Chapter Twenty Six

Jack knocked on the door of River and Donna's room. He kept watch during the night and was a bit knackered but there had been no sign of Annie or Polly. River opened the door and Jack grinned.

"Good morning, Madam," he said with a slight bow. "I have come to knock you up…in a good way, of course. I'm afraid there is no continental breakfast…or any breakfast for that matter. Did Annie and Polly come back during the night?"

"No," River said, shaking her head. "She didn't come back to your room?"

"No, I have a feeling they were engaged in…other activities," Jack said. "I also have a feeling that keeping them alive will be difficult. Good morning," he said to Donna when she stepped outside.

Donna nodded. River looked at her and told her that Annie and Polly didn't come back during the night. Donna sighed.

"I have a feeling they're not big fans of boarding houses," Donna said. "Not when there's money to be made."

"I agree," Jack said. "It might be a fool's errand to protect them. We may have to concentrate on just finding and stopping the Ripper. Unless we put Satnav on these women, we're gonna lose track of them."

The door behind them and Rose stepped outside.

"Good morning," River said to her. "Are you feeling better?"

"Bed wasn't that comfortable but if you're talking about last night and seeing the Doctor. Yeah, I've calmed down now," she said as Sarah Jane came outside and shut the door behind her.

Jack glanced up at the overcast sky. It was sunny but the sun was obscured by the clouds at the moment.

"So…wanna find some breakfast?" he asked the women.

"Where? Go to market?" Donna said.

"That or maybe Ten Bells would have something," Jack said. "Although…they might not be open this early. Maybe we could get something at the market. Something simple like bread and cheese to tide us over until we can get a hot meal."

He looked at Rose when he heard the ringtone of her mobile.

"Um…you might wanna silence that here," Jack said.

"Sorry, I kept it on in case John wanted to ring me," Rose said, pulling it out of the pouch around her waist.

She looked around before hitting the talk button.

"Rose?" John said when she answered. "I'm heading into Whitechapel to check on all of you. Where are you?"

"Well, we're staying at a boarding house but maybe we could meet at the Ten Bells, that would be easier for you," she said.

"Okay, across from Christ Church, yeah?"

"Yeah," Rose said, relieved that she was going to see her fiancé again after last night.

"Okay, better end this; the cabbie is giving me an odd look. Probably thinks I'm talking to myself and I don't want to land up in Bedlam. See you soon, love."

"Cheers," Rose said before ending the call.

"Good thing the Doc modified it so that phone will work anywhere," Jack said.

He noticed Donna and Sarah Jane's stunned looks and realized they had been wondering how she was making a call without a cell phone tower.

"Girls, let's chat awhile while we head up to the Ten Bells," he said to them.


Nine shifted his body and stepped into the shadows when he saw Rose and her friends leaving. The day was overcast, which still allowed for a bit of shadow but not much so he had to be careful not to be seen. He waited until he couldn't see them anymore before he started shadowing them. At this hour, a sizable crowd was out going about their business and he was able to mix in with them, although more than one of them did a double take when they saw his ghoulish face. He ignored them though and kept his eyes fixed on Rose as they walked along the pavement. While they walked, Jack kept his arm around Rose's shoulders and Nine narrowed his eyes at that. That old feeling of jealously he had whenever Jack got too close to Rose resurfaced and he longed to run up and bitch slap the Captain senseless.

"'ello, love, fancy 'avin' a go at me?"

Nine heard a thick Cockney accent and looked at a disheveled, slightly drunk woman that was walking alongside him. Her dress was low cut and her bosom was exposed to him. She grinned and Nine could see four teeth missing. The women gave him a hopeful look and Nine snorted and tried to speed up.

"Come on, duckie, 'ave a go at me," she insisted as she rushed to keep pace with him.

Without warning, Nine's arm shot out and he shoved her so hard she flew back and smacked into a brick building. Nine kept on walking while the women sank to the ground with a stunned look on her face.


When they reached the Ten Bells, they noticed it was open. It was just after eleven in the morning and already they could hear laughter and singing from inside.

"People who have nothing better to do than get drunk throughout the day," Jack said to the women while they stood outside the building and waited for John.

A young man stumbled out of the building and Jack sighed when he noticed Rose and stopped in his tracks.

"Well, now, you're a bit of all right, ain't ya?" he drawled as he sidled up to her.

The man looked like he was about sixty, although Jack suspected his true age was much lower. He hadn't shaved in days and had a grizzled face and was slightly emaciated. His breath stank of alcohol and his brown eyes tried to focus in on Rose while she recoiled from him. His light brown hair was in disarray and Jack thought the man had been sleeping on the ground. He wondered if the man had lice in his matted hair as he stepped between him and Rose.

"She's with me," Jack said.

"Really? I'll pay ya for her," the man said.

"Okay, I want one hundred bob for her, right now," Jack said, holding out his hand.

The man snorted and tried to step past him but Jack thwarted his maneuver.

"Listen, mate, I wanna get past," the man growled at him.

"Nothing doing…mate, I said she's with me," Jack said.

The women gasped when the man suddenly cold cocked Jack and sent him reeling back into Rose. The man grunted when River returned the favor and decked him across the face.

"You bitch!" the man growled at River.

He tried to hit her but River ducked and grinned while she punched him squarely in the gut. Sarah Jane and Donna went around him, grabbed his arms and wrenched them behind his back.

"Thanks, ladies," Jack said, walking up to the man. "And now I can return the favor!"


John's eyes widened when the cab pulled up to the Ten Bells just as Jack decked the man in the face.

"I see the action's already started," the cab driver said dryly as he stopped.

John thanked him, quickly paid him and walked over to Jack who was now repeatedly decking the man over and over while the women held him.

"Ahem!" John said loudly enough to distract Jack.

Jack stopped in mid punch and lowered his arm with a sheepish look on his face. By now, the man's face was bloodied and he had a black eye. The women let him go and he staggered away, muttering curses under his breath.

"Blending in with the riff raff, Jack?" John said, watching while the man left.

"No, I was doing what I said I'd do and protect your fiancée from him," Jack said. "He was trying to solicit sex from her and wouldn't take no for an answer."

"He punched Jack first," Rose said. "Jack was just getting his revenge."

"I see that," John said. "I noticed the waterfall of blood streaming down his face. But no matter, what's done is done. Maybe the bloke will learn a lesson from this. So…shall we go inside and compare notes then?"

Jack nodded. John put his arm around Rose and everyone entered the pub.

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