“That energy signature didn’t feel like ‘haunted’ to me. I’ve been to haunted houses, I’ve felt haunted and this was different.”
The Doctor moved closer to Rose as she spoke until he was nose to nose with her, his brow furrowed in thought.
“Quantum physics explains the existence of the paranormal, but for me, it’s like music, like different tones on a scale. Normally for me, haunted houses are on the low end of the scale but that thing just rippled reality. It hopped off the scale like someone hitting a wrong note on a piano. That wasn’t normal.”
“I believe you, but I’m not getting anything beyond what I interpret as normal.”
“Bohm’s Theory, implicate order…just because you’re interpreting one way doesn’t mean the way that I’m interpreting it is wrong, either. Quantum uncertainty signifies the collapsing of the wave function versus human consciousness, or in this case, Timelord consciousness, and the interpretation of quantum physics as it’s implied in this reality. Only a few seconds passed from the time I felt it, you felt it and when you analyzed it. Which, in this case, opens up the can of worms on intensity versus time affecting the wave collapse and the variables of observation. Have you considered the fact that I could be more sensitive because I have T.A.R.D.I.S.’s energy running through my veins? We could be both right, but which interpretation are you going to consider? My version, your version or the sonic screwdriver’s?” She folded her arms and waited for his response. He looked at her, his brown eyes into hers, considering what she said.
“By Rassilon, I love it when you’re this intense. You give me all kinds of goosebumps.”
A moment passed and then they both burst out laughing.
“Answer my question, mate,” She said, when she finally caught her breath, catching the edges of his jacket in her fingertips, “your ribs depend on it.”
He put his arms around her and hugged her, taking in her scent as he did. “I believe you. Screwdriver, be damned.” He placed kisses along the side of her neck and she let him, her tension slowly easing as he made his way to her lips. After a few moments he let her up for air. “Want to go ghost-hunting, Elmer Fudd?”
She smiled and lodged her tongue between her teeth, cocked her head to the side. “I will if you will, waskly-wabbit.”
Smiling, he grabbed her hand and led her toward the door. “The first place you felt it was the Lobby, wasn’t it? Off we go.”
She stopped him in mid stride, jerking him in the process, as a thought occurred. “Wait, what time is it?”
Looking a bit perturbed, he asked, “Why?”
“Because in this time period, if it’s close to dinner, everyone dressed up to go to dinner. We’ve got a lobby full of people that’s seen us in these clothes and it wouldn’t be in good taste if we loiter in the lobby with our traveling clothes on, especially if it’s close to the dinner hour.” To make her point she looked back at her discarded muddy heels.
The Doctor put a hand in his pocket and considered her statement, looking up at the wall clock above the suite’s sofa. “Oh, right again. It’s 6:00. Edward said dinner would be served at seven but I was so hoping to have room service….”
She smiled and release her grip from his and slid her hand up his arm to run her fingers through his hair. “Oh, we’ll have room service later, I won’t let you forget.”
Her lips nipped his earlobe and she pulled away, heading for the bathroom. He watched as her hips swayed out of view, and shook his head. Nine hundred and fifty one years it took him to find his match and now he was playing with Fate just to make the time. The universe wasn’t bloody fair.
“Oh, I know you won’t.”
Precisely at seven, Doctor Tyler and his wife, dressed in proper dinner attire, appeared at the hotel’s restaurant and were escorted to their seats.
As they waited for the waiter to bring their drinks, they took in their surroundings, specifically, the people.
“Well, I don’t recognize anyone, do you?” Rose took a sip of water and continued to appreciate the vision before her, her doctor in a tuxedo. She smiled, as she could only think of one word to describe him, delicious.
The Doctor mistook the smile for what it was and continued to look around. “No, sorry, tonight’s not a good night for seeing the stars but, we’ll have a good meal, won’t we?”
“Yes, very, and no, my spider sense isn’t tingling yet.”
“How did you know that was going to be my next question?”
Rose continued to smile and winked at him. “If I have to keep up appearances on us being the ‘old married couple,’ I have to start thinking like one too, don’t I?”
Before the Doctor could respond, the waiter returned with their drinks and took their order. The Doctor ordered the salmon and gave Rose a surprised look but said nothing when she ordered steak, medium rare. As the waiter walked away, Rose picked up her glass and took a sip and sat it back down, her fingers resting at its stem, keeping her voice low.
“What?” The Doctor gave her his ‘innocent’ look.
“You’re about to ask why I ordered steak.”
“Well….I was about to comment. I’ve never seen you eat something like that before…”
“I’m craving it. I don’t eat it often, but I do.” She leaned forward, whispering conspiratorially, “Saving universes can do that to one’s constitution.” She leaned back and winked, taking another sip.
The Doctor laughed and took a sip of his drink as well. “Gaaw! Well, as long as you don’t eat the kitchen sink…And, answer me this. ‘Action Rose, at-your-service?’ I mean, it’s apt and all, but woman, your abilities are a little more than just G.I. Jane...”
“Oi! Just? I’ve a rep to maintain! If my men heard you say that, they’d have hung you by your boot straps!” She leaned in again and grabbed his hand across the table, her expression softening. “But, you should know that, you read my mind?“
“Yes, I did, but I only wanted to prove you are you. I mean, I didn’t want to delve too deep, in case-“
“In case I was a Sliveen?” She smiled a small smile. “That was a hell of a risk you took. But…what about something more…permanent?” At his expression, she continued. “For all we know, we’re the only two Timelords in existence. You’ve admitted it. You’ve always said you could feel if there were other Timelords and you knew there weren’t because you couldn’t. Yet, when I shut down the green vortex, I heard you and I answered you. Do we have a link? Why can’t I feel you if we do? Or, if we had one, do you think that would be utterly boring, constantly being inside each others heads?”
The Doctor took her hand in both of his and considered her questions. He looked up after a few moments and finally answered her, keeping his own voice as low as hers.
“Yes, it was a risk, but you’re worth it. As for the telepathy, it will always be there when we need it. You really don’t have to question it. As for keeping the link open, it definitely wouldn’t be boring…”
“I hear the ‘but’ coming…”
“I’ve got too much baggage from 951 one years of living. You don’t want to have access to that. I couldn’t do that to anyone, least of all you, my love.”
“OK, I’ll give you that.” She noticed the waiter coming with their tray of food over his shoulder and nodded. “Food.”
The Doctor sat back and rubbed his hands together in anticipation. “Excellent! About time, too.”
As the waiter set down their plates of food, the pain started. Rose closed her eyes against it as it hit her squarely in the pit of her stomach and her forehead, simultaneously. She took a deep breath, fighting it and hoped the Doctor hadn’t noticed. Suddenly, the room became quiet, no clinking of glasses, no low voices. She opened her eyes to find no Doctor, no food and the room void of people except for a table in the far corner, a shaft of afternoon light illuminated the scene as four men sat around it, smoking cigars and holding cards in their hands.
She couldn’t hear what they were saying, but suddenly one man threw down his cards and stood up, pointing at the man across from him. She heard him then, as he accused the other of cheating and demanding his money back or else. The she couldn’t see the other’s face but saw his hands moving, obviously trying to defend himself. Quicker then she realized, the one who started the argument pulled out his gun and shot the other squarely in the chest. She watched the man fall back in his chair from the blast as the smoke from the gun filled the scene. The man then grabbed a bag from the middle of the table and continued to point the gun at the other two men and ran out of the room, leaving silence behind. From out of nowhere, a black figure appeared in front of her and she jumped back as its coal red eyes stared in to hers and it made her shutter from the waves of hate radiating off of it.
Before she could react, it hit her, smacking her in the face so hard she saw stars light the back of her eyes and she felt her body spin round from the impact. She fell into something and went down hard, cutting her hand in the process and realized her nose was bleeding as she felt the warmth of the blood trickle over her lip. She tried to get up, but she felt the room sway and realized it was her, as she became dizzy, then dizzier, the room spinning out of control and the buzzing made her ears ring. The blackness claimed her then, and Rose Tyler lost consciousness, the silence her only friend.