It had been a typical mission for Torchwood. The usual call, of extraterrestrial activity requiring investigation. She, John, and their team had set out, as they always did. Upon arriving at the site, nothing had seemed out of the ordinary. Nothing, that is, until she’d been grabbed from behind. Even John, with his faster than human reflexes, had been unable to grab her in time to prevent her from being transmatted away. The last thing she saw was his face, full of shock and anger and just a touch of desperation.
That had been over two days ago, and Rose was trying not to feel too panicked. For the millionth time, she scanned the small cell she was trapped in, searching desperately for some sort of escape, in defiance of the principle that if there wasn’t an exit five minutes ago, there wasn’t going to be one now.
She sank down against the wall with a frustrated sigh. She was cold, she was hungry, she was lonely, and she was trying hard not to feel too frightened.
It wasn’t like this was the first time she’d ever been kidnapped and held hostage by aliens. In fact, it had almost been a daily occurrence with the Doctor, and even once she started working at Torchwood, it wasn’t completely unheard of. Rose had learned how to keep a level head in these sorts of situations, and normally, she wasn’t too fazed by them.
What worried her was the total lack of communication from her captors. She wasn’t sure if they didn’t speak English, or if they just didn’t deem her worth communicating with, but no one had said a word to her since she’d been brought here, and thrust into this cell. No one would tell her why she was here, or what they wanted from her. In fact, she’d seen no sign of life from anyone. No one bothered to bring her any food, and Rose had to wonder what that meant for her.
The other thing that worried her was John. She had absolutely no doubt that he was devastated by her capture, and would be doing everything in his power to get her back. But that was what made her nervous. Back when she’d travelled with him in the TARDIS, he’d always managed to rescue her, no matter what, often at the risk of his own life. And John was still the Doctor in every way. Except one. He wasn’t fully Time Lord. His body was human, which meant that if he was killed, that would be it. He wouldn’t regenerate, he would die.
Rose was perfectly aware that John would risk anything for her. She knew him well enough to know that he’d be willing to lay his one human life on the line for her, if it meant that she would be safe. She knew that he would come for her, no matter what stood in his way. But at what cost to himself?
She shivered, hugging her knees. The persistent silence of the place was beginning to drive her mad. The complete isolation was beginning to wear on her, mentally. She missed her mum. She missed Pete, and Tony. She missed her friends and colleagues at Torchwood. And she missed John. She missed John so, so much.
She refused to allow herself to cry, though. She wouldn’t give her captors the satisfaction. Besides, she reminded herself, she’d been in worse situations than this. Much worse. She’d faced down Daleks, Cybermen, werewolves, and ghosts. She’d been possessed, had her face stolen by a television set, nearly been pulled into the Void, and had crossed countless parallel worlds. No, in the grand scheme of things, this wasn’t that bad. But she couldn’t deny her growing feeling of fear.
Sudden footsteps sounded outside her cell, and Rose leaped to her feet, heart pounding. Several of her captors came into view. One drew his weapon as the other opened the door and gestured for Rose to come out. Cautiously, she did as she was instructed. She winced as he grabbed her, binding her hands behind her back and blindfolding her. What was happening? Where was she being taken?
She was pulled forward, being led through hallways. Rose wished she could defend herself, but she was bound and blind, surrounded by armed captors. She wasn’t stupid enough to face those sorts of odds. No, she’d have to wait for a better opportunity.
It felt like they walked forever, but finally, she became aware of voices up ahead. She tensed, straining to hear what was being said. Suddenly, her heart leaped.
“That should do it,” a very familiar voice was saying. “It’ll get you home, definitely. I’d still recommend getting this ship serviced once you get there, though.” Rose caught her breath at the sound of his cheerful tone, and quickened her pace, following where she was led as the voices grew louder. “Now, where’s my friend?”
She heard a door opening, and could feel that they’d entered a room. Everyone went suddenly silent. She could feel hands behind her, untying the blindfold. The blindfold fell away, and Rose blinked at the light.
The room was full of the creatures who had captured her, but Rose only had eyes for the man who was standing casually in the middle of the room, hands in his pockets, his own eyes riveted on her face. John’s face lit up as he met her eyes, but he carefully schooled his expression into a calmer one.
“Hi, John,” she replied. “Long time, no see.”
He gave her a quick smile. “Well, been busy, you know?”
She smiled back, a huge feeling of relief sweeping over her as she took in the sight of him. Her hands had been unbound now, and she was pushed forward. John caught hold of her. He looked into her face. “You all right?”
“I’m fine,” she said. His eyes were filled with emotion, but he merely kept a hand on her arm as he turned back to her captors. She took her cue from him, hiding the emotion that was threatening to overwhelm her.
“Thank you,” John said to them. “And next time you get stranded, just give us a call or something? The kidnapping is completely unnecessary. Not to mention very dangerous for you.” For a second, his eyes flashed dangerously. Then his usual good cheer returned. “Well, have a safe trip home!”
“Thank you, sir,” one of them said, in heavily accented English.
John nodded once, and then put his arm around Rose’s shoulders. “Come on, Rose. Let’s get out of here.”
She followed him as he led her down the halls of what she now knew to be a large spaceship. Keeping hold of her with one arm, John pulled out a communication device with the other.
“Pete,” he spoke into it. “I’ve got her.”
“Thank goodness!” Pete’s voice exploded over the device. “Is she all right?”
“Ask her yourself,” John said, holding it out to her.
“Pete?” she spoke into it.
“Rose!” he gasped.
She could hear cheering in the background. “I’m all right,” she said. “I’m fine.”
John grinned at her, then took the device back. “Pete, we’re about to exit the ship. See you on the other side!”
“Roger!” Pete replied.
John pressed a few buttons, which opened a door to the outside world. John carefully helped her down the ramp, back onto solid ground. Once they were a ways away from the ship, he turned to her. “Rose,” he whispered, touching her face, finally allowing his emotions to show. She let out a sob, throwing both arms around him. He clutched her close, as though he would never let go.
“Of course I did!”
“I knew you would,” she murmured into his shoulder.
“I'll always come.”
Voices startled them both, and Rose lifted her head to see Pete, along with the rest of the Torchwood team, running towards them.
“They insisted on coming along as backup,” John said with a grin. He released her as Pete reached them, and he caught her in a large hug.
“Rose,” he said, sounding like he was trying not to cry.
“I’m all right, I’m all right,” she kept repeating. The rest of the team gathered around them, laughing, clapping John on the back, and all trying to hug her at once. She looked around her, and grinned.
Her eyes fell on John again, and she moved to his side. John took her hand, studying her face carefully. His eyes darkened as he reached up to touch her face again. Rose couldn’t help but wince as his fingers brushed a tender area of skin. “Did they do that to you?” he whispered.
“Yes,” she replied. “Right at the beginning. I tried to fight them off. Didn’t work too well.” John turned to glare at the ship, which had closed its doors again. “That’s the worst of it, though,” she added. “Honest. I’m fine. Just really hungry.”
“Well, we can take care of that,” John said.
“Let’s get out of here,” Pete added. He turned to John. “Everything all right with them, John?”
“All fixed, and ready for departure. Just needed a bit of repair work.”
“So, their ship was broken?” Rose asked, as they walked towards the vehicles parked a little ways off.
“Yup,” John nodded. “Crashed here, and couldn’t fix it. They figured that taking you hostage was the best way to convince us to help.”
“And you fixed it?” Even as she asked, an earsplitting roar sounded from behind them. Everyone turned to see the ship lift off of the ground, streaking away into the sky overhead.
“Yup,” John said in satisfaction. “Easy as pie. Though, what’s so easy about pie is beyond me.” Rose laughed, reaching up to hug him again.
“I missed you,” she told him.
“Missed you too, Rose Tyler.”
They climbed into the backseat of the car, and Rose rested her head on John’s shoulder, exhaustion finally catching up with her.
Pete pulled out his phone and dialed Jackie, putting her on speaker. “Jacks? She’s all right, he got her out.”
“Of course he did,” Jackie said, her tone conveying that she never doubted John’s ability to rescue her daughter.
Rose reached out to take the phone, smiling up at John as she did. John grabbed hold of her free hand.
He didn’t let go for the whole ride home.
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