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Ronaldo Luis Castillo had always been a lucky man; one who depended on the kindness of women. He targeted those women of means with low self-esteem, taking great pains to help them feel as if they were the most beautiful women in the world. He had come from an old family and old money, but his family had fallen on hard times lately. He would not stoop so low as to seek employment, but he was extremely happy to offer his services to the ladies. It was his charitable effort, of course, and he had been fortunate in finding a never-ending supply of broken wealthy women… until lately. Lately, Ronaldo’s luck started running dry, and tonight it had run out.

Much to Ronaldo’s humiliation he found himself pinned against a wall by the lapels, a maddened Englishman snarling into his face as if he were some poor street urchin caught stealing a bread roll from a restaurant table. The tall Englishman was extraordinarily strong for his build, effortlessly lifting him off the floor as if he were a good four stones heavier. True, he towered almost a foot over Ronaldo. Yet, he would not normally have expected to be threatened by such a thin and gangly man, especially over such a plain and pitifully thin woman!

Ronaldo’s luck had indeed run out, because unbeknownst to the Spaniard he was in the grip of an enraged Time Lord. And not just any Time Lord, but the one known throughout another universe as the Oncoming Storm, the Bringer of Death, and the Destroyer of Worlds, amongst others. Nevertheless, he found himself immobilized, breathing hot breath and being strayed with spittle from a terrifying visage only an inch from his nose, just as he was about to take his prize.

The Doctor was in no mood to wait for explanations. He slammed the little man in the inexpensive suit against the wall once again, paying no attention to the sounds of ripping fabric. “I said,” he growled again, “what the hell do you think you are doing? Answer me!”

“Nnn..nothing, Señor!” whimpered Ronaldo. “Me and the Señorita, we just having some fun, eh?”

“You call ripping her clothes off fun?!?”

“She say, she no belong to you!” Ronaldo whined, his English beginning to degrade out of fear for his life.

Hal appeared like an apparition to the side, eyes blazing like heated sapphires. “That gives you the right to force yourself on me?” she said. “The word ‘no’ is the same in English and Spanish, you jerk!” Her blouse gaped open almost to her waist, revealing she wore no bra underneath. She was so incensed that she didn’t seem to notice.

“You are so not in a good place right now,” snarled the Doctor. “You have no idea what I could do to you. What I should do to you.”

“Rose,” he said, never taking his eyes off of Ronaldo’s, “get Security before I take matters into my own hands.” Rose nodded jerkily and ran back to the party.

“Please, Senor, let me go! I want no problems,” begged Ronaldo.

“Too late for that,” the Doctor said as he let Ronaldo’s feet touch the floor. He looked over at Hal, who was still fixated on Ronaldo’s face, poised as if ready to pounce. Suddenly cognizant of her partial disrobement, he let go of the small man to shrug his jacket off. “Here,” he told her. “Take this and put it on before Security arrives.”

As his jacket slipped down his arms, he heard the quiet snick of a blade unsheathing when Ronaldo quickly reached into his pocket. Arms still pinned by the sleeves of his jacket, he could do nothing as the glint of cold metal flashed mere inches from his chest.

In a blur, Hal brought her hand down in a karate chop to the Spaniard’s forearm. The sickening sound of bone snapping echoed through the corridor as the switchblade went flying across the floor. She launched herself into Ronaldo’s side, taking him down with her. Flipping over him in one fluid motion, she twisted before he could get up, grasping his head and chin from behind in a move the Doctor immediately recognised was designed to snap the man’s neck.

“No!” he shouted. “Don’t kill him!”

Hal froze, a low feral growl erupting from her chest as she glared at the Doctor defiantly. It bordered on inaudible, but his sensitive Time Lord hearing picked it up without a problem. Her pupils had constricted to mere pinpoints, glittering so coldly that he shuddered in response. Something about her eyes unnerved him. There was something in them that reminded him eerily of the harrowing incident on Midnight, and Sky Sylvestry’s unblinking gaze during an alien possession. Hal was beyond rage; she was in the red zone, and if he couldn’t get her to recognize and respond to him, he was sure Ronaldo’s life would be measured in seconds.

Ronaldo whimpered and cradled his broken arm, too terrified to struggle. He hoped for the little man’s sake that he was intelligent enough to remain perfectly still. Reaching out to touch Hal in hopes of making a connection to her, he saw her stiffen. He froze rather than antagonise her as the sound of hurried footsteps drifted down the hall. Pete, Jake, Rose and two security guards appeared around the corner, handguns drawn.

“Stay back!” he ordered, catching Pete’s eye without moving a muscle. Responding to the authoritative crack of his voice, they stopped and waited, but kept their weapons at the ready. Levelling his gaze back at Hal, he lowered his voice again.

“Listen to me, Hal. You don’t want to do this. You need to let him go. Just... just let him go, okay? Pete and Jake will take care of him. He won’t be able to hurt anyone else, but you can’t do this on your own.”

She continued to stare at him unmoving; waiting, it seemed for something, but he couldn’t ascertain what. What was holding her back? He was a touch telepath; he needed to be in contact but she was clearly not going to let him approach any closer. He reached out to the best of his ability, but once again Hal’s shields presented a smooth, impenetrable barrier. Desperate, he did the only thing he could think of. Closing his eyes, he reached down into the depths of his own psyche and felt for the faint hum of their latent link.

He frantically fished around, feeling very much as if he were searching for a needle in a haystack. To his surprise, he immediately came upon the distant link he held with the Time Lord in Prime; still shining like a beacon, still cold and silent through vast distance, but still there. He also felt the warm fuzzy connection he had with the baby TARDIS, singing somewhat forlornly in her nutrient bath back at Torchwood.

With a shock, he suddenly recognized a link he never knew he had. Intertwined amongst the withered chord that used to be the connection he held with his old TARDIS was a faint and tenuous link to Rose. Astonished, he could tell it had been there for a long time; possibly prior to his loss of Rose at Canary Wharf. Had he continued his old practice of meditation exercises, he would have undoubtedly discovered it.

Reminding himself that he had no time to investigate this new find, he resumed his search. Just as he was about to give up and return to trying to talk Hal out of her trance, he found it. The link was thin and constricted; Hal had unwittingly withdrawn as much as possible without actually breaking the connection. Not knowing what to expect, he followed the thin thread, gently pushing his consciousness through the connection. Feeling through the void, he brushed against Hal’s consciousness. She had withdrawn deeply into herself and was terrified.

Hal, please. It’s me! It’s the Doctor. Can you hear me?

He felt an inarticulate querulous response to his mental call, but she did not draw any closer. Gingerly, he pressed further, sending a soothing wave of reassurance toward her. He felt her respond and move toward him. Slowly backing away, he encouraged her to follow.

That’s it, don’t be scared. You can come out now. No one will hurt you. I’m right here, Hal. Come out so I can talk to you. He continued his calming mental dialogue, backing slowly away until he was sure she recognised him. Opening his eyes, he met Hal’s gaze again. She blinked, her pupils returning to a more normal size as he saw a glimmer of recognition dawning.

“Hal,” he said softly, “I need you to let him go.”

She dropped her eyes to look at Ronaldo’s head in her grasp, but didn’t move.

“Let… him… go!” commanded the Doctor very slowly, emphatically, but quietly. He backed up his verbal order with an equally commanding wave of strong will through their connection, hoping intensely that she wouldn’t defy him.

Hal straightened and released Ronaldo’s head abruptly, watching impassively as the back of his head bounced off the hard tile floor.

“Aaiyeee!” wailed the little Spaniard, clutching the base of his skull with his good hand while wincing from the pain of his unsupported broken arm.

“Don’t you dare move!” the Doctor pointed at him gruffly. “Move a muscle and I’ll let her finish you off.” Ronaldo groaned and resumed cradling his right arm, but didn’t attempt to get up.

“Move away from him, Hal,” ordered the Doctor, not exactly sure if Hal was completely under control. Stone-faced, she scooted backwards several feet in compliance. He gave a nod to Pete in an all-clear message.

Retrieving his jacket and switchblade from the floor, he walked behind Hal and draped the jacket around her shoulders as the security guards pulled Ronaldo to his feet. Hal wrapped the jacket across her chest, the jacket dwarfing her small frame as she remained silently on her knees.

“My arm, it is broken,” whined Ronaldo. “She is a crazy woman. She broke my arm!”

“Too bad,” growled Pete. “Take him away,” he ordered the guards, noting that the Doctor looked ready to take another go at Ronaldo himself. “Doctor, I know the basics from what Rose told me, but I expect a report tomorrow.”

“Understood,” the Doctor said. “I’ll have it ready for you by noon.” Pete nodded and followed the security guards as they led the gabbling Ronaldo with them. Jake stood by to assist Rose and the Doctor, but they shook their heads. “We’ll take care of her,” he assured Jake, who nodded and followed Pete.

Rose dropped to her knees in front of Hal, placing a hand comfortingly on her shoulder. “Are you ok, love?” she asked, concern written on her features. Hal nodded silently, staring at the floor as the Doctor stooped down to wrap his arms around her.

“Let’s get you upstairs,” he said gently, after giving Hal a kiss to the top of the head. Still silent, Hal let them tug her to her feet and lead her down the corridors and up to the guestroom. She sat heavily on the edge of the bed, appearing to be lost in thought as Rose sat next to her rubbing her back soothingly. The Doctor ran downstairs and brought back a bottle of water with him. He cracked the lid open before handing it to Hal, who took a slow sip as her other hand clasped his jacket tightly around her.

“Stay here,” said Rose. “I think I’ve left a jumper here that will fit you.” Hal looked ready to protest when the Doctor sat next to her and shook his head.

“No, no,” he advised her. “Let Rose do this. You’ve had a shock, so just sit here and rest.”

Hal gave him a hollow laugh. “Shock? Me? I was about to kill him.”

“But you didn’t, and that’s what matters,” he stated. “Do you remember any of it?”

She took a deep breath and let it out. “I remember everything up until he brought out the switchblade, and then not so much. I had gone to the ladies room and was returning when he accosted me in the hallway. He must have followed me when I left the dance floor. Wanted me to follow him into a hall closet for a little rendezvous. Wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer, and when I tried to walk past him, he pushed me up against the wall. You both came along about that time.”

“You don’t remember knocking him to the floor?”

“No, although I take it that I did,” she said in a small voice. “Did I break his arm, too?” she asked, levelling her gaze at the Time Lord.

“Yeah… nice Karate move, by the way. Where’d you learn to do that?”

“I’ve been around,” she sighed. “I suppose I’m in trouble now.”

“Not with Pete,” he said pointedly as Rose re-entered the room holding two jumpers.

Rose held up the two jumpers. “Well, I think one of these might do the trick,” she smiled.

“Thanks, Rose, but I do have another shirt in my duffle,” said an embarrassed Hal.

“Save it for breakfast tomorrow,” Rose said. “I don’t wear these very much anymore, so feel free to keep ‘em if you like.”

“You’re too kind,” Hal smiled back. Turning to the Doctor, she gave him a quizzical eyebrow. “So, if I’m not in trouble with Pete, with whom am I in trouble?”

“Me,” he said, looking down his glasses at her and sticking his tongue behind his front teeth. “But we’ll talk about that later.”

“Oh no we won’t,” frowned Hal. “Spit it out, right now.”

Rose interjected with a weak slap to his arm. “Doctor! Let her put somethin’ decent on first, yeah?” She thrust the two jumpers into Hal’s hand and led her to the en suite before spinning back on the Doctor.

“Oi, give her a break, yeah? She almos’ got raped right inna hallway by some drunkard only minutes ago!” she whispered furiously. He gave her a pouty scowl, but said nothing.

Hal returned, wearing a striped hoodie jumper that almost swallowed her. “Oh, well… that seems to, uh, fit you ok,” Rose noted hesitantly.

Hal looked down her front, and gave her a wry grin. “Apparently, not all women are created equal, Rose. But thank you for the loan. Maybe the Boob Fairy will visit me now.”

The Doctor rolled his eyes as he turned crimson, muttering something about needing to write a report.

“Oh no, you don’t,” Hal said, pointing her finger at him to indicate he needed to stay seated. “You’re going to tell me why I’m in trouble, other than for saving you from getting gutted by a Spanish Munchkin.”

“Need I mention that snapping someone’s neck, no matter how much they may deserve it, is generally frowned upon, Hal?”

“He was about to stab you in the heart, Doctor,” Hal snapped. Rose gasped, since she hadn’t been present when Ronaldo pulled the switchblade.

“You had already disarmed him. He was no longer a threat.”

“Ok, if you say so,” she said with an unrepentant shrug. “I don’t exactly remember that part, to be honest.”

“That does worry me a little, Hal. That you don’t remember. Rage I understand, because it’s something that I struggle to contain myself. But you were far, far beyond rage. I wasn’t sure if I could reach you telepathically in time to stop you,” he said with a concerned frown. “Has that happened to you before where you don’t remember trying to kill someone?”

Hal cast her eyes to the floor. “Not in a long time,” she muttered. “I only get that way when someone threatens the life of…” She trailed off into silence.

“When someone threatens the life of…?” prodded the Doctor.

“It doesn’t matter,” she murmured.

“Yes, it does matter, Hal!” shouted the Doctor. “I need to know. I need to know what sets you off; when, who, where and how.”

Hal fixed him with a seething glare. “You need to know if I’m dangerous. Why don’t you just say it?”

“N…n…no, Hal, I don’t think that’s what he’s sayin’,” stammered Rose. “He wouldn’t say that. Not when he’s been…,” she stopped, staring at the Doctor. “That’s not what you were sayin’, was it?” she asked him faintly, hoping he would deny it.

The Doctor just stared at Hal quietly, pointedly silent.

“Oh… my… God,” gushed Rose in angry disbelief as she stared at the Doctor. “You really are him, aren’t ya?? Only you can be that flippin’ s-stubborn and, and… arrogant!” she shouted at him. “There ain’t nothin’ more powerful or, or scary, or… dangerous… than a bleedin’ angry Time Lord in a TARDIS. I’ve seen that me self, Doctor! You gonna tell me that Hal here is more dangerous than you?”

Hal sat down on the bed, mollified. “He’s right, Rose. I am dangerous,” she whispered quietly.

“Bollocks!” exclaimed Rose in frustration, her accent suddenly becoming more pronounced. “The oth’a Doctor said ‘e was dangerous, too.”

The Doctor deflated, paling at the mention of the other Doctor’s harsh words. He realised, with deep regret, that he’d been a hypocrite to hold Hal to a double standard for trying to kill one man when he’d killed so many. He hung his head in shame, unwilling to meet Hal’s or Rose’s eyes.

“But look at ‘im!” Rose continued. “I watched ‘im beg you not to kill Ronaldo. He wasn’t gonna let ya do it, even whilst he was so angry at ‘im that he wanted to kill ‘im ‘imself.”

“And Doctor,” Rose said, addressing him directly, “if Hal is so dangerous, why din’t she kill Ronaldo before we got there? She din’t go off until ‘e tried t’ stab ya in the heart? She was ‘bout to be raped, but she din’t do anythin’ ‘til your life was endangered? Sounds t’ me like she was more concerned ‘bout you than she was for ‘er own safety!”

Out of breath, Rose looked from one to the other, waiting for a response. The Doctor and Hal simply stared dejectedly down at the floor.

“Ok, it’s obvious that you’re both powerful an’ daft aliens with hot tempers, but that you care a great deal for each other,” Rose told them. “So, enough is enough. Kiss and make up!”

They both stared at Rose in open-mouthed amazement.

“Kiss and make up?” squeaked the Doctor, grimacing. “What are we? Four year-olds?”

Rose crossed her arms. “Tony is four, an’ he acts ‘way more mature,” she spat. “Now go on, or I’ll call Mum up here right now!”

Needing no further prodding, the Doctor sat down next to Hal, who obstinately turned her head away. He nudged her with a shoulder, causing her to bob a bit to the side, but she still refused to acknowledge his presence.

“Oh, come on now,” the Doctor said with a pout. “I’m sorry. So, so sorry. I was wrong. I guess I was just angry with you because you danced like a trollop with some creepy guy I didn’t know and then got in trouble.”

“What?!?” Hal yelped, whipping her head around to glower at the Doctor. Rose put her hand over her brow and shook her head in disgust. “Are you tellin’ me that I somehow brought this onto myself by dancin’???” Hal blustered.

“Oh, no, no, no! It’s just that you need to let me screen them first, so that you don’t dance wantonly with some nutter… like Ronaldo.”

“Oh, how very quaint of you,” Hal said, voice dripping with sarcasm. “So you’ve gone from channelling historical Temperance figures, to channelling my brother-in-law, Alan, from across the Void?”

“He screens your dance partners? Oh, wait… and your boyfriends, I take it?”

Hal blushed. “Maybe,” she pouted.

“Good man,” he chortled. “Now pucker up!”

“No way!” Hal squawked, placing her hands over her face. She squealed and struggled when the Doctor embraced her and placed a loud kiss on her forehead, but then she started giggling uncontrollably at the silliness of the situation. Picking up a pillow from the bed, she whacked him hard a couple of times before willingly embracing him in a tight hug.

“Alright,” Rose said with a smile. “Now that that’s all sorted, how about we go downstairs for a few drinks and a snack? In the den, where Pete keeps the good stuff?”

Hal and the Doctor embraced Rose as they walked to the door, and the three skipped down the stairs to raid the kitchen.


**********************************************
Ok, this partial chapter is for the wonderful who_in_whoville, so that she won't suffer too long inbetween updates.  :-D  More to come, my dear!

Warnings for mild violence and general silliness.

By the way, my TEA page is totally screwed up on the numbering of my last few chapters.  Now chapter 18 is 19, chapter 19 is 20, and there *is* no chapter 18.  *sigh*  I've put in a request to the mods to have this fixed, so hopefully it will be cleared up before I'm ready to post the finished chapter.  If it isn't, this will end up being chapter 21. 

Arrrgh!

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
biteymadlady58
Feb. 27th, 2012 03:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, you know that was just for you, Who!! Of course, I had you in mind the whole time I was writing it. :-D

There's two more scenes to this part, culminating with the meeting with Pete, so I'll be on that this week. I didn't want to leave you with the cliffhanger for longer than necessary, dear heart.

This was truly a turning point for Rose. She looked into the very heart of the OS at one point, but this time she got to be the observer. For the first time since he arrived in PW, Rose got to observe the real Doctor emerge in Cloen; from the valiant hero Doctor running to the rescue, to the terrifying OS, to the compassionate Doctor pleading for the life of his enemy, to the haughty judgmental Time Lord. If she had any doubts left that Cloen *is* the Doctor, I think they're dispelled now.

So, yeah, Rose is back. She's now convinced enough that he's the Doctor that she fell back into her old role, having no qualms about dressing him down in defense of Hal. So now their next step is to make that transition from companions/friends to lovers. They're where they *should* have been when he first arrived. I don't think it's going to take nearly as long this time. ;-)

The Doctor *should* have known she was there all the time, the dolt! LOL! But my guess is that meditation after the TW would have been exceedingly painful, so he probably avoided it. But Rose has a special relationship with the TARDIS, so it makes sense that she would have formed a sort of bond with the Doctor through her. Shame on him for not realizing that. But never fear, I have little doubt he is canny enough and determined enough to exploit the link now that he's fully aware of it.

As for Hal's zoning out, there are more clues to come in this chapter. Keep in mind that she's as broken as the Doctor, and while the Doctor *hides* his past, Hal can't remember much of hers. She needs someone to stop her just as much as the Doctor. Without the stabilizing and restraining influence of her sister, Hal is starting to deteriorate, though. The Doctor can help her in that regard, but she'd be the last person to step into that role for him! LOL! That would be like throwing gas on a bonfire.

And I love Pete. I hope to develop his and Malcolm's characters more as we move along.

Edited at 2012-02-27 03:28 pm (UTC)
kelkat9
Feb. 27th, 2012 07:16 pm (UTC)
Loved all the Hal - Doctor sibling bonding stuff. My favorite line has to be about the boob fairy! I'm still giggling about that and I read this late last night. Keep going. You're on a roll!
biteymadlady58
Feb. 27th, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
Haha! Thanks, KK!

The potential comedic aspect of Doctor/Hal siblings was too tempting for me. They're both still trying to figure it out, but once they do... watch out! The barbs are sure to fly.

Poor Hal is feeling a bit underendowed, the poor dear. As someone who feels like the Boob Fairy wasn't as generous with her as she could have been, I sort of have some empathy with Hal. I don't think I'd fill out Rose's hoodie a whole lot better. LOL!

Hubby's birthday today, so I won't get any writing done tonight, but hope to get much more done starting Wednesday.
tracy_lousia
Mar. 4th, 2012 01:11 am (UTC)
Yay for the partial chapter, pretty scary at 1st tho. Really didn't know which way it was gonna go. Surprised he survived with just a broken arm if I'm honest. LOVED the Boob Fairy bit :-) Off to read the next section now.
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