Chapter Five

Robert swallowed loudly when he saw the rage on the Doctor's face. He backed away from him, heading back out the door.

"It's just business, that's all, I make money this way," Robert said weakly while the Doctor followed him with a murderous look on his face.

"Well, consider it just business if I break your neck for nearly killing my friend!" the Doctor growled at him. "And not only for my friend but for how many other women you murdered in this little money making venture of yours. Now you're going to pay for what you did."

Robert gasped and tried to run for the door but the Doctor sprinted to him, grabbed the collar of his shirt and slammed him up against the wall. Robert looked into his dark eyes and took in the Doctor's dispassionate expression while he kept him pinned there.

"I'm…sorry," Robert said weakly.

The Doctor snorted at that.

"You'll be even more sorry when I've finished with you," he said, bringing his face close to Robert. "I don't like people who kill innocent people for personal gain and draining away someone's blood to make skin cream is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. Do you know what they did to Elizabeth Bathory when they finally brought her to justice?"

Robert swallowed hard and nodded.

"They walled her up so she only had a small group of rooms to move around in and she spent four years in that tiny prison until her death. As for me, I think that's a bit too charitable. I think I'll do the same to you except wall you up in a corner and let you suffocate to death."

"No, please," Robert said.

"Or perhaps…throw you on the table and drain your blood, except I wouldn't allow it to come out quickly. I'd rig it up so it came out one drop at a time and let you slowly die over a period of days while I watched. How's that sound?"

"No, please don't kill me," Robert said in a hushed voice.

"And why should I show you mercy when you didn't show those women any? The woman in there was having a wonderful birthday dinner before you decided to make her your next victim. This is her birthday and she spends it strapped to a table having her blood drained!"

Robert flinched when he spat out the last few words in his face. He trembled when he saw the rage on the Doctor's face and he had no doubt that the man would be capable of carrying out the threats he was describing.

"Please let me turn myself in," Robert said. "I'll go to prison, just don't kill me, please."

The Doctor glowered at him and Robert swallowed hard when he didn't get any response from him. Then suddenly, the Doctor jerked him roughly to the floor.

"Get up, go to the phone and ring the police and do it now!" he growled at Robert.

Robert glanced at Rose who was watching him from the table in the other room. He grunted when the Doctor shoved him.

"Quit looking at her and do what I said to do!" he snarled at him.

He walked with Robert over to the phone and waited while he placed a call to the police. Robert glanced nervously back at the Doctor while he told the police who he was and what he had done. When he hung up the phone, the Doctor held out his hand.

"Give me whatever it is you used to kidnap us so we can get back," the Doctor said.

Robert handed him the control box. The Doctor thanked him and then decked him. Robert grunted and fell back unconscious. The Doctor gave him a look of contempt before he walked back to Rose. He checked her arm and noticed the puncture wound had stopped bleeding. He examined her. She was a little peaked but she seemed to be stabilizing and the Doctor took comfort in that. He picked Rose up and moved her to the sofa for the moment. Once she was comfortable, he walked over, gathered up Robert and put him on the table. By the time he was done tightening the straps, he could hear the police sirens in the distance. He walked back over to Rose and took out the remote control. He studied it for a few seconds, familiarizing himself with it before he gathered her in his arms. Then he hit the button and they both vanished a few seconds before the police cars pulled up to the house.

(Several hours later…)

Rose lay in the bed in her bedroom recovering from her ordeal. The Doctor gave her a couple of blood transfusions and the latest bag had just finished draining. Rose was resting comfortably, no longer feeling weak or ill. She had her eyes closed when she heard her door creaking open. She opened her eyes and raised an eyebrow when a zebra puppet came around the slightly open door.

"Hello," the Doctor said in a goofy voice while he made the puppet talk, "my name is Stripey, I heard you were feeling ill so I came to cheer you up!"

"You're weird, do you know that?" Rose said with a chuckle.

"Meee? I'm a zebra. Zebras aren't weeeeird!"

"No, but the man behind ya is," Rose said.

The Doctor stuck his head around the door.

"What man behind me? I'm the only one here," he said with wide eyes.

"Get in here, ya nut," Rose said after several seconds of laughter.

The Doctor smiled warmly and came into the room. He laid the zebra puppet down on her nightstand and tended to the IV bag.

"Feeling better?" he said over his shoulder as he took the bag down off the pole.

"Much better, I think I'm completely cured now."

"Good," the Doctor said, laying the bag on her nightstand. "Then I think we're done with the blood transfusions."

Rose watched while the Doctor bent over to her arm. She winced when he pulled the needle out of her arm and set the needle on top of the bag. He reached into the pocket of his jacket and brought out some gauze and surgical tape. He put a bit of gauze on the puncture wound and wrapped the tape around it a couple of times to secure it.

"Leave that on for awhile till the wound heals," the Doctor said.

"Yes, Doctor Doctor," Rose said.

"Doctor, Doctor, can't you see I'm burning, burning?" the Doctor said with a wink.

"If you like," Rose said.

"Doctor Doctor, I like that. I'll have to remember that whenever we visit the hospital."

"I'm just glad I didn't end up in hospital," Rose said.

"I'm just glad you didn't end up in the morgue."

Rose's face softened at that and she took the Doctor's hand and squeezed it.

"Doctor, I'm fine now, really," she said.

"I just hate to think what might have happened if he hadn't taken me with you," the Doctor said, sitting down beside her on the bed. "Would I have found you in time?"

"Yes" Rose said. "You would have."

She saw the Doctor wasn't convinced of that but she figured he would spend the next day or two playing the what if game, thinking about what might have happened if he hadn't gotten to her in time…or for that matter, what might have happened if he hadn't come out of his catatonia in time. Rose shivered slightly, thinking of slowly fading away while she watched the Doctor lying there on the floor. She gave his hand a squeeze and he brightened at that.

"When you get better, I'll be giving you another birthday day to make up for the not so good birthday day today," he said to her.

"You mean, dinner again?" Rose said.

"Nah, been there, done that. I have something else in mind that'll blow you away."

"Oh Lord, I dread to think," Rose said.

She giggled at the peeved look on the Doctor's face before she took his arm and pulled him down. She gave him a kiss on the cheek and thanked him for the dinner and gifts. The Doctor brightened at that, kissed her forehead and patted her hand before he stood up. Rose watched while he took the IV stuff and took it out of the room. He got all the way out before sticking his head back in.

"Keep an eye on Stripey for me, will ya?" he said.

"Yes, I'll watch over Stripey," Rose said.

"Brilliant, see ya later, Gator!"

Rose chuckled as he stuck his head back out the door. She sighed contentedly, took the zebra puppet and stared at it for a moment while she thought lovingly of its owner. Then she put the puppet back on the nightstand, turned over on her side and went back to the sleep.