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Cold Case

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The Doctor stalks briskly down a darkened alley, grasping onto a thin thread of hope that this contact will give him a lead to solve what is probably the most frustrating case of his career as a private investigator.

The Bad Wolf.

It's the only clearly defined evidence he's had until an hour ago, when he'd received an anonymous note slipped under his door with specific instructions to arrive at an abandoned police box located several blocks from his office. 11PM. Come alone. Instead of describing the police box and listing a street address, the note had included a complicated code to explain the meeting location, one he'd not seen since his days as a RAF Secret Intelligence Officer. He'd cracked it easily – genius, him – but the cryptic note had definitely piqued his interest.  

As he walks, he considers the unsolved mystery. The Bad Wolf has eluded him for years, defying the law while working as an underground vigilante in favor of defending the human rights of those with little to no voice in the world.

By law, it's his duty as an investigator to apprehend the Bad Wolf, but the culprit is good. Very good. And superior at covering his – or her – steps. He admits a grudging respect and admiration for the London-based vigilante's persistence and track record throughout the years. Despite the blatant disregard for rules, there's a part of him inclined to ignore the Bad Wolf, to let this individual work for the power of good in the darker corners of London town.

The Doctor has been meticulous in his investigation, covering his own tracks along the way as well, but his search has continuously left him empty handed, much to his client's ever-growing frustration. Every lead has vanished like a tendril of smoke, often almost just within his grasp, only to disappear without a trace. It's as though the very person he seeks anticipates his every move.

A cold case, impossible to crack.

Despite his client’s desire for updates on the case, something, some niggling instinct perhaps, has kept him from divulging what little he knows to his client. He stores all the patterns he’s observed and myths he’s dug up about the Bad Wolf locked in his mind, as he as no desire to risk that information leaking into the world. After several years of dead end after dead end, he’d announced the case closed to his demanding client two months ago, having decided to shelve the case for while. Perhaps forever. He’d hoped a break from it might offer his mind a fresh dose of inspiration.

During the course of his break from the case, however, the Bad Wolf has continued to leave a trail of action in London, evoking strong grassroot movements and protests among the people to stand up to a government that tries to hold them back. The London he knows is changing around him, and the Doctor can no ignore the way his heart speeds up when the Bad Wolf signature pops up around the city.

The Doctor shakes his head, returning to the present. Up ahead, he spots the old police box, and he slows his gait to observe the area. The tattered blue box sits innocuously along a brick wall, almost blending into its surroundings, save for the faded blue paint. Without looking for it, he'd have never looked twice at the old box, but now it stands out like a flashing light.

A black and white cat meows at the end of the alley, and the Doctor ignores it, focusing solely on the police box. Checking his watch, he discovers it's exactly one minute until the arranged meeting time. There's no one else there, but as the minute hand on his watch moves to the hour, the hair on the back of his hand stands up.

"Hullo?" he calls out, his voice muted somehow by the darkness.

Suddenly, the police box rings, startling him into a defensive stance. The cat meows again, threading itself between his legs. The Doctor studies the box as a telephone rings again, and moves automatically to the phone box on the outside.

The Doctor hesitates a moment before opening the lid and reaching inside for the phone. “Hullo, this is the Doctor.” He announces in a falsely cheery voice. “Who’s this?”

“Doctor,” a throaty woman’s voice answers, the sound of it causing goosepimples to rise on his skin. “This is the Bad Wolf.”

The Doctor’s heart races as he grips the phone tightly in his hand.

“You’ve been investigating me,” the woman – the Bad Wolf – says.

He nods. “Yes.”

“Why?”

“I was hired by… an influential client to hunt you down and apprehend you,” he explains.

“But you weren’t successful.”

He cracks a smile. “Not as such, no.”

There’s a pause on the line before she continues. “You never got close, did you?”

The Doctor thinks quickly for a long moment, considering her words. “Not as such, no.”

“What have you found out about me?” Her question is coy, like she’s daring him to protect his client, to run away after searching for her for so long.

Deep down, he knows this woman is who she says she is, and he’s captivated.

“I was lookin’ for a criminal and found a vigilante, one who breaks the law for the power of good, to protect the rights of those who can’t.”

“I’m too good, just admit it.” It sounds like she’s smiling into the phone, and the Doctor mirrors it, even though he can’t see her.

“No,” he says, pitching his voice low. “You’re dangerous. You’re exactly what the criminal politicians of this city fear most. Defiance and rebellion, the people standing up against them.”

The door to the old police box pops open with a soft snap, and the phone line clicks dead. It’s clear he’s supposed to enter the box, but… It’s just a box. Still, though, he’s not one to run from a curiosity, so the Doctor squares his shoulders and pushes it open.

Digging into the pockets of his leather jacket, the Doctor finds a small torch and flicks it on. A set of stairs descend from the inside of the phone box, and the Doctor steps inside and closes the door behind him.

When he reaches the bottom of the stairs, the Doctor finds a small door and bends over to push it open and squeeze himself through.

He blinks.

Standing next to a table under a solitary hanging light bulb stands a woman. She’s beautiful. Blonde with luscious red lips and hazel eyes that stare at him with a fierce intensity, she wears black boots with tight black jeans and a black leather jacket.

The Bad Wolf is not at all what he expected.

“Doctor,” she says cooly, pulling his wandering eyes from his rather blatant inspection of her body. “You’re right, I am dangerous. But I need your help.”

The Doctor meets her gaze and nods. “Might do. What’s your name?”

The Bad Wolf smiles wolfishly, and oh. “No need for that.”

“Can’t go calling you Bad Wolf, can I?” he retorts.

“If you agree to help, I’ll tell you my first name. You know better than to ask for more.”

“Point taken,” he agrees. “Why do you need my help? Who do you need me to help you take down?”

She smiles again, this time something more genuine. “I like it. Direct and to the point.”

With a grin, the Doctor pulls out a seat at the table and gestures for the Bad Wolf to follow suit.

“I need your help, because you know me better than anyone. I’ve been watching you follow me for years, and there’s no one who understands how the Bad Wolf works more than you.” She takes a deep breath before meeting his gaze. “I need your help taking down Saxon.”

The Doctor’s eyes widen in shock. “My client.”

The Bad Wolf purses her lips. “Yes. Your client. The client you’ve told nothing to about me over the years. You’ve kept my secrets. Why?”

There’s real fear in her gaze, and the Doctor knows honesty is the only way forward.

“Because you do the right thing, in the end,” he says. “The rules… they’re more like guidelines. Saxon’s motives are corrupt. Your motives help people take a stand for what’s right, and I can’t… Saxon’s way is not who I am.”

With a sigh of relief, the woman across from him slumps back in her chair. “My name is Rose. Saxon murdered my dad seventeen years ago, and I swore I would take him down. Everything I’ve done up until now has gotten me closer and closer, but I can’t finish it without your help. You have a certain…” she pauses, flicking her eyes up and down his body before focusing on his face, “...skill set that will be useful.”

Rose. The Bad Wolf’s name is Rose.

“Nice to meet you, Rose,” he says, carefully storing away the information she’d shared. “Now, you’re asking me to go behind my client’s back and betray him. Do you really think this is a job for me?”

The wolfish smile returns. “Yes.”

“I agree,” he says.

“Really?”

The desperation and hope in her eyes when she sits forward in excitement grounds the Doctor, confirms his commitment to help this woman. There’s a vulnerability he sees in her, something he’s certain no one else is privileged enough to experience.

“Yes, Rose, I’ll help you. But I have one rule. No keeping secrets. If I’m to help you, we’re going to be a team. Equal partners. I’m used to working alone, just as you are, but for this to work, we have to work together.” He lowers his voice on the last word, and he grins when she flushes under his intense gaze.

“Right,” she says, then flashes him a brilliant tongue-touched smile that momentarily sends all rational thought from his mind. “Team Bad Wolf, you and me. Let’s bring him down.”

“Better with two?” he asks.

“Better with two.”