mtemplar_fic: (Ten II/Rose b&w)
[personal profile] mtemplar_fic
Title: Contagion
Author: [livejournal.com profile] mtemplar
Rating: Adult
Characters: The Doctor (Duplicate Tenth), Rose Tyler, various Torchwood characters, OCs.
Disclaimer: I do not own 'Doctor Who' and am making no profit from this fanfiction.
Genre: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Graphic Sex, Graphic Violence, NON-CON element.
Spoilers: Journey's End, if you haven't seen it by now. :)
Author's Notes: This story follows the end of the 'Moments' series. It isn't necessary for you to have read that series of shorts to enjoy this tale, but if you're interested, here's a link to the timeline: http://mtemplar-fic.livejournal.com/99788.html
Betas: Many, many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] garpu and [livejournal.com profile] ladyprydian!

Summary: A rash of disappearances in Pete's World leads Rose's Torchwood team to an encounter with dangerous alien foes... and they've set their sights on one half-Human Time Lord. This time, the Doctor may be in way over his head - will Rose be dragged down with him?

Previous Chapters: Prologue



Chapter One



The Doctor stepped carefully over the cobblestone-lined street, taking care not to slip. The promise of snow hung heavily in the leadened evening sky, and he tugged at his overcoat to shield himself from the cold. He'd been in search of something special - something for Rose. He wasn't sure what one purchased to commemorate the consummation of a relationship, but surely there would be something. The only problem, well, problems plural, he corrected himself, were that he had no idea what he was looking for, the human part of him wasn't throwing out any brilliant ideas, and he was without a fully-grown TARDIS, capable of transporting him anywhere and anytime in the universe. Surely if he had the latter, he'd have found something by now.

A gust of wind caught him unawares, blowing his overcoat open. He squeaked in surprise, shivering violently. He didn't seem to have any tolerance at all for the cold anymore, he mused. Just another thing to add to the running list of his current grievances. Old wooden shutters clattered in the wind, drawing his attention to the establishment right in front of him. Tea! That's what he needed. Just the thing to warm himself up on a chilly late fall evening. He'd resume his search just as soon as he could feel his fingers again. Hopeful, he made a beeline to the front door.

The Doctor pushed open the door to the pub and inhaled deeply. Warm yellow light and the sound of friendly chatter spilled forth over the threshold, and he paused in the doorway, the enticing smells of the evening's menu making his stomach growl. The establishment was old, but appeared well-kept. Dark wooden walls with padded leather trim were hung with antique photographs of old sporting matches. The glow emanated from several brass sconces mounted on the walls, their lights turned low. A fireplace with a banked and screened blaze was set into the far wall opposite the door, and the large stone mantle was cluttered with more photographs and dusty trophies. A small dark wooden table stood sentinel by the door, a dog-eared newspaper on top announcing the latest headline... forty-one people missing now, he noted with mild interest.

"Close the door, son. You're letting the heat out," the man wiping pint glasses at the bar commanded brusquely.

The Doctor smiled apologetically, and tried not to look sheepish as he reached for the doorknob. He was just about to close the door and shuck his winter garb when he heard a muffled sound from outside. Unease prickled though him and he paused, hoping for the sake of his cold hands that he'd imagined it. No, there it was again - the solid thud of a body hitting the pavement, accompanied this time by a shrill, terrified scream.

He was out the door like a shot, instinctively running toward the sound without even acknowledging the startled 'Sir!' called after him by the barman. He tracked the approximate location of the noises as quickly as he could - they had to be close, or he wouldn't have heard anything at all. He skidded on the slippery pavement, almost missing the alley between the two adjacent establishments in his haste. It was so narrow, it was more of a walkway than an actual alley. He backpedaled and peered into the gloom.

Sure enough, he could barely make out three figures in the rising darkness, two of them heavily cloaked. The third figure was on her knees, struggling to free herself from the iron grip of her captor. She was failing miserably, and was being dragged behind one of the cloaked individuals, while the second cloaked figure was tying a cloth around her mouth, presumably to muffle their prisoner's terrified wails.

"Stop!" the Doctor shouted before he even thought, running full-tilt into the alley, pulling his cobbled-together sonic from the inside pocket of his overcoat. The flare of blue light showed the attackers and victim clearly, all three having turned at the noise. The taller of the two cloaked figures whirled around, the cloak blowing open to afford the Doctor a good view of its vaguely insectoid body. It lifted its wild-eyed, tear-streaked female prisoner a good foot above the ground and halted, seemingly waiting to see what the Doctor would do. The second cloaked figure had no such restraint and buzzed noisily as it turned to face him.

Although he was now half human, the Doctor's reflexes were still nothing short of impeccable, but even he couldn't match the speed of the second figure. One moment it was a good fifteen feet from him, the next it was careening full tilt into him and bearing him to the pavement, the hand wrapped around his right wrist dislodging the sonic and plunging them into darkness. The Doctor saw stars as the back of his head struck the unforgiving cobbles, and when his vision cleared, he found himself staring into completely black insectoid eyes that bore no resemblance whatsoever to human. His attacker reared back, raising a fist to strike him, and buzzed loudly. He squeezed his eyes shut in anticipation of being imminently pummeled....

Just then, the loud retort of a gun being fired into the air rang in the air. The Doctor's attacker shrieked, and suddenly he was free. He instinctively rolled to his side, curling to protect his head. The cloaked figures fled quickly, leaving their prisoner behind. The sounds of hysterical sobbing and his own blood rushing filled his ears.

Cautiously, he sat up and his head swam as he tried to focus his eyes. A wave of nausea washed over him and he swallowed desperately. He had a horrible feeling he'd been concussed.

"Sir," a strangely familiar male voice said. "Are you all right?"

"W-Where's the girl?" the Doctor grunted after locating his sonic.

"I'll get her, sir. Wait here."

Ah, that was... Jones? Ianto Jones? He wasn't sure whether or not to be pleased that he was still being intermittently followed by Torchwood agents. While Ianto went to help the girl, he repocketed his sonic and staggered to his feet, squinting against the hammering in his skull. He squeezed his eyes shut while his stomach flip-flopped in protest of his upright position. Angry with himself for being in this position in the proximity of a Torchwood agent, he stumbled over to lean on the brick wall, trying to steady himself. He felt as though he might imminently lose the contents of his stomach as Ianto brought the crying girl over to where he stood shakily. Even in the near darkness, he could see the grave look on Ianto's face as he gave him the once-over.

"Sir, how many fingers am I holding up?" he asked. The Doctor squinted, watching Ianto's four hands swirl vaguely in the air.

"You know, it's n-not fair to use more than one hand," he managed to rasp out between throbs.

Ianto nodded gravely as if this was the answer he expected. "Sir, I need to take you in to base to have them look you over. Miss? You'll have to come along too. My car is just there - "

The Doctor started to laugh. Being taken in to Torchwood was something he found suddenly hilarious for whatever reason. He hoped it wasn't brain damage.

***************

Half an hour later saw the Doctor sitting on a lumpy leather couch as a Torchwood physician shined an irritatingly bright light into his eyes. The only good thing about it was that it was at least slightly less painful than the prodding he'd undergone a few moments before. The physician examining him was not unkind, but his head hurt, dammit, and poking and prodding it, in addition to shining bright lights in his eyes was not helping. At least he was finally warming up. He hadn't been able to stop his teeth from chattering until a few minutes ago.

The physician replaced his light in a pocket of his lab coat, and the Doctor tried to blink the spots out of his line of sight. How many buttons could one fit on a lab coat, anyway?

"I'd have to say you're very, very lucky," the Torchwood doctor said in a snide voice that grated on the Doctor's ears. "I'm pretty sure you have a concussion, but nothing appears to be broken. I'll get you a prescription for painkillers, but I've no idea what's safe for you, and I don't think you'd take them, but I'll give it to you anyway. And... try to get a lot of rest over the next few days, and have someone check on you every few hours. I'm sure you'll find someone willing to volunteer," he said under his breath in a knowing voice. Confused, the Doctor tried to took him in the eye, but the sudden movement of his head made him dizzy.

"I don't think there's much chance of you slipping into a coma, but you should still try to take it easy for the next few days."

The Doctor resisted the urge to sneer at the man that he knew a thing or two about dealing with concussions. His energy was flagging though, so he simply watched as the physician shrugged before spinning on his heel to exit, calling a 'nice to finally meet you' over his shoulder as he left.

He looked over to where the girl was. She appeared to be no older than eighteen - her parents had arrived not long ago, and they sat next to her while she told agents her version of events for what seemed the twentieth time. The Doctor wondered why the interviewing agents bothered to write anything down, as they apparently just liked to listen to the same story over and over.

From what the Doctor had managed to overhear, the girl didn't live far from the alley in which she was attacked, and she'd been walking home from a friend's house when the alien creatures had jumped her and attempted to abduct her. After the Doctor heard the scuffle and rushed to the rescue, Ianto Jones, who'd been discretely following him, had scared the creatures off with gunfire. Jones didn't get a good look at the aliens, unfortunately, and perhaps more unfortunately, he hadn't seen where they'd gone either.

The more disturbing thing was that the young lady hadn't mentioned the alien features of the creatures that had attacked her. Maybe she hadn't seen, or maybe she was purposefully blocking it out, but he'd certainly had a good look. They appeared to be humanoid insects - vaguely bee-like in nature. Their dialect was strange, but he was sure that given time, he'd figure out their language. If only he had a fully-functional TARDIS....

His head throbbed anew with his frustration, and he dropped the unproductive line of thought. He was still inside Torchwood, and that fact wasn't sitting well with him. What made it worse was watching the girl's parents fussing over her. It wasn't that he didn't understand; he did, but it just made him more aware of Rose's absence. He desperately wanted her reassuring presence right now, even if she would be upset about him being hurt. Remembering Jackie's scolding the last time he'd upset Rose, he decided it might be best if she didn't find out what had happened.

He hunched in on himself, pulling the blanket that another Torchwood agent had produced for him tighter around his shoulders. He stared at the floor, re-running the events through his head, wondering if there was anything he could have done differently. A hand on his left shoulder startled him out of his reverie, and he looked up. Ianto Jones was looking at him with an indiscernible expression on his face and offering him a cup of tea. He blinked in surprise before accepting the cup gratefully.

"Thanks," he mumbled.

"You've welcome. How are you holding up, sir?"

The Doctor shrugged carefully. His head wasn't the only thing that'd taken a blow when he'd landed on the cobblestones. His shoulders and back felt nicely bruised as well.

"I've survived worse," he said, sipping the hot tea. Warm comfort spread through his belly and he relaxed a bit. "How's the girl?"

"She's not hurt, just a bit shaken. Her parents will be taking her home shortly," Ianto replied, then cleared his throat. "Speaking of which -"

"If you could get me a cab, that'd be fantastic," the Doctor interrupted. "And if you wouldn't mention this to anyone with the last name of 'Tyler', I'd really appreciate it -"

"I'm sorry, sir, but I've already had Ms. Tyler called, she's on her way here now."

"Oh, no, nonono. Why'd you have to do that?"

"You're in no condition to be going anywhere, sir, and Owen told you to rest. Ms. Tyler will be keeping an eye on you for the time being," Ianto explained. "Especially since you somehow seem to be able to attract trouble even when you're not actively looking for it."

The Doctor blinked owlishly at him, feeling a bizarre mix of irritation, relief, suspicion and awkwardness at the situation. He supposed he should be grateful, but that's where the irritation came in. It was just like Torchwood, no matter what universe they were in, to order him under house arrest and arrange for it in such a high-handed manner.

"It's not my fault," the Doctor grumbled, glaring at the floor. "If I hadn't heard what I did when I did -"

"No one's said anything about this being your fault," Ianto said reassuringly. "If you hadn't heard what you did, then that girl probably would have made tomorrow's morning headlines as number 42. I'm glad you acted so quickly, and young Sarah and her parents are even more thankful that you were there to help her."

The Doctor made a noncommittal snort into his tea. It was quite good - strong black tea with honey in it. He wondered at that, that the Torchwood agent would think to sweeten it for him. It was a thoroughly unexpected gesture from a man who worked for the agency he liked to think of as the enemy. But then again, there didn't seem to be a single thing that wasn't strange about the evening's events.

"We've wrapped things up here," one of the other agents said to Ianto, giving the Doctor a curious glance. "The young lady and her parents are free to go. Thanks for your help."

"It was our pleasure," Ianto said seriously, shaking the man's hand in a firm grip. "I'll see you out."

The Doctor stared at his surroundings as Ianto ushered Sarah and her parents out along with the other agents. Barred cells lined one wall, and he wondered briefly if he'd be locked up for the night, as it didn't appear he'd be going anywhere anytime soon.


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