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Last Love

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Jethro Cane was hiding. His so called 'parents' just returned from their little excursion outside their hotel room and they didn't return happy. Something had happened out there and he didn't really want to know what.

So that is how he ended up hiding in the bathroom cabinet. It was annoying how the drains were stabbing into his sides, but he wasn't looking a gifted horse in the mouth. The worst part was that he forgot his phone and games out in the living room. Now he was sitting in a dark, dirty cabinet with no way to entertain himself until his 'parents' went to sleep.

With a silent sigh he resigned himself to hours of silence, but life just loves throwing curveballs at him. He heard a sudden slam from the only bedroom and feet stomping their way around the house. He could hear curses and things being flung open and shut. His 'mother' was telling his 'father' where to look and yelling at him. His 'father' was yelling back at her, but their argument remained on the same topic.

Him.

Jethro tried to make himself look even smaller then he already was. He held his breath as he heard their yelling and stomping feet getting closer and closer each passing minute. He toyed with the idea of making it look like he was using the bathroom so they didn't think he was hiding from them.

Then again, he never tried that before because he wanted them to know how much he hated them. He wanted them to look into his eyes as they hurt him and, hopefully, feel regret or guilt for their actions. He doesn't know if any of this has any effect on them but he didn't care. He would rather hide and get a worse beating then try to conform and get lighter ones.

Jethro's heart was beating a mile a minute at this point. They were outside the bathroom door now. "I don't know where he could be!" Biff yelled aggravated at their lack of progress. Val huffed in annoyance. "It isn't like he was able to leave the hotel room. He is somewhere around here. Keep looking!" she ordered in a high shrill tone. The teen wanted to hiss at the sound of her voice, but he kept quiet. Her voice hurts. Biff slammed open the bathroom door. "Not here," he grumbled.

Only one set of footsteps walked away.

A lighter, but more deadly, pair walked into the bathroom. They stopped right in front of the sink. Jethro closed his eyes, but knew it was only a matter of seconds before his 'mother' opened the cabinet and found him.

"Jethro, honestly. Hiding in a cabinet. That is a new low even for you," her voice darkened and had an undertone of a threat. That didn't stop Jethro from being completely silent and ignoring her though.

"You will come out this instant. You might be able to fool Biff, but you can't fool me," Val said in an unpleasantly soothing way. Jethro cringed as she tried to sound like a mother should when dealing with scared children. There were just three things wrong with that.

One, he wasn't a child. He never got the chance to be one.

Two, his 'mother' was the farthest thing from soothing. Seeing her trying to be something she's not made Jethro's skin crawl in revulsion.

And finally, three, his 'mother' was also the farthest thing Jethro would ever consider to be a mother. She was hypocritical, nasty, abusive, annoying, and so many other things. He knew lies when he saw one.

Val huffed in annoyance. "Biff!" she yelled, getting her husband to come back into the bathroom. "He isn't here?" Biff said questioningly. Jethro could practically hear the sneer Val was giving her husband. "He is in the cabinet," she answered. Jethro could hear them shuffling around and threw a silent prayer to any deity that would listen.

Suddenly, his dark, safe place was forced into the light and he felt a rough hand grab his arm. He was dragged out of the cabinet too quickly for him to grab onto anything to save him from his fate. He blinked a few times to adjust to the lighting but that was the only grace they allowed him.

As soon as his eyes had adjusted he felt a sharp kick to his stomach. He groaned as he was allowed to collapse onto the floor.

"Now tell me why you were hiding from us," Val asked in a sickly sweet tone. Jethro glared up at his 'parents'. Val frowned and crossed her arms. "Biff, darling, he isn't answering," Val said in a forced sad tone. Jethro rolled his eyes when he felt a hand touch his hair. He was yanked up. It was painful but he refused to make a sound. Didn't want them to know that it hurt after all. No need for them to get excited.

"Answer your mother," Biff said darkly. The larger man threw his sons head at the wall which he ricocheted off. He couldn't help the small groan as he felt a splitting headache start because of it.

Jethro remained painfully silent while continuing to glare at them with his icy blue eyes. Val glared back and sneered in disgust. "After all we do for you this is how you repay us?" she questioned. Jethro held back a snort at that. 'All you've done for me is teach me how to lie,' he thought. And that was true. After all, he had to find a convincing way to lie to people about his bruises and occasional broken bone.

"Biff, teach our poor manners if you will. But not too hard, we are all going on a tour around Midnight tomorrow," she ordered. With a poisonous smile she left the room. Biff cracked his knuckles as he looked down at his son. "Now son," he said with a small grin.

"This is going to hurt me more then it hurts you."

Chapter Text

Jethro walked right behind his 'parents' with an annoyed frown on his face. He made sure to cover his hand shaped bruises on his wrists with some leather bracers he stashed away for safe keeping. At least now that they were in public he didn't have to fear being hit by either of them. Of course their passive aggressive remarks still managed to get under his skin.

He walked in silence, ignoring his 'parents' as they talked to one another. Loudly. He spotted an odd figure a few feet away as he started to call someone. He was grinning like crazy and was hopping from foot to foot. He was an odd spectacle but at least listening in on his conversation meant he didn't have to partially hear Val and Biff talk.

"A sapphire waterfall. It's a waterfall made of sapphires!" he suddenly said, stopping his hopping to stand still. "This enormous jewel the size of a glacier reaches the Cliffs of Oblivion and then shatters into sapphires at the edge, then fall one hundred thousand feet into a crystal ravine," he listed off happily. They were getting closer to boarding and that meant Jethro couldn't listen in more which was disappointing. When this man described the trip it sounded amazing but when his two caretakers did it sounded like he should be taking a nap instead. Much more productive.

The brunette man waited a second before responding to whatever the other person on the line said. "Oh, come on. They're boarding now," he said. Jethro couldn't hear the rest as he entered the shuttle.

He noticed Val and Biff were sitting together on one side of the shuttle so that meant he was going to sit on the opposite side. He couldn't sit too far away in fear of a beating when they returned to the hotel. Well, a worse beating then he was most likely going to receive.

It only took a few minutes for everyone else to arrive. There were already two people here, their hostess and some blonde woman sitting up front, when they arrived. Next was the strange man from before. He was actually taller then he expected. The man looked around at the small group so far with a grin. When the man's eyes fell onto him, he couldn't advert his own.

'He isn't so bad to look at,' he thought as he looked into the man's amber eyes. The man waved at him. Jethro frowned and looked away. If there was one thing he didn't know how to handle and that was kind or nice gestures. This man reeked of kind gestures and it made him sick.

Jethro didn't notice that the man frowned at him and his eyes darkened with curiosity. The last people to enter was an older gentleman and what appeared to be his assistant. They took a seat in the row in front of him. The man from before sitting right in front of them.

He noticed the hostess was going around and handing out things to everyone. He turned his attention back to his 'parents'. They were on the opposite side of the shuttle and a row in front of his. They were conversing with each other with large, plastic smiles on their faces.

He rolled his eyes as he tried to get comfortable. He stiffened as he felt eyes upon him.

"Don't be silly. Come and sit with us. Look, we get slippers," she tried to coerce him over to them with a tight smile. Biff just looked dumbly over at him. Jethro withheld a sigh as he only accepted the ear phones and ear plugs from the hostess who smiled at him thinly.

He couldn't blame her. He would be angry to be at work to.

"Jethro, do what your mother says," Biff said sternly. Jethro quickly turned towards them. "I'm sitting here," he said with finality. Val didn't seem to care as she looked over her new items. Biff's eyes narrowed. "Oh, he's ashamed of us, but he doesn't mind us paying, does he?" and so the guilt trip has started. Luckily, Jethro has enough experience in ignoring this.

"Oh, don't you two start," Val said softly and sweetly. Her voice holding a warning for both Cane men. "Shall I save the juice pack or have it now? Look, peach and clementine," the two were back into their own little world that didn't involve Jethro.

Finally.

"Ladies and gentlemen and variations thereupon," the hostess said, gathering everyone's attention as she walked quickly and gracefully down the aisle, "welcome on board the Crusader 50," she stopped when she reached the very front.

She turned and smiled at everyone. "If you would fasten your seatbelts, we'll be leaving any moment," she said while checking her watch. Jethro tiredly fastened his seatbelt carefully. He made sure to do it in such a way that it didn't sit on any of his bruises. "Doors," at the hostesses command, the doors began to shut. "Shields down," Jethro began to put in his ear buds, but left one off just in case the hostess said anything of importance.

"I'm afraid the view is shielded until we reach the Waterfall Palace. Also, a reminder. Midnight has no air, so please don't touch the exterior door seals. Fire exit is at the rear and should we need to use it, you first," she joked with a small giggle. No one made a sound.

"Now I will hand you over to Driver Joe," she continued as though nothing happened. "Driver Joe at the wheel," a man said over the intercom, "There's been a diamond fall at the Winter Witch Canyon, so we'll be taking a slight detour, as you'll see on the map. The journey covers 500 kliks to the multifaceted coast. Duration is estimated at around four hours. Thank you for travelling with us and, as they used to say in the olden days, 'Wagons roll'." By this point Jethro has given up on anything important being said so he put his other ear bud in.

He noticed that the hostess has started to speak once more, but paid her no mind. He was only slightly startled when a small TV screen appeared from above him and had to blink a few times once some projector was turned on and hit him on his face. After a while, he just frowned and closed his eyes while he snuggled back into his seat.

He opened his eyes when he noticed the light that was shining behind his eyelids disappeared. He cracked one eye open to notice that everything was gone and the hostess seemed to be talking at the front of the shuttle again, but this time with a tense, nervous, smile.

He removed one ear bud to catch was his 'father' was saying. "We've got four hours of this? Four hours of just sitting here?" he said tersely. Jethro wanted to grin at the man's misfortune but then the weird guy sat up and turned towards Biff. "Tell you what," he started with a grin, "We'll just have to talk to each other instead." Jethro wanted to snort but as he turned towards his mother he noticed that her eyes gleamed with something.

Something dark as she stared at the man.

Jethro shivered. Every other occupant was looking at each other in befuddlement, but ultimately decided to do as the man said. Jethro refused to be a part of any of it. The only problem was that his 'mother's' small smile on her face when she looked at the man sent shivers down his spine. Apparently, she was attracted to men who took charge. But that didn't make sense to him either since he always saw her giving orders to everyone.

Jethro ignored everything around him for as long as he possibly could, but then the laughter just got too loud. He took out his ear buds and decided to look over at what everyone found so funny. To his shock, everyone, minus the blonde lady at the front, was laughing at something Biff and Val had said.

"So Biff said, 'I'm going swimming'," Val continued with a smile. Jethro felt his eye twitch as he suddenly knew what story this was. He noticed that the strange man was sitting the wrong direction in the chair so he could face his parents. "Oh, I was all ready. Trunks and everything. Noseplug," Biff said. Val was laughing softly at her husband while trying not to make eye contact with him.

Her hands were shifting nervously in her lap. "He had this little noseplug. You should have seen him," she said while giggling. The man was looking between the two with a small grin and raised brows.

Jethro had no idea how he was listening to this garbage.

"And I went marching up to the lifeguard, and he was a Shamboni, you know, with those big foreheads," he said in a joking manner. Jethro frowned as he heard them call them other things but this was probably the only acceptable thing that could be taken as a joke. He also didn't understand how the older man and his assistant were listening either. The girl was even chuckling.

"Great bug forehead!" Val agreed hurriedly. "And I said, 'Where's the pool?' and he said, 'The pool is abstract.'," Biff continued. Jethro couldn't contain himself as he mumbled 'The pool is abstract,' along with the man. He was getting into the story as he waved his arms around. Val was smiling shortly at him now as he held the strange man's attention.

Everyone laughed once again. Biff honestly seemed to be enjoying himself while Val kept trying to draw the attention to herself. Jethro wanted to just go to sleep.

"It wasn't a real pool!" Val said while laughing shrilly. 'You say that like we don't know what abstract means,' Jethro thought snidely. "It was a concept," Biff continued while grinning happily. It wasn't often the man got to tell his stories.

"And you were wearing your noseplug?" the man asked. Jethro looked over. From this close the man's voice was also deeper then he originally thought. It wasn't overbearingly so, but enough so it drew attention. Jethro kept his eyes locked onto the man now.

"I was like this," Biff plugged his nose and started to mumble incoherently. Now everyone was laughing even louder. Val's voice was like a knife to his skull. They even got the poor old guy to laugh now. The doctor bent over the seat as he laughed.

Jethro finally had enough and restored his headphones back to their rightful place and turned up his music.

He didn't know when but at some point he fell asleep. It wasn't an overly long nap, but when he woke up everyone was talking in their little groups from before. Except for the strange man and the blonde woman. They sat together and chatted amicably. They actually seemed to be wrapping up whatever it was they were discussing.

Jethro finally noticed that his music had stopped and looked down at his phone. It was dead. He sighed as he took out his headphones and carefully put them to his side. He thought about opening up his ear plugs so he didn't have to listen to the voices of everyone around him, but just as he made a grab for them a man appeared in his peripheral vision.

It wasn't Biff or the old man. It was the strange man from before. He was grinning as he pointed to the seat next to Jethro. "Mind if I take a seat?" he asked. Jethro stiffened but nodded nonetheless. "So, I'm the Doctor," he said as he held his hand out with a grin. The raven teen just stared at the other with narrowed eyes.

After a few more seconds of stalling, he finally grasped the hand and shook it lightly. "Jethro Cane. May I ask the doctor of what?" he asked politely. The man's, the Doctor's, grin widened. "Oh just the Doctor," he replied smoothly.

Jethro nodded his head and he leaned a little farther away from the man. "Is there something you needed?" he asked. 'Ask for it and then leave me alone,' he thought.

He didn't like interacting with others.

The Doctor shook his head. "Nope. Just wanted to chat. I've talked with everyone but you and Dr. Hobbes," he said. Jethro rose a brow and hummed softly to himself. "There isn't anything interesting about me," he replied quickly and effectively.

Or so he thought.

"Well now, that can't be true. Just looking into your eyes I know you know things that people your age normally don't," Jethro turned to stare at the Doctor in shock. "I don't know what your talking about," he tried to sound stern but it came out just a little weak. He hoped the older man didn't notice.

"Well then, tell me a little bit about yourself then. How old are you, are you unemployed, why do you wear such dark clothing?" he listed these off quickly. At the last one he sent a quick look up and down Jethro's body making him shiver. The teen turned away with a small blush and a large frown on his face.

"I am eighteen as of eight months ago. I am unemployed, not by choice. I wear dark clothes because I look good in dark clothes," he answered shortly to all the questions. His answers came out more sarcastic then he meant for them to.

Sarcasm usually ended with a harsher punishment so he learned to contain his wit until he was either alone or he was too angry to really care about the consequences. Jethro didn't allow this to show on his face, but he was shocked that he felt so at ease around the other. The man just laughed good naturedly.

Jethro felt a small tug at his lips but refused. "So what brought a young man such as yourself on this excursion?" the Doctor asked. Jethro felt a tug at his heart as he remembered his 'parents' were still around. He glanced over the Doctor's shoulder to find his 'mother' was glaring at him.

It vanished the moment the Doctor looked over. She smiled happily and waved her hand towards them before returning to talk to her husband.

"Ah~. Parents," the Doctor answered. Jethro couldn't help it but to snort in amusement. His eyes widened slightly but he quickly composed himself. "It's a family vacation," he answered the question even though the Doctor had already done so.

The brunette man nodded fractionally before turning back towards him. His grin was gone and his eyes were marginally darker. "What did you mean when you said you were unemployed but not by choice?" he questioned. Jethro wanted to curse his sarcasm. He was backed into a corner, but lying was quickly turning into his specialty.

"No one wants to hire a teen who looks like the only thing he can do is sleep," the lie rolled off his tongue naturally and with hardly a delay. The Doctor didn't seem convinced though.

Strange. Everyone has bought that lie.

"You don't seem the type to just go to sleep when there is something to do," the Doctor answered Jethro's unasked question. The teen huffed and turned away. He didn't like how his heart beat faster at hearing those words. This man may be the first and last person to ever say that to him. Everyone else just agreed with what Jethro said when it was painting him in a negative way.

Said teen looked over at him, his eyes lightened slightly from the glacier they were to just a calm snow bank. "I don't know what your talking about," he answered quietly. The Doctor smiled sadly over at him. "I know," he said cryptically.

Jethro felt like he was thrown under the bus. This man was able to see through him when even his supposed friends and his past teachers failed to do so. He didn't like this feeling at all. He wasn't in control. He needed the control.

"Doesn't matter if you believe me or not that is how it is," he answered back as he shifted minutely. That was a horrible idea.

He shifted in such a way that he put pressure on his still healing rib cage. He cringed at the pain but didn't let a sound escape his lips. He just didn't take into account how closely the Doctor was watching his movements. "Are you okay?" he asked softly.

Jethro froze as the man leaned into his personal bubble. 'Does he not know about personal space?' he thought dazedly. "I'm fine. My leg fell asleep and it startled me," he answered swiftly after a small, hardly even a couple of seconds had passed. The Doctor didn't look convinced. 'What do I have to say to get him to believe me,' he thought suddenly. A traitorous voice in the back of his head said he would need to tell the truth.

Like hell he was going to do that though.

He noticed from the corner of his eye that the assistant was setting up a projector with the help of the hostess. His line of sight was blocked suddenly by the other man next to him. His eyes were suddenly looking into concerned pools of amber.

"You don't need to lie to me," he said. Jethro almost felt compelled to tell him. But he just frowned at the man. "I'm good," he said sullenly. The man frowned as well but nodded.

"If you need someone to talk to, I'll be over there," he said and pointed to somewhere near the front of the shuttle.

That somewhere ended up being in the row in front of Jethro as Dr. Hobbes and his assistant started to talk about the planet in detail. At first, Jethro was going to put in his ear plugs and be done with everything. He filled his people quota of the year. But the lecture actually captured his attention.

"So this is Midnight. Do you see? Bombarded by the sun," Dr. Hobbes said. Jethro crossed his arms over the seat in front of his and leaned his head against them. "Extonic rays, raw galvanic radiation," the professor continued as he showed a picture of the planet and sun.

"Dee Dee, next slide," he ordered hurriedly. Jethro looked over at the man's assistant as she quickly tried to go to the next slide. She seemed enthralled by this lecture. 'So her name is Dee Dee huh,' he thought. He now knew the names, if you count the Doctor being a name, of everyone on board except the blonde woman up front and the hostess.

"It's my pet project. Actually, I'm the first person to research this because, you see," he seemed excited to have such an enraptured audience. He took a seat and continued, "the history is fascinating because there is no history. There is no life in this entire system. There couldn't be. Before the Leisure Palace Company moved in, no one had come here in all eternity. No living thing." The silence was almost deafening.

Everyone looked around their small shuttle except for Jethro and the Doctor. Both of their eyes were fixed firmly onto the professor. "But how do you know? I mean, if no one can go outside..." he started to question. He would have continued but his 'mother' stopped him. "Oh, his imagination. Here we go," she said while rolling her eyes.

"He's got a point though," the Doctor was quick to side with Jethro, much to the surprise of said teen and his 'parents'. Jethro felt a small thrill go down his spine, but ignored it for sending a quick glare towards Val. "Exactly," the professor said with great enthusiasm, "We look upon this world through glass, safe inside our metal box. Even the Leisure Palace was lowered down from orbit and here we are now, crossing Midnight, but never touching it."

The shuttle suddenly rattled and some bangs were heard around the entire thing. "We've stopped," Val voiced all of their thoughts. "Have we stopped?" she suddenly questioned. "Are we there?" Biff also asked, looking around confused. The hostess made a move towards the aisle. "We can't be. It's too soon," Dee Dee said while looking around the shuttle.

Jethro felt a small spike of fear but he also couldn't keep a small grin off his face. "No, they don't stop. Crusader vehicles never stop," Hobbes insisted. The hostess walked through the aisle before stopping just slightly in front of Dee Dee. "If you could just return to your seats, it's just a small delay," she said with a slightly tense voice. She turned back around and headed to a phone that most likely led to their 'Driver Joe'. Jethro and Dee Dee both watched her go with curious eyes.

"Maybe just a pit stop," Biff tried to reason as he took a seat. Val was already sitting and had a tense look on her face. "There's no pit to stop in. I've been on this expedition fourteen times," Hobbes condescendingly said, "They never stop," now there was frustration.

The blonde woman sat forward and glared at the professor. "Well, evidently we have stopped, so there's no point in denying it," she said quickly and effectively. Jethro couldn't help but laugh, mostly because of the offended look on Hobbes's face. "We've broken down," he said while trying to control himself.

Val almost sneered at him. "Thanks, Jethro," she said stiffly. Jethro couldn't contain himself. He turned towards her and deepened his voice, "In the middle of nowhere," this earned him a glare from both Val and Biff. "That's enough. Now stop it," Biff said sternly. Val looked down at the floor with a strange look in her eyes.

"Ladies and gentlemen and variations thereupon," the hostess interrupted Biff and most likely saved Jethro from a tongue lashing. She walked briskly down the aisle. "We're just experiencing a short delay," she pulled up the screen that everyone was using to look at the slides, "The driver needs to stabilize the engine feeds. It's perfectly routine, so if you could just stay in your seats...," the Doctor got a strange look in his eyes before he started his way towards the door leading to the drivers.

"No, I'm sorry sir, I...could you please-" she was cut off by the Doctor waving something in her face. "There you go. Engine expert. Two ticks," he said quickly while opening the door. "Sorry, if you could just sit down-" she was ignored, "You're not supposed to be in there!" she said sternly but the door shut firmly behind him.

She frowned before turning back to everyone else. She kept herding everyone back to their seats. Jethro, Val, Biff, and Dee Dee were sitting down. Hobbes was talking to the hostess about something, Jethro really wasn't listening. The blonde woman was standing near the door that the Doctor disappeared through.

When the door finally opened Jethro quickly turned his attention towards the slightly shocked man leaving the cabin. The blonde woman was quick to corner him though.

"What did they say? Did they tell you? What is it? What's wrong?" she shot off each question with rapid succession. The Doctor turned and grinned his shit eating grin as he answered, "Oh, just stabilizing. Happens all the time."

Hobbes made his way back over to his seat, cutting off Jethro's view.

"I don't need this. I'm on a schedule. This is completely unnecessary," she said, getting slightly hysteric. He watched as the hostess walked towards them, but he couldn't see them anymore. He leaned back as he decided to just listen for now.

"Back to your seats. Thank you," the hostess said with her usual grace before she opened the cabin door. The Doctor took a seat in front of Dee Dee, exactly where he started. Dee Dee leaned forward and whispered, "Excuse me, Doctor." Jethro heard some shuffling around, but he didn't straighten so he could see. Listening was easier anyway.

"They're micropetrol engines, aren't they?" she asked softly. It was actually hard to hear from his position, but if he focused he could hear everything. "Now, don't bother the man," Hobbes tried to interfere, but whatever his assistant wanted to know must be important to her.

"My father was a mechanic," she said back quickly. Ah. That explains it then. "Micropetrol doesn't stabilize. What does stabilize mean?" she asked. Well, that explained that then. Jethro was now curious as well. That also means that the Doctor lied to the blonde woman. 'Seems even people like him can lie,' he thought darkly.

He finally moved from his position and leaned over so he could hear and see them better.

"Well, a bit of flim-flam. Don't worry, they're sorting it out," the Doctor answered back. "So it's not the engine?" Hobbes asked, getting invested in the conversation. "Just a little pause, that's all," the Doctor tried to reassure.

Maybe it was just Jethro, but he could hear the small little lilt of concern in the Doctor's voice. Or was it something else?

"How much air have we got?" Now it was Hobbes getting hysterical. "Professor, it's fine," the Doctor tried once more to reassure. "What did he say?" Val spoke up loudly, startling Jethro. He hadn't even noticed her listening in. Maybe he was related to them and that is how he got so sneaky. And how he was never able to sneak past them.

"Nothing," the Doctor was quick to say, but apparently Val wasn't listening. "Are we running out of air?" she asked once more. Jethro glanced at her and saw a small wicked gleam in her eyes. Biff actually looked kind of terrified. Jethro wanted to scoff. So Biff is only the big man when beating his son and Val gets high on other people's fear. Great.

The hostess stepped out of the cabin with a confused look on her face. "I was just speculating," Hobbes tried to say. "Is that right, miss?" Biff questioned the hostess, who wasn't even sure what was going on, "are we running out of air?"

Jethro closed his eyes and leaned back against the seat.

"Is that what the captain said?" Val asked in mock concern that only Jethro seemed to detect. "If you could all just remain calm-" the hostess started but was, quite rudely, interrupted. "How much air have we got?" Val questioned louder. She was almost yelling now "Mum, just stop it," he hoped using that term would shut her up. He never used it anymore and sometimes it actually calmed her.

"Everything is under control," the hostess tried again. "It doesn't look like it," Biff said. Val took a quick glance at her son, but her eyes were cold. She then turned her attention back towards the hostess. "He said it!" she pointed towards the professor.

Welp. It was one of the few times that term didn't work. Fuck.

"It's fine!" the Doctor tried to help but all of this just started a shouting match. Jethro watched everyone shout with wide eyes. The blonde woman was shouting at the hostess while his 'parents' were shouting at Dee Dee and Hobbes, who shouted right back. The Doctor seemed to be trying to get everyone's attention, but it wasn't working.

"Quiet!" the Doctor suddenly shouted so loud that everyone actually listened. Jethro watched with concealed amazement as his 'parents' looked taken aback. Everyone stared at the Doctor, except for Dee Dee who just looked ashamed for having started to yell as well.

"Thank you," he said after a moment of silence. "Now, if you care to listen to my good friend Dee Dee," he said. She looked up at him with wide eyes. He tilted his head, telling her with no words to explain. Dee Dee slowly stood, "Oh, um..." she looked around nervously.

"It's just that, well, the air's on a circular filter," she started, "so we could stay breathing for ten years." The Doctor nodded along. "There you go," Val and Biff looked towards one another. Val's lips were thinned while Biff looked annoyed and concerned. "And I've talked to the captain. I can guarantee you, everything's fine," the Doctor continued in a soothing voice.

Jethro couldn't explain it, but he did suddenly feel extremely calm. It annoyed him slightly.

Suddenly there were three loud bangs. Everyone looked around startled, even Val this time. "What was that?" she asked softly. "It must be metal. We're cooling down. It's just settling," Hobbes tried to explain it away. "Rocks. Could be rocks falling," Dee Dee theorized.

"What I want to know is how long do we have to sit here?" Biff said getting a little impatient. Jethro rolled his eyes. They had been sitting here for a little over an hour just talking to each other. Couldn't everyone just go back to that.

The pounding started up again.

Jethro actually jumped and turned towards the sound. It actually wasn't that far from him and he did not appreciate it.

"What is that?" the blonde woman asked. "There's someone out there," Val said. Hobbes scoffed in disbelief, "Don't be ridiculous," he said sternly with a frown. Jethro almost chuckled at the unimpressed look Val shot towards the professor.

"Like I said, it could be rocks," Dee Dee tried to reason with a shake of her head. The hostess frowned at her. "We are out in the open," she said while twirling her hands around for emphasis, "nothing could fall against the sides," she continued with a small breathless chuckle at the end.

Three more bangs hit the side of the vehicle. Val almost let out a whimper, but it came out too breathlessly. "Knock knock," the Doctor said with a raised brow. Jethro couldn't contain himself when he said with a small grin, "Who's there?" The resounding silence could be cut with a dull butter knife. "Is there something out there," Sky asked softly.

The Doctor just glanced at her. "Well, anyone?" she continued more hysterically. Two more thuds came from the back of the vehicle. Biff actually jumped around to look towards where it came from. Sky hardly even flinched as she looked around the ship for answers. "What the hell is making that noise?" Jethro could tell she really wanted to start shouting.

It wasn't the Doctor who answered, but the professor, "I'm sorry, but the light out there is extonic," he said while making his own hand gestures, "that means it would destroy any living thing in a split second," he said while snapping his fingers. "It is impossible for someone to be outside," Jethro snorted quietly at this. 'Tell that to the someone outside' he thought mockingly.

He watched as he Doctor slowly left his seat and stood in the center aisle. His amber eyes darkening as he looked around the vehicle. Two more bangs hit the side of the vehicle, making everyone, sans the Doctor, jump once again. "Well, what the hell is that then?" Sky continued to question harshly.

The Doctor moved quickly and managed to grab something while still eyeing the walls of the vehicle. The hostess frowned in concern. "Sir, you really should get back in your seat," she cautioned. Jethro rose his brow at her. "What about Sky then?" he whispered harshly under his breath. The blonde woman was standing rigidly beside the Hostess.

Whatever object the Doctor grabbed, he stuffed it in his ear while pressing the other part to the side of the vehicle. Jethro blinked as he stared at the other. 'So he wasn't lying about being a doctor. He has a stethoscope,' he thought almost detachedly. "Hello," the brunette man questioned softly. Three more knocks were heard awfully close to where the Doctor was.

Sky whimpered before two more were heard near the fire exit of the craft. "It's moving," Jethro couldn't help but point out with curiosity. The Doctor slowly moved away from the wall and back into the aisle. He slowly tried to make his way to the door. Jethro also slowly moved into the aisle while everyone else seemed to be frozen in place.

The door seemed to jiggle slightly which set off a whole new set of hysterics. "It's trying the door?" Val said while pointed at it with a shaking finger. Jethro almost wanted to let it in and congratulate it. It wasn't everyday he got to see the woman so shaken up.

"There is no 'it'. There's nothing out there. Can't be," Hobbes tried to reason while staring at Val. The door clanged once more, drawing even the dubious professor's interest. Everyone stayed quiet for a moment before two loud bangs came from above. Even the Doctor flinched at that one.

Finally there were two more bangs on the door nearest to Biff and Val, the two in question jumping away. Val shakily pointed towards the door. "That's the entrance. Can it get in?" she questioned almost weakly.

"No. That door's on 200-weigth hydronics," Dee Dee answered confidently. Hobbes just frowned and said, "Stop it. Don't encourage them," Jethro again had to hold back a snicker. It didn't seem appropriate to laugh in this situation. "What do you think it is?" she asked the elder.

"Biff don't," Val's shaking voice brought back Jethro's attention. His eyes widened as he saw the man standing at the door and touching it no less. 'Balls of steel' he thought snidely. "Mr. Kane, better not," the Doctor agreed with a frown.

"Nah, it's cast iron, that door," he said with a frown while it giving it a resounding three knocks. The thing then returned the favor by hitting the door three times. Sky gasped and shielded her mouth with her hands.

Now, Jethro wasn't proud enough to say he wasn't at least slightly terrified. His brain short circuited for a while there and all he could mumble out was "It answered," before falling quiet once more as he tried to think. He completely blanked out and when he came to once more he noticed Sky was shrieking it was coming for her and the banging heading in her direction.

"Get out of there!" the Doctor shouted while trying to reach her, but he never made it. The vehicle was suddenly being rocked back and forth, sending everyone sprawling in all directions. Sparks shot out from the force and the light kept flashing. Jethro grunted in pain when he hit his head on the side of the car. Luckily, it stopped soon afterwards but he had to move slowly as the room in front of him still appeared to be spinning. He sat up slowly while rubbing his aching head.

He ignored the first parts of what people were saying but started to listen once the Hostess told them to grab their torches. It was only then he noticed how dark it was and he quickly grabbed his torch. He moved from his spot to the center aisle, almost in front of the Doctor while looking for Sky.

The last thing he remembered, it was heading towards her. "Oh, Jethro, Sweetheart, come here," Val tried to get her son to come towards her, but he ignored her once more. He didn't even flinch when she came over and laid her hand on his shoulder. He was too busy staring at the prone figure of Sky sitting of the floor.

"Never mind me, what about her?" he said with concern. Everyone started to shine their lights towards the blonde in concern and confusion. Jethro ignored the throbbing of his head as he watched her.

"What happened to the seats?" Val questioned as Biff took his place beside her. At this, Jethro did notice that they were standing awfully close to him. "Who did that?" Biff asked while Jethro slowly tried to squirm away from them.

"They've been ripped up," Val said with her voice reaching all new kinds of screeching. Her hold on Jethro's shoulder tightened, causing him to still, frozen in place. He watched quietly as the Doctor walked over and tried to soothe the blonde.

He remained frozen in place as the Hostess started to frantically speak and make her way down the aisle. The second the doors open though, he ducked down and tried to shield himself from the harmful rays. He listened grimly as everyone gasped and shrieked around him as he tried to even his own breathing.

This is turning out to be more dangerous then the time Val and Biff got drunk and thought he was an intruder. He slowly rose, noting faintly that Val wasn't touching him anymore, as he stared at the door in concern and fear. This was getting more and more out of hand with each passing second. He lost track of everyone at this point and didn't bother to locate anyone.

"The cabin's gone," the Hostess said faintly, her voice cracking. "Don't be ridiculous. It can't be gone. How can it be gone?" Hobbes tried to deny it all again. This just sparked anger in the raven teen who let a small frown fall onto his face.

"You saw it," Dee Dee said, trying to reason with her boss. "There was nothing there. Like it was ripped away," the Hostess continued. Jethro removed himself from his spot to stand beside her, putting a calming hand on her shoulder even though he didn't feel calm at all.

"Tell me your name," he said, ignoring everything else around him. She stared at him for a moment with dark, chocolate eyes. "Rakie Ayola," she said softly. "That's a nice name," he said softly. She nodded and took a calming breath. "Your name?" she asked while continuing to breath deeply. "Jethro Cane. Pleasure to meet you," he continued. She smiled grimly at him while mouthing thank you before turning her attention towards everyone else.

Jethro returned to his little spot so he could keep a careful eye on Sky. The woman had still yet to move and it was worrying and all the shouting going on was doing nothing for his headache. It was just a few moments away from being a migraine.

"You're right. The cabin's gone," Jethro just managed to catch the end of the Doctor's sentence. "But if it gets separated?" the Hostess questions weakly, already knowing the answer if the sad look in her eyes was any indication.

The Doctor stared at the panel before him as he answered, "It loses integrity." He stood up as he looked towards the Hostess, also with sad eyes. "I'm sorry, they've been reduced to dust," the woman gasped softly as she wobbled slightly on her feet, but she held her ground and continued to stare into his amber eyes.

"The driver and the mechanic. They sent a distress signal," he continued while moving away from the wall, trying to placate everyone, "help is one the way. They saved our lives. We are going to get out of here, I promise." Jethro found himself nodding along at the conviction he heard in the man's voice, but he never kept his eyes off Sky. "We're still alive and they're gonna find us."

"Doctor, look at her," he said softly, but he might as well had been shouting at the silence that followed the older man's words. "Right, yes, sorry. Have we got a medical kit?" he asked after taking a glance towards the comatose blonde. "Why won't she turn around?" he questioned in concern. She just continued to sit there in silence, even when they had opened the doors.

"What's her name?" Hobbes questioned. Rakie just shook her head as she answered, "Silvestry. Sky Silvestry."

"Sky?" the Doctor questioned, "Can you hear me?" He knelt beside her as everyone else tried to keep to a safe distance. "You're all right," he continued on, trying to reassure her. Jethro ignored them as he looked around the vehicle.

It was too silent.

"That noise from outside, its stopped," he said softly. "Well, thank god for that," Val said on the verge of anger. Jethro continued on with his train of thought, "But what if it's not outside any more?" the silence that followed was damning and his next sentence sent a new scale of hysterics through everyone sans himself, the Doctor, and Sky, "what if it's inside?"

Val quickly rounded on him while shining her flashlight in his face. He took one glance as her before returning to look at Sky, ignoring the stabbing pain that looking into the light caused his head. "Inside? Where?" she demanded. Jethro almost growled but settled for a frown as he answered, "It was heading for her."

They all watched in silence as the Doctor tried to coax her into moving or speaking. Finally, one of her hands removed itself from atop her head and then followed by the other as she slowly turned towards them.

Jethro took a small step back when she lifted her head up. 'Her eyes are so...' Jethro thought darkly, 'dead'.

They all stood in silence as she stared at each one of them, stopping for an uncomfortable amount of time on him before she quickly looked towards the brunette man beside her. Said man didn't even flinch as he looked into her eyes. They watched as she copied all of his movements.

"Sky?" he questioned softly. It took a moment before she opened her mouth to answer. "Sky?" she repeated quietly, her voice lacking all emotion. Jethro shivered in dread as he turned away and tried to ignore all that was happening. It wasn't until he noted that she was copying everyone else as well that he turned towards her. He knew they others wouldn't be happy with him but he needed to see if she copied him as well.

"My name's Jethro," he said with just a small tilt of his lips. As much as he was terrified, for some reason he was also excited. It disturbed him on some new level, but he didn't quite care enough to question himself. He did shiver when she repeated his words back. He ignored Val's cold eyes as she turned sharply towards him.

He was only slightly wounded when the Doctor turned towards him and told him to shut up, but he could also understand it. He felt someone grab ahold of his wrists and froze as he turned towards his mother. She glared harshly at him, her eyes speaking the words he bet she was too afraid to speak at the moment. It was too crowded so they would most likely be over heard and if they weren't then Sky might just repeat them.

They both missed whatever it was the Doctor was doing, but clearly heard what the professor said. Val frowned harshly at Jethro as Dee Dee spoke before instantly changing her tune as he looked towards the blonde on the ground.

"Tell her to stop," Val said with a harsh tilt to her voice. Her brows knitted together in anger as Sky repeated what she said. "She's driving me mad," she continued while glaring at the woman. "Just make her stop!" she finally shouted, causing Jethro to flinch away.

He noted almost absentmindedly that the Doctor was staring at him, almost calculative before turning towards Val.

Suddenly everyone was talking, 'more like shouting' Jethro thought, over each other while Sky continued to repeat it all. He watched in slight awe as he said, "she can copy anything," and flinched when her eyes found his and repeated it back at him.

Everyone continued to shout around him, his headache growing by the second. He almost started to say six six six, but thought better of it at the last second. His mouth was too dry and his started to get a bit dizzy. He almost started to sit down when the lights came back up.

They all looked around with wide eyes and blissfully quiet. "That's the back up system," the Hostess said breathlessly. "Well, that's a bit better," Biff said gruffly as he turned to check on his wife before walking towards the back.

"What about the rescue? How long's it going to take?" Val questioned, making Biff turn around to stare at the Hostess in question. She glanced at her watch before answering. "About sixty minutes, that's all," she said with a small hopeful tilt to her voice.

"Then I suggest we all calm down. This panic isn't helping. That poor woman is evidently in a state of-"

"-Self induced hysteria. We should leave her alone." Sky finished Hobbes sentence at the same time as the man himself.

"Doctor?" Jethro questioned quietly while staring at the blonde. The man in questioned stared at her as well with a frown. "I know," he answered just as quietly.

"Doctor, now step back," Hobbes said, again being repeated at the same time as Sky, "I think you should leave her-" he cut himself off as he finally noticed.

"Alone," Sky finished with a small upwards tilt to her lips. Jethro tightened his hands into fists as he stared at the woman with wide eyes. Hobbes's face fell as he stared at her bewildered. "What's she doing?" he questioned along with Sky, "How could she do that?"

"She's talking with you," Val said as she stared at the professor with cold eyes before snapping towards the woman when she spoke along with her. "And with me," this time her voice rose an octave in shock. Biff stood to stand beside him wife. "Oh my god. Biff, what's she doing?" she reached behind her for the man but she never looked away from the blonde.

"She's repeated," Jethro explained calmly while staring at her, "at exactly the same time." He tried to ignore Sky's dead eyes as they snapped towards him. He ignored Dee Dee and Hobbes as they spoke, only knowing they spoke since Sky repeated it back towards them.

"Oh man that is weird," he said with a strained voice, keeping his eyes away from the woman in question.

He kept his eyes on the woman as the Doctor spoke to her. His brain was still trying to catch up with all that was happening around him. First the vehicle stopped moving, then the banging started. Finally they were attacked by whatever it was and it somehow possessed Sky while also taking out the cabin and killing the driver and mechanic. Now whatever it was was apparently learning as they spoke.

"Next stage of what?" he heard Dee Dee question. "That's not her, is it. That's not Mrs Silvestry any more," Jethro spoke in a sad whisper. "I don't think so no," the Doctor answered, completely ignoring Dee Dee's question in favor of his observation. The raven teen noted that his mother had started to cry, or at least pretend to cry, into his father's chest.

"I think the more we talk, the more she learns. Now, I'm all for education, but in this case, maybe not. Let's just move back. Come on. Come with me. Everyone, get back," the Doctor said as he ushered everyone towards the back, "All of you, as far as you can."

Jethro remained rooted in his spot, continuing to stare into the woman's eyes. She stared back at him while repeated everyone's words as they spoke, her lips curling up slowly with each new word she spoke. "Come on, Jethro. You too," he was pulled away from her gaze from the Doctor's strict command.

He glanced back once before following everyone else to the back reluctantly. "Fifty minutes, that's all we need. Fifty minutes 'till the rescue arrives and she's not exactly strong. Look at her," everyone looked over at the immobile woman who was quietly speaking along with the Doctor, "all she's got is our voices." Val looked at the brunette man with sharp eyes before meekly looking away with a small smirk before speaking shakily, "I can't look at her. It's those eyes," she bit her lip in false nervousness. Jethro rolled his eyes at her theatrics, but remained silent.

"We must not look at goblin men," Dee Dee said quietly while staring sadly over at the blonde. Everyone turned to her, some in astonishment and others in annoyance. "What's that suppose to mean?" Biff demanded quietly. The Doctor looked towards Dee Dee while answering quietly, "It's a poem, Christina Rossetti."

"We must not look at goblin men. We must not buy their fruits. Who knows upon what soil they fed Their hungry, thirsty roots?" she continued on in the same sad tone. "Actually, I don't think that's helping," he said. Jethro stifled a small chuckle with his hand, which got him a small grin from the Doctor and a shrug. "She's not a goblin, or a monster. She's just a very sick woman," Hobbes said with annoyance.

Jethro frowned and looked towards the professor with equal annoyance. "Maybe that's why it went for her," he said back icily. "There is not 'it'," Hobbes said with finality. Jethro straightened slightly, "Think about it though. That knocking went all the way round the bus until it found her. And she was the most scared out of all of us. Maybe that's what it needed. That's how it got in," he tried to reason. He could tell from the professor's and the other adults, sans the Doctor and Dee Dee, that they didn't buy it though.

"For the last time, nothing can live on the surface of Midnight," Hobbes said as if speaking to a child. Jethro almost snarled at him and had a witty comeback ready but the Doctor beat him to it. "Professor, I'm glad you've got an absolute definition of life in the universe, but perhaps the universe has got ideas of its own, hmm? Now trust me, I've got previous," he said before glancing back at Sky, "I think there might well be some consciousness inside Mrs Silvestry, but maybe she's still in there. And it's our job to help her."

"Well, you can help her. I'm not going near," Biff said while shaking his head. "No, I've got to stay back, because if she's copying us, then maybe the final stage is becoming us. I don't want her becoming me, or things could get a whole lot worse," the brunette man said with finality. At this even Jethro stared at the Doctor in bewilderment. "Oh, like you're so special," Val said, her eyes darkening in annoyance.

Jethro wanted to smirk at her but even he felt slightly offended by that comment.

"As it happens, yes, I am," the Doctor said coldly. "So that's decided. We stay back, and we wait. When the rescue ship comes, we can get her to hospital," he continued without even pausing to breath. The pause that followed was cold and made the teen tense. He looked back at Sky with confused eyes but she wasn't looking at him, she was looking at the Hostess.

"We should throw her out," said woman spoke suddenly. Jethro jumped and stared at the woman in horror. They were talking about a human being! "I beg your pardon?" Hobbes spoke in horrified confusion.

Val turned and stared at the hostess in consideration. "Can we do that?" she asked. 'Of course' Jethro thought darkly, 'she would be on board for that.' he really wished it wasn't possible for them to throw out the poor woman. "Don't be ridiculous," the Doctor said angrily while glaring at his mother.

"That thing, whatever it is, killed the driver, and the mechanic, and I don't think she's finished yet," the Hostess continued just as angrily. "She can't even move," the Doctor defended the immobile woman who was still repeating everything that was being said.

Jethro really hoped that whatever was in Sky didn't understand what they were talking about. If it did, then it most likely wasn't going to be killed without a fight.

"Look at her. Look at her eyes," she said desperately, "She killed Joe, and she killed Claude, and we're next." Biff nodded along, "She's still doing it," he said while cutting through everyone to get closer to her. "Just stop it. Stop talking. Stop it!" he shouted at her, who shouted right back. "Biff, don't, sweetheart," Val said while reaching towards him, but made no move to join him.

Biff angrily snorted before returning to the group, but stood next to the Doctor who watched him warily. "But she won't stop. We can't throw her out, though. We can't even open the doors," he complained sourly. The Doctor frowned, "No one is getting thrown out."

Biff and the Doctor stared at one another in annoyance. Biff finally moved away to return to his wife, his jaw clenched tight. Dee Dee watched it all silently before turning to look towards the Doctor with her own frown.

"Yes, we can. Because there's an air pressure seal," she explained softly. The Doctor slowly turned towards her with a tense, raised brow. "Like when you opened the cabin door, you weren't pulled out," she continued, looking away from the Doctor and making vague hand motions, "You had a couple of seconds, because it takes the pressure wall about six seconds to collapse. Well, six seconds exactly. That's enough time to throw someone out."

Val looked towards her with bright eyes. Jethro himself felt distinctly sick at the thought. "Thanks, Dee Dee. Just what we needed," the Doctor said sarcastically. "Would it kill her outside?" Val asked, never taking her eyes off the younger woman. "I don't know. But she's got a body now. It would certainly kill the physical form," Dee Dee answered, getting more confident by the second.

"No one is killing anyone!" the Doctor said angrily while baring his teeth.

"I wouldn't risk the cabin door twice, but we've got that one. All we need to do is grab hold of her and throw her out," the Hostess continued the conversation as if the brunette man hadn't even spoken.

"Now, listen, all of you. For all we know that's a brand new life form over there. And if it's come inside to discover us, than what's it found? This little bunch of humans. What do you amount to, murder? Because this is where you decide. You decide who you are. Could you actually murder her? Any of you? Really? Or are you better than that?" he said angrily while looking over at them all, including Jethro. He looked down at his shoes.

He knew he would never be able to do it. With one quick glance at Val though and he knew she would. She was already looking at the Doctor in annoyance. Any lust from earlier was long gone.

"I'd do it," Rakie said, breaking the tense atmosphere into something much worse. "So would I," Biff agreed quickly. "And me," Val was quick to say. "I think we should," the professor's assistant said.

That brought the Doctor out of his shocked horror. "What?" he demanded sharply. "I want her out," she said just as sharply. "You can't say that," he said sadly.

"I'm sorry, but you said it yourself, Doctor. She is growing in strength," Dee Dee tried to defend herself shakily. The Doctor just shook his head with a frown, "That's not what I said." Dee Dee just looked sadly over at him. "I want to go home. I'm sorry. I want to be safe," she said with a small tremor in her voice.

Jethro just rose his hands to block out the sound. He needed to think and he needed quiet to do so. He watched as everyone argued around him. When he finally allowed himself to hear what everyone was saying, the Doctor turned towards him with sharp, amber eyes.

"Jethro, what do you say?" he asked, his eyes softening slightly. Jethro shook his head slowly while saying, "I'm not killing anyone."

Val glared at him with a small snarl, "he's just a boy," she tried to reason. Jethro snarled right back at her, his blue eyes cold, "What, so my opinion doesn't matter!?" he said semi-loudly. The Doctor also angrily glared at Val and said loudly, "It does matter! It's not happening. Ever. If you try to throw her out that door, you'll have to get past me first."

Everyone paused as the Doctor straightened, making himself appear far more intimidating. "Okay," the Hostess said shakily. The Doctor looked at her with wide eyes. "Fine by me," Biff said stiffly.

"Oh, now you're being stupid," the Doctor said while looking towards the ceiling, as if asking for the power to deal with all of them. "Just think about it. Could you actually take hold of someone and throw them out of that door?" he tried to reason with them while getting in Biff's face. Said man just frowned back and said angrily, "Calling me a coward?"

"Who put you in charge anyway?" Val asked sharply. "I'm sorry? You're a doctor of what exactly?" Hobbes intervened with suspicion.

"He wasn't even booked in. The rest of you, tickets in advance. He just turned up out of the blue," the Hostess said darkly with a glare. "Where from?" Val questioned with a dark gleam in her eyes. "I'm just travelling. I'm a traveller, that's all," he tried to defend himself.

"Like an immigrant?" she pestered. "Who were you talking to? Before you got on board, you were talking to someone. Who was that?" the Hostess also asked.

Before the Doctor could answer Jethro stepped in front of him with a snarl. "Stop it! We don't need to know anything about this man to know that killing someone is wrong. That is murder and could get all of us sent to prison! How could knowing who he was talking to or why he decided to join this expedition going to help us?" he seethed angrily. The Hostess and Dee Dee both took steps back and looked down in shame while Hobbes looked put out. Val and Biff both glared at Jethro in anger, their eyes telling him he is for a world of hurt when they are finally alone.

"He hasn't even told us his name," Val argued angrily. "He's been loving this," Dee Dee also tried to argue weakly. Jethro stiffened when the Doctor stepped beside him. "We don't have to know his name," Jethro continued. Hobbes didn't seem to really pay attention to that last part as he latched onto what Dee Dee said. "It has to be said, you do seem to have a certain glee," he said, ignoring the practical spat between mother and son.

The Doctor seemed to break at that as he turned sharply to the professor. "All right, I'm interested. Yes, I can't help it. Because whatever's inside her, it's brand new, and that's fascinating," he reasoned quickly. Val turned her anger from Jethro to the Doctor. "What, you wanted this to happen?" she questioned darkly.

"No!" he answered in exasperation. "And you were talking to her, all on your own, before all the trouble. Right at the front, you were talking to that Sky woman, the two of you together. I saw you," Biff said, as if the other man hadn't spoken. "We all did!" Val agreed quickly.

Jethro groaned mentally. "He was talking to everyone! We were all talking to everyone!" he semi-yelled. "He went into the cabin," the Hostess tried. Jethro turned to glare sharply at her, seriously regretting helping her out of her panic earlier. "You called us humans like you're not one of us," Dee Dee almost shouted, trying to be heard over everyone else.

"That's what he said!" Val agreed with a small victorious smirk. "And the wiring. He went into that panel and opened up the wiring," the younger woman continued almost desperately. "That was after," the man in question almost growled. Jethro placed a calming hand on the man's arm even though he didn't feel anymore calm than him. "But how did you know what to do?!" Biff shouted in anger.

"Because I'm clever!" the Doctor shouted back. Everyone stood in silence, reveling in their own anger and fear. "I see. Well, that makes things clear," Hobbes said, clearly offended. "And what are we, then? Idiots?" Biff asked with a sarcastic grin and dark eyes.

"That's not what I meant," the Doctor spoke. "If you're clever, then what are we?" Dee Dee asked with hurt eyes. Jethro did groan this time while raking his fingers through his raven hair. "You've been looking down on us from the moment we walked in," Val huffed angrily.

"Even if he goes, he's practically volunteered," the Hostess said in calm anger. Jethro turned to glare darkly at her once more. "Are we back on this topic again?" he asked coldly. She averted her gaze from his to glare at the Doctor. "Do you mean...we throw him out as well?" Biff asked seriously.

The silence that followed made Jethro sick as everyone else looked at each other in question. "If we have to," the Hostess said coldly.

The doctor took a deep breath, trying to calm himself as he said, "Look, just. Right, sorry, yes, hold on, just. I know you're scared, and so am I. Look at me, I am. But we have all got to calm down and cool off and think."

"Perhaps you could tell us your name," Hobbes spoke quietly. "What does it matter?" the Doctor snapped, clearly unable to remain calm or even get calm. "Then tell us," the Hostess demanded. Jethro tightened his grip on the Doctor's arm before letting go. Said man shot him a confused look as Jethro took a step in front of him with a growl.

"Don't," his command was sharp and everyone took a step back. Jethro straightened to his full height which towered over almost everyone as he bared his teeth. "Not everyone knows the name of everyone on board this vessel. Tell me Professor, what is the name of my mother?" he questioned. The man sputtered as he looked towards her with confused eyes. The silence was enough tell to let everyone know he didn't know it.

"Now listen to me," the Doctor said softly, "If we are going to get out of this, then you need me." That brought Hobbes out of his silence as he spoke angrily while glaring at the Doctor. "So you keep saying. You've been repeating yourself more than her," he said with a frown.

"If anyone's in charge, it should be the Professor. He's the expert," Val spoke sharply and it was only then that Jethro noticed it. The lack of the second voice that had spoken with them thus far. "Mum, stop. Just look," Jethro said sharply while turning to stare at Sky. "You keep out of this, Jethro," Biff said just as sharply with a promise of pain hidden underneath. "Look at her!" he shouted, causing everyone to turn towards her.

"She's stopped," Dee Dee said in astonishment. The Doctor looked at her in confusion. "When did she? No, she hasn't. She's still doing it," he said with a small tilt of his head. Jethro moved back to stand beside him. "She looks the same to me. No, she's stopped. Look, I'm talking, and she's not," Val said with just a wee bit of disappointment.

"What about me, is she? Look. Look at that. She's not doing me. She's let me go," Biff said with a relieved sigh. Jethro snorted and glared at him, "She never had you," he muttered petulantly.

Everyone else tried to see if she spoke with them, but not once did she and nor did she look towards them. She kept her eyes locked on the Doctor.

"Doctor, it's you. She's only copying you," Hobbes said in disbelief. The Doctor walked over slowly towards her. "Why me?" he asked before stopping before her. "Why are you doing this?" he continued while staring at the blonde with questioning eyes.

Val just sneered crudely while saying, "She won't leave him alone. Do you see? I said so. She's with him." Biff nodded eagerly, pleased to appease her, "They're together." Hobbes just stared in shock, still trying to digest it all. "How do you explain it, Doctor, if you're so clever?" he asked, still bitter.

"I don't know," he replied, never taking his eyes off of the woman. "Sky, stop it. I said stop it. Just stop it," he said, quickly losing what little cool he had acquired. He slowly knelt before her. "Mrs Silvestry, I'm trying to understand. You've captured my speech. What for? What do you need? You need my voice in particular. The cleverest voice in the room. Why? Because I'm the only one who can help? Oh, I'd love that to be true, but your eyes, they're saying something else," he spoke softly to her.

Jethro leaned slowly forward to look into her eyes and that was when he noticed it. Her eyes were no longer dead. They were cold and calculative as she repeated his words. She wore a small smirk as she stared at him, her eyes glistening.

"Listen to me. Whatever you want, if it's life, or form, or consciousness, or voice, you don't have to steal it. You can find it without hurting anyone. And I'll help you. That's a promise. So, what do you think?" he asked. Jethro watched silently and his eyes widened when he saw the Doctor's hands tense after his sentence, his eyes sharpening dangerously as apparently the man realized what was going on.

"Do we have a deal?" Sky spoke first as the Doctor repeated. Jethro straightened and his jaw dropped. 'This can't be right,' He thought frantically. "Hold on, did she...?" Dee Dee questioned softly. Jethro nodded in concern, "She spoke first."

"She can't have," at any other point and Jethro would've rejoiced the moment these words left Val's lips. Now they left him with no joy, only a haunting cold. "She did. She spoke first," Dee Dee said softly. They all watched in amazement as she spoke again, with the man repeated after her. Jethro could only watch in confusion.

"I think it's letting me go," she said, moving her head slowly. "What do you mean? Letting you go from what?" Dee Dee questioned with a small suspicious frown. "But he's repeating now. He's the one doing it. It's him," Biff tried to reason. "Will you let off that. That isn't what happened. Something else is going on," Jethro said with a glare. Biff and Val both snarled at him, making him take a step away from them. No one else noticed the small altercation since they were all focused on the Doctor and Sky.

"Mrs Silvestry, is that you?" Hobbes asked. "Yes. Yes, it's me," she spoke but her eyes were still glued onto the brunette man. "I'm coming back. Listen. It's me," she spoke, still staring at the man before her. "It's transferred into the Doctor," Val said stiffly. Dee Dee just stared at the two before shaking her head softly. "No, that's not what happened," she said in a hushed tone.

They all watched as she started to move her hands and fingers before she smiled in victory. "Look at her," Val said. Sky moved her head side to side with her eyes closed before opening them with a grin. "Look at me," she said.

Jethro looked away and moved far away from the scene before him. He wouldn't listen to this nonsense. He only turned back when he heard Sky's voice closer to him then it should be. He noticed everyone circled around the woman as she spoke. He watched closely as the Doctor only seemed to be repeating after her, which was strange. That wasn't what Sky did when she first was taken over. He frowned as he continued to listen closely to what the woman said. He smiled softly when he noticed Dee Dee and the Hostess staring at Sky shrewdly. They, too, weren't convinced it had transferred like everyone else did.

"But it's not him, it's her! He's just repeating," Dee Dee said in aggravation. "But that's what the thing does, it repeats," Biff said as if trying to explain how this all worked. "Let her talk," the Hostess demanded. "What do you know?" Biff shouted angrily, "Fat lot of good you've been."

"Just let her explain," she said with a small quiver in her voice as she shook softly. "I think. I mean, from what I've seen, it repeats, then it synchronizes, then it goes on to the next stage and that's exactly what the Doctor said would happen," Dee Dee spoke with some new found confidence. Jethro nodded along as he stepped forward once more.

"What, and you're on his side?" Biff demanded with a scowl. "I am!" Jethro said loudly while glaring at them even as Dee Dee denied it. Val turned to snarl at him. "And that is enough out of you for one day Jethro," she warned acidly. Jethro just snarled back, "The voice is the thing. From where I'm standing, it looks like she is the voice, not him. All he has done it repeat every word coming out of her mouth. Those are her words not his!" he defended himself and the Doctor, barely noting as Dee Dee and the Hostess moved to stand by him.

Val moved quicker then anyone noticed. With one sharp move her hand landed on his cheek with a loud pop. "I said that is enough!" she shouted. Biff stood angrily beside as everyone else watched on in shock. Sky just smirked coldly from her spot as Jethro brought his hand to his now red cheek.

"That's how he does it," Sky's voice rang out across the silence. "He makes you fight. Creeps into your head. And whispers. Listen. Just listen. That's him. Inside," she said it all with a small smile. Jethro watched in shock as people started to shout once again. Val and Biff both shouting to throw him out. Biff walked up and started to move him at the shouts of Sky and Val to throw him out.

"Don't!" Dee Dee shouted in horror. Jethro stood frozen on the spot as he watched in mute terror. "It'll be you next!" Val shouted at her, but her eyes were on Jethro. He paled as he watched everything happening around him. "I don't think we should do this," Rakie said in panic. "It was your idea. Professor, help me," Biff said as he continued to try to move the Doctor.

The shouting continued as the professor and Biff both tried to throw out the Doctor. When they managed to unhook his leg was when Jethro rushed forward and pulled his father off the man. "That's enough," he said, voice hoarse as he made a move to stop Hobbes. Biff rushed back and shoved the young man back. Jethro fell against a seat, but his head was once again unlucky. He hit his head against the side and this time, it drew blood. He whimpered silently, but no one could hear it over the screams and yells.

"Molto bene," Sky said with a smirk. "Get him out!" Val shouted. "Allons-y," Sky. "That's his voice," the Hostess said in shock. She looked between the door and Sky, who noticed and her smirk fell. "She's taken his voice," she spoke, her voice hardening with determination.

"It's her. She's taken his voice," she shouted before rushing forward, grabbing the blonde and pushing the button to open the door.

Jethro almost started to scream when the deadly rays hit his face. He could hardly hear anything over the ringing in his ears and the screams around him. It felt like an eternity before the doors were finally shut and all he could hear was the ringing. He held no concept for time but suddenly, he felt someone gently wrap an arm around his shoulders and sit him up properly.

He opened his eyes to stare painfully into concerned amber eyes. "Jethro?" the man said softly. "Are you alright?" He shook his head slowly. They had no first aid, no bandages, nothing to ease his pain until rescue arrived.

The Doctor nodded sadly as he looked around. "Got...got a...bandana in my...pack...," he said slowly, stumbling over his words. The Doctor nodded solemnly as he went to retrieve the object. No one spoke or moved towards the teen once the Doctor left. He could just make out his mother saying something but no reply was heard, only her increased breathing. The man returned with his dark blue bandana, which he quickly and securely wrapped around his head.

"This should slow the bleeding until help arrives," he explained as he looked at him quizzically. "Thanks," he mumbled. The man just smiled at him as he took a seat on the floor right next to him.

He didn't know how long it was but he let out a relieved sigh when he heard, "Repeat. Crusader Fifty rescue vehicle coming alongside in three minutes. Door seals set to automatic. Prepare for boarding. Repeat. Prepare for boarding."

"The Hostess...what was her name?" the Doctor asked softly. Everyone glanced at him in contemplation, as if trying to draw the information from thin air. "I don't know," Hobbes replied sadly. Jethro shifted slightly, drawing the man's attention towards him.

"Rakie," he replied softly, much to everyone's surprise. "Her name was Rakie Ayola," he continued as he stared into amber eyes. The Doctor nodded as they all waited to be rescued.


"Jethro was it," the Doctor spoke after he was given the all clear. He ignored his parents who were off doing their own thing after being saved. "That is correct, Doctor," he replied back, trying not to pick at his bandages. "You did a very brave thing in there," he said with a small smile. Jethro snorted in irony.

"Most people would call that stupid," he said while standing up carefully. The Doctor just waved him off with a grin. "So," he said, "this may came out all wrong but...," he trailed off slowly as he looked away from the younger man.

Jethro rose a brow in interest as he stepped closer to hear him better. "But?" he questioned. The Doctor looked over at him. "Would you like to travel with me? ... And my friend?" he asked quickly and after a brief pause added that last part. Jethro let a small chuckle escape him. "Why would you want to travel with me huh? I swear I'm not that good of company," he said while grabbing his bag to head back to the hotel.

"Well. I could show you many new things, things you've never seen before," the Doctor tried to persuade him, but all it got was a small smile. "and it will get you away from those parents of yours," he added on with a small, victorious grin. Jethro laughed at this quietly. "I'd have to ask them," he replied bitterly.

"Why? You are of age," the Doctor said as Jethro made a move to leave. That one sentence made the other pause. He never really thought about his age all that often. It did make him of age, perfectly acceptable for him to never see his parents again. But as much as he hated it, they had him trained well...but apparently not too well.

"Alright. But only if you tell me your friend's name," the Doctor let out a small laugh. "Her name is Donna Noble, and I believe you two will get along great," his grin widened as Jethro rolled his eyes at him.

"You better be right," he warned as they walked off together.