eloriekam: (Doctor (Ten) Ood by jordansavas)
[personal profile] eloriekam
Title: Bound for the Pot
Author: [personal profile] eloriekam/[livejournal.com profile] eloriekam
Rating: Teen
Disclaimer: Once again, if I owned it, they would get captured more frequently.
Characters: Ten, Jack
Word Count: ~2600
Summary: The investigation of a message goes seriously awry as the Doctor and Jack get separated.
Author's Notes: Written for the [livejournal.com profile] bad_wolf_rising Halloween Ficathon. Prompt: pot of bubbling green stew. Really, this is just an excuse to get Ten into trouble. My family never went in for the scary Hallowe'en stuff, so I hope this is at least mildly terrifying.


"Well," the Doctor pondered to Jack, turning down another dim corridor, "this building hasn't got any power, and there seems to be an excess of dust and cobwebs. Otherwise, I can't imagine what that message was about."

After five strides, he realized that not only had Jack not said anything, he couldn't hear the Captain following him, either. An about-face confirmed he was alone in the hallway.

"Jack?" He backtracked to the turn and looked around. "Jack!" His voice echoed and all fell silent again. "Stop it."

"Doctor," hissed an unfamiliar voice in a famliar shape, blue and hovering and constantly shifting.

"What are you? Because whatever you are, you're not a Gelth." He took out the sonic screwdriver and scanned, but there were no readings at all. So perhaps there had been something to that message after all, but where was Jack?

"Run forever," it hissed, advancing on him.

"What have you done with my friend?"

"Solid, very tasty." Was it his imagination, or was it growing darker behind the creature? He was distracted by a clunking sound coming from another direction. A great big silver robot was clomping down the hallway toward him.

"What do you want?"

"This is our home," the not-Gelth and the robot and the shadows hissed, coming faster.

The Doctor ran.

The cobwebs in this direction seemed to have grown thicker. He pushed through them, hearing his pursuers laugh, and as he thrust through the last layer, he lost his footing and stumbled into freefall for a terrifying amount of time.

He was acutely aware of his body dropping faster, of the lack of something with which he could anchor himself.

Two seconds later, he hit stairs, and rolled several steps before reaching the bottom. Wincing, he pulled himself up, and looked up, to find the cobwebs on fire. He could hear his pursuers snickering, and didn't stay to watch them break through, but turned and ran, slipping on what he strongly suspected was the blood of several different species.

The next intersection cast long shadows, and he approached carefully. The light was coming from a door, beyond which he could see daylight.

Five steps closer, but he was no closer to the door. Ten more, and he stopped. Shadows were gathering by the door, and he could see a figure beyond it.

The door opened, and a small girl stepped inside and smiled at him. The shadows behind and around her changed.

"Don't!" He shouted, but they descended. The girl gave a short shriek, but even as the sound echoed down the corridor her skeleton was clattering to the ground.

He turned back and ran, faster than before, realizing it had been a diversion to let his pursuers get within reach of him. The Doctor skidded around the corner just out of range of the gaseous creature's stretching fingers, and kicked off a wall to correct his path before tearing down the new corridor, frantically clawing the cobwebs away with one hand. After a while, he realized there were jars on ledges to either side of him, and slowed a little to glance at them.

Every imaginable organ and body part met his gaze, suspended in liquid, from heart to skin and eyes to bone. He recognized half a dozen species, including humans, before speeding up again and averting his gaze.

When he could no longer hear his pursuers, he slowed to a fast walk, panting a little, and tried to assess how far he was from the entrance.

"Are you looking for the way out?" The soft voice caught his attention. A young man and woman were standing several feet down one of the hallways.

"Er, yes," he admitted, scratching the back of his neck. "Preferably before whatever was chasing me catches up."

They smiled. "We had a terrible time too, but found it." The man pointed down the hall behind him.

"Thank you." He stepped toward them, then stopped. "You haven't seen any odd shadows, have you? Ones that move?"

"Only with the sunlight," the woman assured him.

"Ah, good. After you." The man turned and began walking slowly down the hall, and the woman backed up after him, eyes on the Doctor.

He was just in front of where they had been standing when he felt the floor shift under his feet. The trapdoor opened, and as he fell through into the darkness, he saw that the man had turned, and both were smiling at him, their eyes gleaming.

It was longer than two seconds this time. He landed on something softer than the stairs, groaning at the impact on developing bruises, and felt straps against his backside. Almost as if it were a reflex, they folded up and over him, wrapping securely around him as his vision dimmed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


He woke to a bitter smell, and tried to protest, but he was gagged. Some wriggling quickly revealed that he was tightly bound and anchored to something flat and hard, from the strap across his forehead all the way down to his feet, and that trying to move did not improve things. He relaxed before he cut off circulation to his fingers, and looked around.

There were bits of dried plant and animal skeletons and animal parts laying all about the room, and more hanging from the ceiling. A long table held a slaughtered carcass of something, its surface almost covered in still-wet blood. A sturdy rack stood against one wall. In the center of the room, a large cauldron bubbled with something, two figures standing over it.

"Oh, he's awake," one of them grumbled.

"Don't complain. You act bored if they're asleep when we put them in." They turned and looked at him with faintly glowing eyes.

Put them in where? wondered the Doctor, then decided that perhaps he didn't want to know. The others gave the cauldron a strong stir, and the smells in the room grew stronger, a little green liquid bubbling over the edges.

One of them came over as the other moved to tug the rack closer to the cauldron.

"Time Lord," it said simply. No, she. Was it a she? He jerked reflexively against the straps at the tone, cold and possessive. "Your blood." He tried to protest, but could hardly move his jaw or his tongue against the straps and the gag. "Your friend doesn't have what we need; he didn't even come in, and he's already left." Some of his fright must have showed in his eyes. "We won't leave you scared for too long. Will we?"

"Not so much we let the soup overcook," agreed the other, bending over. Orange fingers touched his face, caressed the straps across his chin, nose, and forehead, and ran through his hair. "Oh, are you scared?" There was a chuckle. "I love it when they get frightened. But you did follow us willingly, so you can't escape that way." The Doctor shouted wordlessly behind the gag, but there was only another chuckle in response before they both heaved on the board he was bound to, dragging it closer to the cauldron. He groaned and shouted, struggling again, trying to keep his terror from his face.

"Now, stop that," said the one he thought might be female. "You can't get out of it by strangling yourself beforehand." They hauled him upright, and he stared at the contents of the cauldron. Large chunks of meat and bone and other things were churning in it, occasionally coming up to the bubbling surface. He thought he saw faces in it, changing by the moment, scowling and vanishing when the contents were stirred again with a great wooden spoon. The heat from it, and the fire below it, warmed his legs and feet.

"He's secure, isn't he? Don't want him falling in too soon," one cackled.

"Them being awake is my pleasure, them waiting is yours. I'd not interfere," exclaimed the other before giggling. The same fingers caressed his face, the owner grinning at him toothily before adding something to the cauldron. The Doctor's eyes watered at the smell that wafted up.

He tried not to think about the time too much, as they stirred and added things and occasionally taunted or touched him, twice wiping away his tears with a cloth, though he knew they had done that so he could see what they were doing. After a while, they poked at him more, almost arguing with each other, and he realized they were deciding what to do with his body. It seemed that neither of them wanted many parts to go in jars and sit in a hallway somewhere, but they both wanted quite a bit of him for future spells or just to look at. He tried to hold still, and to think about other things, not quite slipping into meditation.

They had tilted him forward during their argument, and now the smells and heat of the cauldron were rising directly into his face, and the straps digging even harder. He grunted in protest, but they just chuckled and pinched his cheeks hard, seeming to enjoy the look of fear in his eyes that he knew he couldn't fully hide, and resumed their debate on how to divvy him up. If they hadn't kept looking at him to gauge his reaction, he would have thought they were treating him like a slab of meat that just happened to have blood they wanted for their green soup.

No, they were very much enjoying his responses, and his struggle to suppress them.

Suddenly, they both turned toward him and sniffed. "Blood," they hissed, and moved close to him to investigate.

"Just as potent as I promised."

"I want more."

"Wait," the first warned. The Doctor could feel the liquid run slowly along his neck, and wondered what would happen when it dripped into the bubbling stew. They fought each other off, one reaching for him and the other grabbing, then doing it over and over again, voices raised as they quibbled.

He closed his eyes, and thought of other times it had seemed hopeless.

There was a faint sound from outside the room, but neither of the creatures responded. Instead, he could hear one going over to the table and sharpening a knife. They moved around a little more, then both came back to him.

"Open your eyes," a voice hissed in his ear. He kept them closed, pondering when the cricketer had almost been beheaded, when this him had given up much of his blood volume on the moon. "This will hurt!" Stinging heat lanced through his cheek where the knife rested.

Suddenly there was a faint whistling sound, followed by a strangled cry of pain as the knife fell away from him and then the sound of whooshing flame. He whimpered and heard an outraged shriek, then several pops and bangs. Someone across the room grunted slightly as they moved, and then the whistle came again, louder, very close to his ear. The second creature gurgled, and he heard fire whoosh up again before another sound reached him.

Boots. Jack's boots.

"Doctor?" He recognized that gentle touch, and opened his eyes to look into Jack's. "They're still burning, I need to drag you away before I get you out of this." The Captain pulled the frame across the room and tilted the board back a little, then pulled away the gag. "Does that hurt less?"

"Yeah," he forced out. Jack gave him a worried-looking comforting smile, and looked for something sharp. "No," he grunted when Jack reached for the knife on the floor. "Poison." The Captain yanked his hand back, and resumed his search, eventually finding a knife without a poisoned blade.

"You disappeared into the structure," he explained, cutting away the Doctor's bonds and rubbing each area briefly in comfort and to encourage circulation. "I couldn't get in, and then I realized it was shrinking, so searched the area around it. Eventually, this was all that was left, and when it got dark I approached, found you, and here we are."

"Thank you," the Doctor whispered, hoping Jack understood the words, since tension had left his face almost too stiff to move. Blue eyes met his with a faint smile.

"You're welcome." Jack cut rapidly at the rest of the straps. "Can you stand?"

"Yeah." His jaw was stiff, but certainly he could... his near-rigid legs gave way, and the Captain caught him. "No?"

"Easy there," Jack soothed. The Doctor tried to move his legs again, but one skidded out from under him and he groaned in frustration, shaking. "It's temporary, it's okay." The Captain held him tighter with one hand and ran the other hand up and down the Time Lord's back. "It's okay."

"Go," the Doctor muttered into Jack's shirt.

"Yeah, we're going. I'm going to carry you, all right?" Jack shifted the Doctor in his arms and caught a glimpse of his face: tears were streaming down his cheeks. "I'm sorry, I wish I'd found you sooner," he sighed. "Are you badly hurt?"

"Bruises. Scared." He wanted to burrow into Jack's coat and not come out. The tears were mostly to finish clearing his eyes of irritants, but Jack didn't know that. He wondered how much of his fear showed in his face. The Captain hugged him tightly, then lifted him up, carefully cradling his stiff, sore body. He tried not to tremble too much in Jack's grasp, but he had been bound so tight, muscles tightened against the straps, that many of his muscles were shaking and quivering.

Jack carried him swiftly outside and looked around briefly, then strode off. "Unless they've moved the TARDIS, it's not too long of a trip," he reassured the Doctor, who had started trembling harder and twitching at every sound and movement. It was dark out now, and there was just enough light to cast long and disturbing shadows.

"No," the Doctor moaned. "Not... not again. Please."

"It's all right, Doctor, you're doing great. Just ten more minutes and we can take care of you in the TARDIS, all right?"

"Count the shadows."

"They're not here, it's okay."

"They killed a child," he mumbled forcefully past his still-immovable jaw.

"Doctor, I promise, it's all right." They carried on like this all the way back to the TARDIS; the Doctor thought he understood what Jack was trying to tell him, but it had felt real, that building had felt so real.

"Hello," whispered the Doctor when they reached the blue box.

"You can start chatting again while I get my key out," the Captain told him, smiling faintly and carefully moving the Doctor around so he was propped between the TARDIS and Jack's left side.

"Ow... oh, hi." The Time Lord closed his eyes and listened as Jack got his key and unlocked the door. "Oi."

"You don't have to stop talking," Jack chuckled gently, shutting the door with one foot. Handbrake, said two (at least) different voices in his head, and he glanced curiously at the Doctor, who returned his gaze and gave a short, stiff nod.

"Stay?" the Doctor asked softly as Jack carried him toward the sickbay.

"Of course. Always." Jack laid him down on a bed. "Can you move much more?" He could see some bruises, and though the Time Lord hadn't said he was badly hurt, Jack wanted to check him over thoroughly. It would go more smoothly if he could shift slightly to accommodate Jack undressing him.

"No. Sleep." Jack draped a blanket over him and retrieved some pillows, giving his sore body more cushion, and rubbed his hands gently over the Doctor until the Time Lord fell asleep, then held his hands later when he awoke in nightmares of murderous shadows.
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