A/N: Last part! :D
The Doctor and Don simultaneously awoke to a bloodcurdling scream. They both sat up simultaneously, and it took them a few moments to realise where they were. Then at the same time they remembered the scream, then both looked to the middle of the bed where Rose should have been. Then they looked at each other, with wide eyes.
The Doctor was up in a shot and out the door. Don stumbled out of bed to pursue, managing to get tangled in the bed sheets and fall headlong into the wall before righting himself, falling next over the gathering of coats and torches by the door before finally getting up, grabbing a torch and getting out the door... Just in time to hear the Doctor's harrowing scream...
He turned in the direction of the scream, just in time to see the cellar door slam shut closed at the end of the hall.
Then all was silent again.
Silently panicking, he was torn between going to the cellar door or run out the house screaming. He contemplated option two for a fleeting moment, turning back to where the front door was... But there didn't seem to be a front door there, anymore. Just a solid wall... Then he realised that there were no windows, either, completely immersing him in darkness...
Right. Okay. He was comfortably slotted into a full blown panic attack, now. But there was only option one left. He turned back to the cellar door and shone his torch on it... It seemed as harmless as it had been when he first saw it... But now he was all alone, the Doctor and Rose vanished in screams, and it seemed to be focused on the cellar door...
He began to move forward.
"Okay," Don thought aloud to himself, shuffling down the hall apprehensively towards the cellar door. "You're trapped in a creepy old house, sent by a creepy old man with a creepy old face, who told you not to go in the creepy old cellar. Then you went in the creepy old cellar..." He paused, thinking about that. "Why the hell did we do that? Anyway, thing is, ghosts aren't real. You gotta think like the Doctor, Don. Think like the Doctor! Even though he's completely disappeared with Rose, and now you're all alone in the creepy old house and the creepy old cellar the creepy old man told you not to go in. Right, never mind that," he dismissed. "You're the Doctor. Think like him. Be like him. Donna is useless in ghostly situations, I think we've found that out already. So switch on the Doctor. You need him. What would he do?"
His eyes widened in realisation and he grinned, diving into the kitchen. Then he dived back, holding the dead rat as a weapon.
"Okay," Don thought aloud, looking at the rat in his hand as he continued slowly advancing to the cellar door. "Not quite the Doctor, but it'll have to do. Really, you're not gonna get much better than this. So we're sticking with the dead rat plan? Yep. Okay. Dead rat it is..."
He began swinging the rat around and moving it in an arc in front of him as he kept pacing forwards, cautious. "I'm warning you! I've got a dead rat and I'm not afraid to use it!" he yelled out loud as threateningly as he could manage.
The cellar door was coming closer, ever closer...
"Be strong, Don! Be strong!" he urged to himself. "You're going to kick that monster's ass all the way to bloody Tipperary." He paused, thought about this. "Where the heck is Tipperary, anyway?" He dismissed these thoughts. "Anyway, back on topic. Monster in cellar. Right. Note the keyword, there. Monster. Not ghost. It's a monster. Something that's going to rip my head off, and all I've got is a dead rat. Okay," he stopped dead, looking at the ceiling. "How is this scaring me less than the possibility of it being a ghost?"
He was metres away, now, inching ever closer, and it felt like he was walking straight into his death. But he couldn't wimp out, now. He had to go on, save his friends...
Then suddenly the cellar door burst open and Don could hear thousands of resounding screams explode out with it, drilling into his ears he stumbled backwards in alarm before he managed to focus on the door again... It was the Doctor, struggling desperately to get out of the cellar but something Don couldn't see was trying to drag him back down...
"Get out, Don!" the Doctor gasped. "Get the hell out, now!"
"No!" Don decided in a yell, abandoning the dead rat to grab hold of the Doctor, trying to pull him out... "I got you, I got you!"
The Doctor suddenly screamed in pain as something cracked from below, and with a final yank from whatever it was below, the Doctor slipped out of Don's grasp like a wet bar of soap, the screams of hundreds getting even louder...
"I don't got you!" Don wailed. "Doctor!"
Instantly something flew up and grabbed him around the neck so fast he couldn't even begin to figure out what it looked like. It squeezed and he began to choke, before he was dragged down into the blackness of the cellar and plummeted to the floor below with a very disturbing squelch and the worrying crack of his head against something solid.
"Doctor?" he screamed, absolutely terrified as pain shot through the side of his head. "Rose?"
He flipped over to face the ceiling, and instantly saw something flying towards him. He rolled to the side and dodged it as it squelched to the floor next to him and there was an ensuing yell of pain.
"Doctor!" Don realised. "What the hell is..."
"Don, get out the cellar, out the house!" the Doctor yelled back. "Rose! Rose, where are you? ANSWER ME!"
"Doctor!" Rose suddenly screamed, and it seemed to be coming out the walls around them. "It's gonna kill me! HELP ME!"
"Where are you?"
"It's so dark! Are you there? HELP ME!"
"Rose I'm coming to get you!" the Doctor yelled back.
"Please answer me, Doctor! Please be there!"
"I'm coming!" the Doctor yelled and tried to pull himself up, but suddenly found himself completely pinned to the floor. And then his skin felt ticklish all over, like a million tiny legs were crawling all over him...
Then he realised it felt like that because they were. Thousands of insects were crawling all over his body... Up his nose, in his mouth, in his eyes...
"Get off!" the Doctor yelled, trying to thrash around on the floor, his entire body screaming with pain until he got an arm free and reached out to where Don had been, trying desperately to find him. "Don! Don!"
He could hear them both screaming, now, joining the thousands of screams already drilling into his ears. His companions were screaming at him...
He got hold of something that felt like an arm but it was stone cold, and as he felt his way around it he realised it was the stump of an arm, torn off at the elbow... He yelped and dropped it, but suddenly he felt the cold fingers of that same stump of an arm holding his arm like a vice. Then it crawled up him and found his neck, wrapping all its dead cold fingers around his throat and squeezing as hard as it could.
He yelled a primal yell, forcing himself to sit up, his hands clinging to the dead arm around his neck, trying desperately to pull it off. But it wouldn't budge. He was coughing up insects, gasping for air, all sense of rationality having evaporated and replaced by utter fear of not understanding at all what was happening...
"Rose," he gasped, completely pinned to the floor now as he silently choked. "Don..."
He lost all feeling in his body. He couldn't even remember how to switch on his respiratory bypass. His brain was almost completely starved of oxygen. He was dying, dying in this cellar. It was his tomb. As murky shapes began to cascade around him he found himself strangely resigned to that concept...
The shapes in front of him turned into faces, faces of dead people screaming at him, begging for his help. Don and Rose were there, both crying and begging for mercy... He couldn't help them. He couldn't even breathe.
Suddenly a blinding light exploded into existence right in front of him, blinding him. He needed to go towards the light, but he couldn't. He couldn't see, he couldn't think, there were white figures all around him screaming in his ears...
The last remnants of consciousness left the Doctor and he fell deep, deep into the blackness.
The Doctor woke up, and instantly everything hurt. Something spiky was brushing against his cheek, and he opened his eyes to find himself lying on a bed of grass in a field in the morning sunshine.
He groaned and turned over instantly catching sight of Rose and Don lying on the grass around him. He could remember what had happened vividly, and for a moment he wondered whether it had all been some crazy dream... But the stabbing pain in what he knew was his broken leg, plus the cuts and bruises he could see through his ripped clothes told him that it had really happened.
He struggled to upright position, trying to ignore the pain in his leg as he hobbled over to a bruised and beaten Rose and shook her gently awake. She groaned and turned over to look up at him, and then her eyes widened.
"Oh God!" she gasped. "I remember..."
"Shush," the Doctor said quickly. "I know, me too."
"Ugh..." Another moan came from a few metres away where Don was stirring, holding his head with dried blood slicked all down it. "What the hell did I drink..."
"Don?" the Doctor asked.
Don blinked open his eyes to look at them both... And then instantly frowned. "Umm..." he began tentatively. "... Do you two remember something really weird happening last night?"
The Doctor and Rose simultaneously nodded.
"Oh, thank god, I'm not crazy," Don muttered, pushing himself to sit up... and then stared at something across the field. The Doctor and Rose followed his gaze to see the farmhouse and old crooked back house standing solitary at the bottom of the field, seemingly completely normal.
"Did it really happen?" Don wondered.
The Doctor nodded, gesturing to his leg. "Broke it getting dragged into the cellar..."
They all looked at each other for a moment.
"How did we..." Rose began.
"Don't know," the Doctor admitted.
"When did we..." Don began in a croak.
"Don't know," the Doctor repeated.
"But what about that old man?" Don asked quickly. "I'll give him a bloody piece of my mind!"
"Let's just leave, and really quickly, yeah?" Rose said, pushing herself to her feet and helping the Doctor to stand up.
"Okay, good idea," Don acknowledged, getting to his feet with his hand on the side of his blooded head. He moved to the other side of the Doctor to support him, and together the three wounded time travellers left Old Grey Farm onto the road, slowly making their way to the TARDIS.
On their way there, they passed an old, tarnished sign, the edges rusting but the lettering was quite clear.
You are now leaving Casperton
Please visit us again!
"Not bloody likely," Don muttered.
To everyone's great relief, they found the TARDIS parked about five minutes outside of Casperton, and the first port of call was straight to the Infirmary to patch up their wounds. As Don left ten minutes later to the toilet with quite worrying double vision, Rose patched up the Doctor's broken leg as per his instructions.
"Umm... What do you think happened?" Rose wondered quietly as she ran the osteo-regenerator methodically over his leg.
The Doctor could only shrug.
"So you don't think it was supernatural?"
"How many times, the supernatural doesn't exist," the Doctor insisted. "It can all be rationalised and explained if you just stop and look at the facts."
"Then explain what happened," Rose challenged seriously.
"I dunno, we didn't go back so we couldn't find out." Then he caught her expression and laughed. "Okay, we're never going back, and we'll probably never know. But I thought you liked danger?"
"Not that kind," Rose muttered. "I was so scared, I was screamin' for you but you weren't answering, there were these dead bodies and shadows and..." She stopped talking, and just shuddered. "It was horrible. I'm gonna have bad dreams for weeks."
"I know," the Doctor replied quietly.
She finished with the osteo-regenerator and snapped a cast around his leg, sealing it closed with the sonic.
"Were you scared?" Rose suddenly asked, looking up at him.
The Doctor shrugged. "I was, but I think I was more scared that I didn't know what was happening, or where you or Don were, or how to get to you."
She smiled supportively, reaching up for a long overdue hug, warm in his embrace.
"All done!" she announced when she drew back, tapping gently on his potted leg.
"Thanks," the Doctor grinned.
"Um, guys," Don's disembodied voice began unsurely over a loudspeaker from above. "Come to the console room."
The Doctor groaned and with Rose's help got to his feet, taking the pair of crutches offered to him. They made it to the console room where they found Don hunched over the TARDIS monitor. They hobbled over to see what he was looking at – it was a map.
"I just searched for Old Grey Farm to see if there was any info," Don began inn explanation. "But there was nothing. So I looked for the village, Casperton... And, well... It doesn't exist."
"It's just fields, there. There's no Casperton. Not on the map, not in the local directory, nowhere."
The Doctor frowned, leaning to the monitor to check. "That can't be right."
"There's a Casperton Beach in Florida," Don said, shrugging. "But there's no trace of any village anywhere called Casperton, or any place called Old Grey Farm... In the entire world."
All three looked at each other.
"Naaah," the Doctor finally said, straightening up. "We must've read the signs wrong."
"Must've," Rose muttered, a little unconvinced.
She and Don looked at each other.
"Well, I for one am knackered and in pain so I'm nominating today sleep-in day," the Doctor announced, limping to the TARDIS corridor. "Remember, there's no such thing as ghosts!" He was gone.
There was a slight pause.
"No such thing," Don repeated, looking at Rose.
"No such thing," she said in turn, looking back at him. Feeling something digging into her side she drew out the locket she'd taken from the house and stared at it for a moment, before setting it down on the console. If Casperton had been a ghost town then surely the locket wouldn't exist?
This reassured her, and she and Don simultaneously nodded and moved off into the TARDIS corridor.
In the darkness of the now empty console room, the locket necklace Rose had left on the console suddenly slipped off the side and hit the floor, bursting open on impact. A spiral of white suddenly shot out and began to manifest itself into a solid form...
It blinked open cold, emotionless eyes, and gazed at its new surroundings...
It was in the real world once more, and it was hungry. And it had three very tasty treats right in this very place...
It silently moved to the TARDIS corridor, where the three treats were lying asleep and helpless in their beds...
A/N: Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it :D