Rating- Adult/ Older Teen for descriptions of violence.
Genre- Dark!fic, angst
Disclaimer- I own nothing you recognise.
Summary- Locked in the Tower of London, the Doctor starts to unravel
A/N- dedicated to my beta Gargantua for an awesome Betajob. Gracias.
Rose slammed her hands against the bars and glared out at the city of
How on Earth did she get herself into these situations?
Ah, that was how. That man sitting in the cell next to her, manacled to the floor.
She said nothing, tapping her hands on the cold stone wall.
Nothing. She wasn’t talking to him, the…the…Time Lord!
“Come on Rose, how was I supposed to know?”
She huffed and leaned her head against the stone. Sure, his magic box and he didn’t know where they were going.
“You know, you’ve met two monarchs now,” the Doctor said conversationally.
Rose spun on her heel, almost slipping over on the mixture of straw and mouse droppings that coated the floor. “Yeah, I’ve been banished by one and thrown into the bloody
Rose gestured to their prison and the Doctor had the decency to look sheepish.
In fact he pouted and looked downright miserable; Rose hadn’t the heart to continue being mad at him and so she sighed, sliding down the wall to sit on the floor.
“Sorry, ‘sjust it’d be nice, yeah, to meet someone who didn’t want to shoot us.”
“They don’t want to shoot us, Rose,” the Doctor said softly. “They want to torture us, make us confess and then hang, draw and quarter us.”
Rose groaned. “Thanks.”
“I won’t let them,” he promised and wriggled his hands.
“Got some magic up your sleeves?”
“I can be inventive!” he protested.
Rose gave him a scathing look. “John Johnson?”
“All right, how was I to know I’d landed us right in the middle of the Gunpowder plot, Ambrose Rookwood?”
“Don’t start with me!” Rose demanded. “I never did history anyway. I just made fun of the outfits.”
They sat silently staring at the still prone form of their newfound ‘friend’ Sir Everard Digby.
“Okay, it was nice to meet the King. Sort of, you know except for the actual sentencing to death part.”
And it had been. King James was, all in all, as Monarchs go, not too bad.
He wasn’t overly obese nor excessively smarmy. He was regal and seemed to Rose to be more than a little out of his depth. He looked as if he’d much rather be trying on clothes or something and Rose didn’t blame him.
He’d questioned them about barrels of powder and the lodgings beneath the Houses of Parliament under the name John Johnson. It wasn’t long before it hit Rose and she turned around to glare at the Doctor.
“I am quite perturbed,” The King had said. “For we have yet another member of your party claiming to be John Johnson, now to which of you is the name belonging?”
“Him,” the Doctor said promptly, “It’s a very popular name, not as popular as say, John Smith, but my parents lacked imagination.”
“And I’m Rose Tyler-Wood,” Rose interjected. “Not Ambrose, that’s a bloke’s name.”
The King deliberated. “Mayhap you were in the wrong place at the wrong time and yet there is something of the unusual about you. Perhaps you are witches?”
There were hisses in the courtroom and Rose shook her head. “No.”
She summoned up every last piece of training that she had received at Torchwood and straightened “If it please you, my liege, may I approach your majesty?”
He inclined his head and Rose stepped forwards, before dropping a curtsey. “Neither witch nor warlock, assassin nor treason. My friend and I were embroiled by accident and the mistaken gesture of kindness towards someone we thought unfortunate. Do not let an act of kindness become a reason for death.”
The Doctor looked impressed at Rose’s words. She had grown up a lot since he’d lost her and her speech was almost worthy of him.
He stood up. “Might I add something?”
Rose closed her eyes. “Do you have to?”
He sniffed. “Everyone’s a critic.”
“Hey, I remember the Lion King speech, alright?”
The Doctor brushed a manacled hand through his hair and smiled broadly. “My name is the Doctor and I am not a collaborator and, quite frankly, got nothing to do with the plot to kill you. Got nothing against you, me. Plus never had much luck with gunpowder. Me and my companion were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and while it’s stupid, it’s not a crime.”
The King stared at him. “Your impassioned speeches do you credit and yet you speak not as commoners though your garb is strange. A quandary is before me and I must deliberate. Take them to the Tower.”
“Oi!” the Doctor managed before they were carted off to the
Their cells were separated and in the one next to Rose lay Sir Digby. The figure in the cell by the Doctor was napping quite peacefully and Rose nodded towards him. “Who’s that?”
The Doctor peered over. “It’s a man.”
She rolled her eyes. “Glad I got you with me.”
“Madam,” said the man who wasn’t as asleep as they thought, “I am a fellow prisoner, although one of greater standing with man and deity and I wish to sleep, for tomorrow they try to break me.”
The man rolled over and sat up, facing the two travellers. “Why, for the attempted death of that traitor James.”
“He betrayed the Catholics through his vices and covered his sins with a face patch,” he spat. “Fie on him and his soul.”
Rose edged away from the angry, obnoxious, and possibly insane man. “So he, what, banned you?”
“A banning of our own religion and a tax if caught and yet he lines his pockets for his country. A plague on him and his land. Had I my way we would have blown them all back to
“You’d be Guy Fawkes, than,” the Doctor said coolly.
“Yay, I am he. I shall be known throughout the land.”
“You’ll be a crispy scarecrow every year,” Rose muttered and shivered. “So you tried to blow them all up because the King wouldn’t allow you freedom of religion?”
“And because they got drunk at the Duck and Drake and didn’t want to back out and lose face,” the Doctor said in an aside. “But the plan failed because someone tipped them off.”
“It failed,” said a weak voice from the floor, “because it was God’s will.”
“Hah,” scoffed Guy Fawkes as he glared contemptuously at Sir Digby. “The Devil and not God was the discoverer.”
“Nice man,” Rose said softly. “Bit barmy, ain't he?”
“Takes a special kind of nut case to try to blow up Parliament.”
“Oh I don’t know, you didn’t hear Blair and Jones’s last speeches together. Harriet and Tony- sick making it was.” She shuffled closer to the Doctor’s cell. “So,” she whispered. “What happens to them now?”
“Fawkes gets tortured, starting tomorrow,” the Doctor said quietly and sadly. “Everard gets away and manages to get as far as the country where he meets up with the others before surrendering.”
“Everyone involved dies?”
Rose bit her lip. “And us?”
Before he could answer the door swung open and four guards walked in.
They strutted like peacocks in their red uniforms, proud and haughty relying on the swords that hung from their belts to garner respect. Each had a menacing grin plastered on his face. The four men each spat on the floor outside Fawkes’s cell and sneered at him.
“Traitor!” they hissed. “The King shall have his pleasure in your demise.”
“But first you’ll enjoy a long stretch here,” one sniggered.
Another snorted. “Far longer than you thought, methinks.”
“Heard tell that some gain up to a league of health.”
“So silent, foul knave? Has the gunpowder caught your tongue?”
“Ay, but give him into the hands of our friend downstairs and soon he’ll be a popinjay!”
“Mayhap he’ll favour a whipping with the bastinado.”
There was more laughter and none of it kind.
“Doctor,” Rose whispered, “What do they mean?”
“The rack,” he said with pity towards Fawkes. “He gets tortured.”
Rose bit her lip. The man had been arrogant to the point of rude, but no one deserved torture. “Isn’t there something we can do?”
But the Doctor was shaking his head. “Not unless you want to risk Reapers again. These events are set; they have to happen. Remember, remember the fifth of November, Rose.”
Rose shivered. She did. Somehow the idea of a bonfire, burning the guy and watching the fireworks was no longer as appealing as it was most years.
One of the guards looked over at the movement and spotted Rose sitting in her cell. He leered. “Well, well, the Lord is kind. Have we another traitor here?”
Rose shrank away as all eyes turned to her.
“Nay, one with such beauty could not turn on the crown. Unless she a Catholic or Jesuit?”
Rose shook her head. “Never really went to church, me.”
A guard leaned on the edge of the cell nonchalantly. “Godless then and a turn for us. There be no retribution on a heathen.”
The guard simply leered and fetched the cell keys from the wall.
“Nay, Garen,” one of his friends caught his elbow. “The King reserves judgement on her and her companion. If they are pardoned the King will not look lightly on any who used her ill.”
Bah!” another snorted. “In cloth of that cut she is not a Lady.”
“Morcan speaks true, Drayfuss,” the one called Garen added with a nasty smile. “She dresses of upper rooms yet her air is one of the gutter. Speaks she like a common fish wife. For my part I see something of the Hecat about her.”
The fourth guard’s eyes flew wide. “Pray not mess with witches, Garen. They’ll send you to Bedlam.”
Garen just snorted and headed for Rose’s cell, the key in his hand.
While the others looked on Garen started to unlock her cell.
Rose clambered to her feet and leaned against the stone wall. “Wait, what are you doing?”
“Would you deny us our sport?” Garen sneered. “Let us make merry, wench. Your temple is plausive to the eye.”
“My temple will kick your arse if you touch me,” Rose promised and balled her hands into fists.
The Doctor surged to his own feet and grabbed the bars. “Leave her alone. Don’t touch her, I mean it!”
“You speak a good deal, stranger. But the bars be more my friend than yours.”
As he reached for her Rose fell back on the self-defence training that Torchwood had given her and she punched him straight in the face. His head snapped back and he yowled in pain. Her grin of satisfaction lasted seconds as he turned back and grabbed her wrist in a vice like grip. Rose kicked his shins and wriggled away but he kept his body at an angle to avoid her, forcing her hand behind her back. His breath was hot and fetid against her cheek and he licked her, sending shudders of revulsion down her spine.
Rose twisted quickly, her breathing steady and brought a knee sharply into his groin.
Garen hissed and buckled.
The guard Morcan laughed. “Be she too much a handful, Garen?”
He made his way into the cell as Garen backed away from an irate Rose, rubbing his crotch.
“A she-demon,” Garen spat. “Needs a lesson.”
Morcan grinned. “I was always a good teacher.”
Before Rose could move Morcan, who was faster and more spry than Garen, had her in his arms in a lock.
Rose kicked and fought but the man was too strong for her.
Garen smirked. “That’s more to it!”
“Doctor!” Rose tried to pull away but Morcan had her hands in a vice-like grip and all she could do was kick wildly at Garen, biting and trying to use every bit of her power to make him leave her alone. It was no use, Garen tore at her clothes and Rose screamed in anger and fear.
The men in the cell were so focused on Rose that they didn’t see the hardening of the Doctor’s suddenly blue eyes. They didn’t see him move to his own cell door with the speed of light nor did they see the way the bars seemed to melt away in front of him.
The first they knew of his escape was when a hand touched Rose’s thigh only to be ripped away by fingers of steel.
Garen gaped as the Doctor roared and slammed him against the wall. Stunned at the sudden appearance of this spectre, he blinked in astonishment as the Doctor pulled back his arm and slammed a fist into his face.
Blood exploded from his broken nose and he yelped in pain, hands flying to protect his face. Flabby arms tried to punch out at the Doctor but the Doctor was too busy to care about the small hint of defiance. He tore into the man with every appearance of a machine. Again and again he plunged his fist into the guard’s face, the sounds of flesh splitting and blood flying echoing in the room.
The other guards were too stunned to move as this dervish ploughed into their fellow comrade.
But as Garen finally succumbed to unconsciousness and slid, motionless, to the straw covered floor, the remaining three guards sprung into action.
Morcan dropped Rose and threw her to the ground. He swung wildly at the Doctor but the Doctor ducked under his arm and was behind him before Morcan had finished spinning.
With the other two guards racing towards them, the Doctor grabbed the cell door and swung it hard into the face of the oncoming man letting it rebound off his face with a deafening yet sickening crunch. Drayfuss reared back, grabbing his nose and let the next guard take the lead.
He raised his sword and thrust at the Doctor but the steel glanced off the Doctor’s shoulder like he was wearing armour. The Doctor grinned maliciously as the guard stared with confusion at the errant blade.
Then he just looked at the steel.
The guard dropped the sword and screamed, staring at his smoking hand, the flesh bubbling and boiling with the heat. While he was preoccupied the Doctor grabbed his chest and spun him around with his back to Rose. He threw the man into the charging Morcan and barely winced at the sound of two heads cracking together.
Blood seeped down Morcan’s chin as he turned to the Doctor.
“You are a devil.”
“Time Lord,” the Doctor corrected and kicked sawdust from the grimy floor into his eyes. Morcan roared in anger and his hands flew to his face scrabbling around.
The only unnamed guard rushed towards the Doctor, righteous indignation filling his face and twisting it with rage but the Doctor was cool, calm and certifiable. He didn’t even pause but with a quick step he smashed his fist into the face of the man and followed it with a jolt to the knee cap. With a sharp crack something gave way and the guard stumbled, falling to the floor.
He looked up in time to see the pretty blonde lady hit him over the head with the hilt of his sword. He passed out.
Morcan slipped over the prone body of his friend and careened head-first into the stone wall rendering himself unconscious.
Rose smiled and turned to congratulate the Doctor on his left hook only to stop dead.
The Doctor had the remaining guard—Drayfuss—up against the cold stone wall, his hand wrapped firmly around his throat.
His feet didn’t touch the ground and his toes scratched for purchase on the stones, occasionally nudging the unconscious body of Garen who was still enjoying the state of oblivion.
“That,” the Doctor said pleasantly, “wasn’t a good idea.”
Drayfuss felt the man’s finger’s tense as they bit into his tender throat. Air couldn’t make it through and his eyes bulged as he scrabbled for the Doctor’s hand.
“Arresting traitors is one thing, raping innocent girls is another.” The Doctor spoke like they were out for an afternoon stroll, sweetness and light in his voice. But his eyes were hard and full of hate and pain and death and Drayfuss whimpered at the sight of hell in cold blue eyes.
“Now you were against it, I know, but you didn’t stop it. Passivity is just as bad as the deed. If you have free will then use it for good. If you know something’s wrong then you should fight against it.” The Doctor smiled humourlessly. “Like murder, murder is wrong. Would you stand by and let it happen?”
Drayfuss wheezed and clawed at the Doctor’s hand, his face turning purple, eyes wide and panicked.
“I think you would,” the Doctor hissed and drew his face in so close that Drayfuss could see every single pinprick of fire in that gaze. The world was becoming hazy and the edges of his vision turned grey.
He felt something touch his hip and watched as the Doctor released his sword from its sheath.
“You were so up on your religious mantra,” the Doctor hissed as cold as the ice creeping through Drayfuss’s veins. “How about this one? ‘Vengeance is mine’ says the Lord!”
With clinical precision, the Doctor thrust the hard metal sword deep into the belly of Garen
Red liquid spurted like a geyser out of the guard’s red tunic to pool on the floor.
The Doctor dropped Drayfuss like a stone. He gasped and sputtered for breath, his eyes on the metal protruding from the body of his fellow guard.
The Doctor bent down. “Remember the fifth of November.”
And with that he hit Drayfuss round the back of the head.
Drayfuss fell face-first onto the straw and didn’t move.
The Doctor straightened and then sniffed with no little disgust at the smears of blood on his fist.
Rose stared horrified at the carnage. It hadn’t even taken five minutes for the Doctor to dispatch his enemies
Don’t say kill
He’d gotten them all down in less time—
Don’t say kill
–than it took her to blink.
Garen’s body lay at her feet, sword sticking up straight and true. A puddle of red surrounded him and his eyes were glassy and staring. He wasn’t blinking.
He had a sword in his gut and he wasn’t speaking, or winking.
“Yeah!” she said quickly, her voice rising hysterically.
“We have to get out of here.”
Rose’s frantic gaze rose to meet the Doctor’s. For a moment she could have sworn they were blue but her mind wasn’t through paying tricks on her. He looked like he was out for an evening stroll. He looked unruffled and smooth; you’d never believe that he had just—
“I think I’m gonna be sick,” she managed.
The Doctor looked at her with sympathy. “Probably shock. Come on, Rose.”
He held out his hand. It was covered in blood.
For the first time in her life, Rose didn’t want to take it.