothing more than a placeholder- easily cowed and molded into whatever they see fit," the Doctor's eyes, burdened with the weight of what seemed like ages, hardened. "Fifteen, an' they're telling him to order a brand new Armageddon by starting a war with the Empire. That boy hasn't got a cruel bone in his body. He's treated like a piece on a political chessboard by his own siblings, an' you want to kill him because he's not the one making the moves-"
"Killin' 'im wosn't-" the Methuselah interrupted, "it wosn't th'plan!" The Doctor blinked, the hard look gone in a mercurial flash as his interest was piqued. The girl nearly stumbled over her words in an effort to get them out quickly. "It- it wos jus' s'posed t'be reconnaissance, nuffin' dangerous. Eleanor an' Davey, though- they was spoilin' fer a fight an' I couldn' stop 'em! Davey bombed th' Square an' Eleanor came t' look fer me, an-" the pink-haired girl blinked away tears as she broke off, but she didn't retract her explosive claws. "M'friends're dead an' I- I wan' th' Vatican t'pay fer wot they done!"
"An' you think killing a child is the way to go about doing it?" the Doctor's hard look was back, a grim cloud settling over his features as he stared down the Methuselah. "More than anyone he's innocent- you've got nothing to gain by killing him."
"It'll make me feel bet'a," the girl snarled.
"An' it'll make Alessandro a martyr!" as the Doctor gestured over towards the young religious leader and Rose, the boy shrunk towards his protector again. The boy was quaking in his dirtied vestments, large eyes brimming with fearful tears. The Time Lord stepped forward and suddenly he was earnest- trying his best to get the girl dressed in the remains of a blue Novice's habit to listen to him. "You kill him an' you've signed the death warrant for every Methuselah left in the civilized world. It'll be open season on your kind for men like him," the alien gestured back towards the Inquisitor he had incapacitated- though the man had begun struggling to regain control of his suit of armor. "An' men like him, hunting a Methuselah? One of you? They don't care who gets caught in the crossfire. Kill Alessandro an' you start another Armageddon."
Instead of an answer, the Methuselah gave a feral-sounding scream and jumped at the Pope and Rose. She was almost faster than the eye could see, simply a blur of pink and blue as she made her attempt at revenge. Alessandro didn't even have enough time to blink before the inside agent was in front of the two of them, her fangs bared and her claws poised to strike. Rose reeled back, one hand fumbling for the catch on the bindings holding the shotgun to her leg and the other hand pushing Alessandro behind her.
The smoky, debris-filled air of the bombed-out cathedral rang out with the high-pitched whine of the Sonic Screwdriver, and the Methuselah girl suddenly doubled over in pain before falling- unconscious- to the marble floor. Her long silver claws slowly retracted, a bit of dark blood trickling from her nose.
"Wha-" Rose stepped back from the prone body of the inside agent, pushing young Alessandro further away as well. The boy had no qualms with the constant directing, preferring to cling tightly to the blonde's arm as he tried to make himself inconspicuous. The provisional AX agent looked up from the body of the girl to meet the Doctor's eyes, and she couldn't help but think that the man looked so tired for a moment. "How'd y'do that, then?"
"Her rosary's silver an' she's been touchin' it with bare skin- means whatever mutation the bacillus formed when she was turned gave 'er immunity t'the element where other Methuselah would've been severely burned," the Time Lord said. He stashed the Sonic away in a pocket and crossed the ruined cathedral to kneel beside the girl, checking for a pulse before carefully lifting one of her hands from the floor. "Took a chance an' tried settin' up a resonation pattern in what I assumed were 'er silver bones."
"You assumed," Rose said the words carefully, as though she wasn't sure she had heard them correctly.
"Correctly, I might add," the Doctor dropped the Methuselah's hand and rose to his feet.
"Bet'a than resonatin' concrete, yeah?" the blond turned and busied herself with dusting Alessandro off, leaving the Doctor to look awkward in his singed vestments. He looked almost like he wanted to say something, but wasn't quite sure how to go about vocalizing it.
He was saved the trouble of speaking as the back door of the cathedral finally burst open, throwing splinters of burning wood and bits of debris everywhere as their phenomenally tardy back-up agents rushed into the church.
That awkward moment when half of this chapter was rotting on my hard drive for an entire year and I just wrote the other half in like a week because I forced myself to watch a Ten episode to get characterization and wordage correct
But so yeah. Fun things happened in this chapter, which is very late by the way. They saved the Pope, the girl from like chapter two was really a Methuselah, Ten shushed Petros Orsini (it works on everyone in the universe but it only works once!) and other things happened as well. Like Doctor-y lectures.
Sorry this took a year, though in my defense I don't think anyone's really reading this.
Reviews are love.