cuda: (The Doctor and The Captain)
[personal profile] cuda
Play It Again Jack, Part 2
April 29, 2011 - London

Rose hadn't known the Doctor very long. They'd had a few adventures together, but the whole thing seemed a bit of a lark yet. He liked her, she was rather sure of that, and she certainly had more fun with him than she'd had in her previous nineteen years of living. The daring leather jacket, the air of mystery, the whole flying-through-space bit… maybe she was still waiting to wake up.

She mentioned Prince William, and he took her to see the man's wedding. As in, didn't only take her to the procession, but actually into Westminster Abbey, free and clear. Previously, the closest she'd ever gotten to a royal wedding were the broadcasts on telly and of course, the regular tabloid confessionals in the papers. A girl could get used to this. Not the royal treatment and all from the Doctor - his idea of fun was running through the muck like mad on some exploding planet or other - but the experiencing things. The feeling of being behind the big curtain. Of being special; really living all the bits she expected to only glimpse. A girl grows up like she did, takes the bus like everyone else, who'd have felt special? Exactly.

Flushed and excited from sneaking into the ceremony, Rose noticed something strange going on around the TARDIS when she exited the building. The Doctor had been gone a while before, but that was nothing new. She was used to looking round to find him gone. That was, well, sort of what the Doctor… did. It was her job to catch up, and the sooner she learned to run faster, the better.

There were people about; ones Rose knew instinctively were wrong. The Doctor was having a discussion with two men and a woman near the stand of bushes where they'd left the TARDIS. That alone was unusual. His exchanges with people were usually pretty brief, except her - well, except people who were important or dangerous. Rose figured it was some sort of security protocol.

Then one of them made a lunge for him.

Rose watched with a stab of icy shock as he leapt away, the woman's hands passing an inch from his jacket. He pivoted, saw Rose rooted to the spot, and galloped away into the dark without a word. All three people gave chase, splintering as they entered the shadows of the trees.

Rose knew what happened to girls who ran after the hero, shouting his name like a tit. They got snatched and used for leverage. She wasn't about to be anybody's hostage. So she let herself into the TARDIS, and she waited. The Doctor arrived fifteen minutes later, grim as a grave in November.

"Those things aren't supposed to be on the loose," the Doctor said, displeasure tugging his mouth into one wide, feral grimace after another, "they were put where they were put for a reason, and now they're free, and I don't know why."

"What kind of things are they?" Rose asked, naturally.

"They've got a lot of names," the Doctor replied, "ancient Earth mythology calls them 'Leviathan.' He moved to the controls of the TARDIS, pushing buttons and examining screens with a perpetual frown. "On other worlds, they're 'the Hungry.' They're older than me, almost as old as time. Adaptable, intelligent, dangerous... eat anything with a heartbeat. They were locked away in an empty, dead reality because they eat whole worlds. Eventually, they'll make a break for it, but by then the Earth is a charred cinder and this little universe will be strong enough to fight them. Right now, here? Those things will eat every man, woman, child, and pet doggy until there's nothing left."

Around Rose, the vaulted room began to pulse and hum. "How do we stop them?"

"Can't." The single syllable was flat. "Nothing in the universe can stop them. It's still too far behind."

Again that little shock of chill fear, and the whole traveling-with-the-Doctor became a bit less of a lark. Rose's eyes narrowed. "So what are we supposed to do then?" She needled, "Run?"

The Doctor looked up, a lot less the dashing anarchist and a lot more the sociopathic serial killer. Or the hero. Sometimes it was hard to tell them apart. A hard knot twisted in Rose's stomach.

"We find out who set them loose and we stop it from ever happening," the Doctor said.


Then he smiled. The knot loosened a fraction.

"We'll think of something, won't we? Come on."

Master Post | Part 3
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