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Enemy Unseen

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Post by Paksena on Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:07 pm

After a tragedy occurs in the alternate Universe, a cranky TARDIS evicts the Doctor on Torchwood's doorstep, where all appears quiet for the moment, but is it? Spoilers through post "Journey's End". Follows after "A Small Piece of Coral" but can stand alone.

Chapter 1

He lifted his gaze from the gray ashes of the dying fire to see the sun rising against the equally gray sky in the east. A red glow on the horizon was growing as the sunrise progressed, portents of interesting weather ahead. He looked up at the clouds, dark and baggy, laden with moisture before turning his attention back to the fire. A few embers remained, providing scant heat against the wind and cold. But then even at its height, the fire had failed to truly warm the Doctor.

Rose was gone, along with his brother; even the piece of coral, the TARDIS’ small child, didn't survive. He smiled briefly as he thought of the last one. An infant TARDIS: he truly wished it could have been. He shook his head sadly. It had been his fault. He hadn’t thought things through, taken them to their logical conclusion. He’d forgotten just how deadly the energy in Pete’s world was. Failed to understand the depth of Rose’s desperate yearning to be with him and only him, the original.

He now stood in front of the remnants of a funeral pyre that had held no body. A futile attempt to bring closure to the tragedy. He hoped Pete and Jackie would be able to treat the real body with the respect it deserved. The thought that his brother’s remains might be on display in the basement of Torchwood sickened him.

A hiss from the last vestiges of the dying fire broke him from his reverie. The rain was starting to fall, thick, fat drops that felt like ice on his scalp. He stared at one tiny red ember that spat out a final puff of smoke as it darkened and died under the rain’s assault. He heard the wheezing groan of the TARDIS, time to go.

Kicking at the ashes, he found a frozen puddle of metal, the ruins of the sonic. He sighed. Nothing left behind that someone could hurt themselves with. That was good. He needed to be more careful of that in the future.

He took one last look at the sea, its waves violent as the wind fought with the tide over control of the water’s direction. He turned towards the insistent TARDIS and saw the much calmer and soothing waves the wind created on the dry ocean of tall grass that covered the isle. Mesmerizing… He found he had become lost in that motion when the TARDIS again insisted on his leaving. The groan of her engines was almost threatening. Reluctantly, he turned back to his ship. He had a feeling she wasn’t done with him yet.

He walked inside and flung his wet coat over the closest of the coral support struts. He barely had time to recover his spare sonic when the TARDIS was off. The trip was short. It ended suddenly with the TARDIS skidding violently to a halt. He was almost thrown against the doors, but to his dismay, they opened at the last second, leaving him with nothing to stop his motion but the pavement outside.

“Oi, easy, girl!” he cried, as he nearly collided with a large metal structure, his backside landing hard on the wet pavement next to it. In answer to his protest, his coat came loose from the strut and landed in a sodden mass on top of him. He knew he shouldn’t have tuned that gravitic anomalyser, at least not when she was in her current mood.

He quickly assessed his surroundings. Roald Dahl Plass, at the base of the water tower. The TARDIS apparently didn’t feel she was done refueling.

Untangling himself from his coat, he stood up and left it on the ground. It was evening, and there didn’t seem to be anyone around to see his rather embarrassing entrance. Just some traffic in the distance, too far to have noticed his arrival.

Cautiously he approached the TARDIS, only to have the doors slam in his face and the lock engage with a final click that brooked no argument. He pulled out his key and tried it anyway. It rattled uselessly as the locking mechanism refused to budge. He toyed with trying his sonic, but dismissed the idea. That violation would hardly improve her mood.

He put his hand on the ship and stroked her gently, his long fingers barely touching. “Come, girl, I know how you feel,” he softly pleaded in the most personal form of Gallifreyan, reserved for only the closest of family members or beloved of friends. “I lost someone I loved too. I’m sorry, I really am. I know I made a right mess of it. Can’t you forgive me?”

His answer came in the form of a shock that caused him to hiss in pain as he jerked his hand away from the door.

“Lover’s quarrel?” a familiar voice asked.

The Doctor turned around, holding his injured hand, and saw Captain Jack Harkness with the abandoned coat over his arm, a cheeky smile on his face.

“No, she’s just a bit temperamental while refueling, quite normal actually,” the Doctor replied cheerily, hoping his friend would hear a confidence in his voice he didn’t feel.

“Really?” The tone and grin told the Doctor that Jack wasn’t buying it for a second, but would let it go for now. “How about you? You look like you could use some refueling. After some drying off, that is.”

Scratching his head, the Doctor looked down at himself. He was soaked through. He must have stood staring at the grass longer than he thought. “I was caught out in a Scottish rainstorm. It was quite refreshing.”

“Oh, I’m sure it was,” replied Jack, reaching out and guiding him by the elbow. “Come on, I’d like you to meet my crew. I gather you won’t be staying in the TARDIS for a while.”

The Doctor looked over his shoulder at the cranky machine and sighed. “No, I don’t think so. She really was depleted and the rift isn’t as strong as it was last time. It might take a week or so before she is feeling her old self again.”

“That’s fine, Ianto will get you fixed right up. We have a few places in the area we can house guests in,” Jack assured him as they walked towards the Torchwood entrance. He looked down at the wet coat on his arm. “I’ll have him get this dried out for you too.”

Somehow, staying as a guest of Torchwood made the Doctor a bit nervous. “Uh… any chance I could stay with you instead?”

“No, I’m sorry. I stay in Torchwood headquarters. It could be awkward.”

“Yes, I can understand that.” He sighed and shook his head. Stay in Torchwood or as a guest of Torchwood. Not much of a choice, really.

“But don’t worry, we can find you a nice room right near the Plass here. I’ll list you as a guest consultant. Charge it to our expense account. It’ll be fine.”

“Thanks,” replied the Doctor, wishing he could think of a polite way to turn down the offer.

“Where’s Rose and that redhead by the way?” asked Jack. “I would have thought you would have had at least one of them with you.”

“Both of them are fine, back with their families,” the Doctor lied.

“Rose went back to her family after all she went through just to be with you? I find that a little hard to believe. Mickey said the whole time she was there, all she could think of was coming back and finding you. Practically took over Torchwood to do it.”

“Oh… Well, the other me is a bit more romantic, I guess, swept her off her feet. She really didn’t stand a chance. Being part human added something. She’s much happier with him, than she ever would have been with me. It’s as if he was made for her.” He stopped, realizing he was rambling, telling the truth he had hoped would be, but which was in fact a lie.

One glance at Jack and he saw his friend didn’t buy it. Fortunately, he didn’t press for the truth either. Suddenly the Doctor saw something out of the corner of his eye. He quickly turned his head but it was gone. He stopped and scanned the area as he tried to figure out what he had seen. He knew it didn’t belong here. Even with the rift nearby, it didn’t belong. But what it was eluded him. All he’d seen was just a vague shape, a shadow.

That must have been it, just a shadow. The light was strange here. He was tired. What he had seen must have just been a trick of the light. The troubles with the TARDIS, the funeral, Jack asking about Rose and Donna, no wonder he was seeing things. He didn’t sleep very much, didn’t like to, but tonight he might give it a try again despite the nightmares it brought.

“Are you alright?” asked Jack worriedly.

The Doctor shook himself out of his thoughts and answered. “I’m fine, I’m fine, thought I saw something. But it was nothing. Just the shadows playing up a bit, most likely.”

“You sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure,” replied the Doctor, wishing Jack would stop asking so many questions.

“Alright then, let’s get in and get you something to eat while Ianto finds you a room. You must be tired if ‘you’ are starting to see things.”

They were standing in front of a rather nondescript battered door off a walkway along the bay. “This is the entrance to Torchwood?” asked the Doctor incredulously.

“Yes, it is,” replied Jack as he opened the door. “It’s a bit more impressive inside, you’ll see.”

As the Doctor entered the doorway, he saw something out of the corner of his eye again. He tried to catch it but it was gone before he could turn his head. He gave himself a shake. He was just tired. Jack’s offer of a room was becoming more and more welcome.

Behind the door was a small reception area. At the back of it was a thick, round, metal door, much like one would expect to see on a bank vault. Jack grinned as the door rolled back with a clattering sound. It was evident he felt that what was behind it would impress the Doctor.

As the Doctor followed Jack through the open portal, the smell of the Torchwood Cardiff assaulted his senses. A strange, primitive mix of terran and alien odors, overlaid with the unmistakable scent of humans in rut. No, he definitely wouldn’t be comfortable spending the night here.

Looking around the area that served as Torchwood headquarters, the Doctor saw it was a cavernous, multilevel room. The water tower fountain from Roald Dahl Plass continued through the center of the room. Reflected light off the fountain base created a rippling pattern on the walls. At the bottom of the tower was a pool of water, water flowing down over the surface of the tower into the pool, resulted in a constant trickling sound. Square blocks of concrete sat barely out of the water, serving as giant stepping stones. A very unlikely setting for a secret government agency.

The upper tiers were a combination of ultra modern (for early twenty first century) office equipment and furniture set in a late nineteenth century heavy industrial setting. Shiny glass and chrome, set against worn brick, water stained concrete and dirty factory iron. The stairway railing under the Doctor's hand was rough, cold where the chipped paint exposed bare metal.

Startled, he looked up as he heard a familiar, yet unbelievable cry. At the room’s highest reaches, well over three stories, a pterodactyl, pteranodon more correctly, circled lazily.

“Oh, that’s Myfanwy,” Jack explained casually. “She was helping herself to the sheep in the local countryside after she came through the rift. We decided to adopt her. She makes an excellent guard dog.”

“I’m sure she does,” the Doctor agreed. “Not much would escape her from that height.” As if she knew she was the topic of conversation, the pteranodon stooped into a dive. A rush of air tore through the Doctor’s hair, when she flared her wings right above his head, causing him to duck in surprise as her claws just barely brushed his scalp. Then with a predatory cry, she soared back to the ceiling.

“She must like you,” Jack observed. “She’s never greeted a guest before.”

“I’m not sure I care for the honor,” said the Doctor as he looked warily towards the ceiling. “It definitely gets the hearts beating. You said something about finding me a room? I’d prefer one without wildlife, if it’s available.”

“Sure, coming right up.” Jack turned and yelled, “Ianto!” A smartly dressed, handsome young man with blue eyes and brown hair looked up from his desk. “Can you see what we have in accommodations by the quay here? And see if you can get some food delivered.” He lowered his voice as he asked the Doctor, “Fish and chips alright with you?”

“Yes, that would be fine.”

“Ianto, turn on the charm and see if you can get that fish and chips place to deliver again.”

“Yes, sir,” came the curt reply, “and under what name will I be getting the room?”

Jack looked at the Doctor and raised an eyebrow.

“John Smith,” was the Doctor's answer.

“You’re kidding me, right?”

“No, John Smith,” the Doctor insisted.

“Alright, the man wants to be John Smith, Ianto.”

“Yes, sir,” Ianto replied. “Will he be needing identification, sir.”

The Doctor gave his head a shake.

“No,” Jack replied. “He has that covered.”

“That’s quite an efficient young man you have there,” remarked the Doctor.

“Ianto? He’s come in handy quite a few times,” Jack replied with a sly grin. “You should try his coffee.”

The Doctor made a face.

“Well, his tea then. It should be as good. Come on, let’s get you out of those wet clothes.” Jack gestured for the Doctor to follow him.

“Hey, I’m not that easy. I’ve told you before, I want dinner and drinks first,” the Doctor joked as he followed Jack down the stairs that led to his room.

The Doctor stepped out of the shower. It had felt good to finally feel warm again after spending all that time outdoors in the north of Scotland. Towel wrapped around his waist, he opened the door to Jack’s room and saw his blue suit, burgundy shirt, a tie and red trainers laid out for him. He briefly wondered how Jack had managed to get hold of them, then remembered that Jack did have his own key. He was disheartened that the TARDIS was apparently only exiling her owner.

He fingered the material of the blue suit, his brother’s favorite. He’d had this duplicate made shortly after he left Donna. He had yet to wear it. It somehow seemed disrespectful to wear it now, but he had no other options. His brown suit was gone, getting cleaned most likely, and he didn’t want to have to explain to Jack why the blue one wouldn’t do. With a sigh, he started dressing.

Fully clothed with his tie fairly straight, he entered the hub. Jack and Ianto were quietly arguing at the Welshman’s workstation. Jack looked up from the discussion as the Doctor approached. “Oh, you’re done, good. The fish and chips just arrived.”

Jack escorted him to a vacant desk. On it was a plain, grease soaked brown bag, a bottle of malt vinegar and some napkins. “Ianto will get you some tea. Is that alright?”

“That’s fine. Thank you for getting my clothes, by the way,” replied the Doctor as he settled into the chair. “How’s the TARDIS?”

Jack grimaced, sucking in air between his teeth. “Not sure, to tell the truth. When I got close to her, I saw your clothes in a heap outside the door. It looked so odd I couldn’t help myself and joked, ‘What, no suitcase?’ and I swear she growled at me. So I just gathered up what was out there and left as quickly as I could. If I were you, I would stay away for a bit.”

“That was more or less my plan,” responded the Doctor. That the TARDIS was being cranky worried him, but perversely he was glad she wasn’t reserving her ire just for him. Maybe she was just moody. No, that wasn’t right. She was mourning and she wanted to be alone. He understood that. Hopefully she would want him back soon. He realized Jack was looking at him, waiting for him to say something more. The smell of the fish and chips caused his stomach to growl, conveniently providing him with a change of topic.

“These chips look good. Excellent in fact,” he stated as he took a chip from the bag and then bit into it. “Thank you. So what have you got going on here?”

“Nothing much, really,” said Jack pulling up a chair. “Rift has been pretty quiet. Which is good, as we’re a little short on staff at the moment? There’s only three of us.”

“Three?” asked the Doctor as he looked around for the third party.

“Gwen’s home with her husband. They are trying to have a honeymoon.”

“Martha and Mickey? Neither of them signed up?”

“No, Martha’s husband wanted to stay in London and Mickey just hung around long enough to find a job overseas. He said he wanted a fresh start.”

“A Fresh start, that’s what I need,” thought the Doctor. He never felt that he would be envious of Mickey, but there it was. His thoughts were broken into by a sharp clatter as a cup of tea was set down with contained force in front of him, the hot liquid slopping right up to the brim but not a drop escaping. He looked up to see a rather grim Welshman staring down at him.

“Your tea, sir. Will you be wanting any milk with that?” The voice was even more formal and stiff than the words.

“No, no, thank you,” responded the Doctor, wondering what the bad mood was about. He decided to pull his usual trick and pretend he didn’t notice. “This is fine and please don’t call me sir.”

“I’ll be back to my duties then,” Ianto replied as he turned rather pointedly on his heel and left.

The Doctor took a sip of tea. “You’re right,” he said to Jack. “He does do a good job with the tea. So, down to only three people, any plans to recruit some more?”

“Why, you want to sign up?” Jack asked.

“Well, with this food, it’s tempting. But no, I’ll pass,” replied the Doctor between bites of fried fish. “However, since I appear to be stranded at the moment, I’d be happy to help out for a bit. See just what this new rebuilt Torchwood is all about.”

“I’d be glad to have your assistance. I’ll warn you, though, it really is pretty dull right now, but it would be great if you could help us figure out some of the alien technology we have stored.”

“I’d be happy to help with that,” the Doctor replied enthusiastically. Jack’s offer of having him poke around in the captured technology was just what he needed to get his mind off of recent events, though a rogue alien or two would be even better. “Anything in particular giving you problems?”

Jack cast a worried glance at Ianto, who was busy at his terminal, a frown marring his face. “We can talk about that later. Let’s get you settled in for the night. You may be cleaned up, but you still look a mess.”
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Post by Jennyjenkins on Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:42 am

That was good - next chapter please Smile
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Post by konstantin on Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:54 am

good read -- very engaging

(refreshes screen, looking for more... sigh...)
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Post by Paksena on Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:32 am

Jennyjenkins wrote:That was good - next chapter please Smile

Thank you for your feed back. Next chapter coming up.

konstantin wrote:good read -- very engaging

(refreshes screen, looking for more... sigh...)

Thank you for your feed back. It's good to know people are reading it.
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Post by Paksena on Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:35 am

“Doctor, I hope you don’t mind,” Jack apologized as they turned into the parking lot of a modest hotel just north of the Plass. “Ianto couldn’t get you in the four star hotel we usually use here on the bay.”

“I’m sure whatever you have will be fine,” replied the Doctor. “I’m used to shipboard life after all.”

“The TARDIS is hardly austere accommodations,” Jack responded as he parked the SUV. “At least he managed to get you the penthouse suite here. I am sorry though, usually he can pull in a favor or two to get what we need. I’d feel better if you were closer to the Hub.”

The Doctor opened his door and exited the vehicle. He looked up at the hotel and then across the road where the Plass was clearly visible as Jack removed the suitcase Ianto had prepared from the boot. “You know, this hotel is so close I can’t figure out why you bothered to drive here. We would have arrived here just as quickly if we had walked,” he observed.

“That’s only because the last person to drive the SUV did a rotten job of parking,” countered Jack as he lead the Doctor into the glass enclosed reception area.

“And that person was?”

“Me. You happy now?” asked Jack, as he set the suitcase down in front the reception desk. “Why don’t you have a seat while I make sure they have everything ready? These short notice reservations can sometimes be a problem.”

Instead of following Jack’s suggestion, the Doctor decided to nose around a little. The reception was brightly light and very modern. Off to one side was a low table surrounded on three sides by oversized chairs. Beyond the table was one lone potted palm standing in a corner.

Across the reception from the palm was a small stand with brochures on various attractions in the local area. He smiled as he looked them over. He was familiar with most of the places they featured. Some of them he had actually help build.

Behind the stand was a glass wall that separated the reception from the dining area. It was closed, but it looked like there would be a breakfast buffet of some kind in the morning.

“You’re not still hungry, are you?” asked Jack as he walked up behind the Doctor and clapped him on the shoulder.

The Doctor gave a little jump and shook his head. “No, no, I’m fine,” he assured Jack.

“Good. Let’s get you up to your room. You look like hell, you know that?”

“No, I didn’t. I thought I looked a mess, but thanks for letting me know,” the Doctor quipped.

Outside the penthouse suite, the Doctor was about to use his sonic on the lock when Jack put a restraining hand on his wrist. Surprised, the Doctor turned to Jack who rolled his eyes upward to the security camera in the hallway. Chagrined, the Doctor gestured for Jack to open the door.

The captain put the keycard in the slot of the door lock and deftly pulled it out. The light on the door flashed red. “Sometimes it takes a few tries,” Jack explained. He put the card back in the slot and pulled it out slowly this time. Again the light flashed red. The Doctor’s hand itched to use his sonic. Jack looked puzzled and slightly embarrassed, but tried once more, this time pulling the card out at a slightly faster speed. The light flashed green. He quickly turned the door handle before his luck changed.

“See? No problem at all. Let’s get you settled,” said Jack as he carried in the suitcase. The suite was large. The first room had a couch, desk, television and a medium sized table with four chairs. He headed straight for the second room, which was the bedroom. The Doctor, bemused, followed behind.

“I can take it from here,” said the Doctor, wanting to be alone once Jack had put the suitcase on a luggage stand. “Why don’t you get back to Torchwood.”

“I just want to do a sweep first. Make sure there’s no bugs here.”

“I’ll take care of that. No need for you to do it,” asserted the Doctor.

“I know, but if it’s one of ours, I don’t want it destroyed and if it’s someone else’s, I want it intact so I can trace it. I’ve seen what you do with surveillance devices,” Jack countered. “Why don’t you unpack? I’ll be out of your hair soon enough.”

The Doctor reluctantly yielded to Jack and opened the suitcase. A small pile of square foil packets caught his eye. “What’s this about?” the Doctor asked, indicating the offensive supplies.

Jack turned away from taking a small video device out of a picture, his eyes wide when he saw what was in the suitcase. “Oh, that’s just Ianto being considerate. Here, I’ll take those for you. Unless you would like to try them out?” he asked, raising an eyebrow suggestively, half kidding, half hopeful.

“They’re all yours,” the Doctor responded, his voice heavy with disdain as he stepped back from the suitcase. Jack quickly gathered them up. He stopped briefly to examine one more closely.

“Hmm I didn’t know he had these. I’ll have to talk to him about that,” said Jack. He looked at the Doctor and changed the subject. “Well, I have this room clear. Let me go check the other one.”

Left alone, the Doctor quickly finished unpacking. He hoped it would be a waste of effort and he could be off the next day. Doing a quick sweep of the room with the sonic he discovered a few devices Jack had missed. They imploded with puffs of smoke as he disabled them. As he pried one out of a lamp base to examine more closely, he looked out the window for the first time and discovered his room overlooked the Plass.

The TARDIS was easily visible beneath the water tower. To his eyes she appeared haloed by the light illuminating the fountain, to others she would be almost invisible. As he stared at her, he realized unpacking was not a waste. Her resentment towards him was apparent, even at this distance. He was going to be a resident here for quite some time, unless he chose to abandon her. No, that was unthinkable.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of Jack clearing his throat behind him. Turning, he saw the captain had quite a collection of miniature surveillance devices in his hand.

“All Torchwood’s?” the Doctor asked.

“Just a few, Mostly UNIT’s, a few MI5 and some I don’t recognize, but we’ll know where they are from once we get them back to the Hub.”

“Any ideas about this one?” asked the Doctor holding the device from the lamp between his thumb and forefinger, as if he had a rat by the tail.

“Yeah… Um… That’s one of ours,” replied a rather embarrassed Jack. “Sorry, I just wanted to keep an eye on you to make sure you were safe.”

“I’ve been keeping myself safe for quite some time now. I don’t need your help in that area, thank you very much.”

Jack returned the Doctor’s stare, rubbing his chin, considering his next words carefully. “We can debate that another time I guess. Right now, you are in about as bad a shape as I have seen you, short of being shot by a Dalek. I don’t want anything to happen to you, especially when I could have done something to prevent it.”

“I’m fine. I just need to rest without being the main attraction on someone’s monitor. If you don’t want me destroying your devices, you might want to remove any others you have here before you leave.”

“Right, I’ll get right on that. Anything else?” replied Jack, his irritation at being dressed down showing in his voice.

“No, I’ll see you in Torchwood tomorrow. I gather you monitor the entrance.”

“Yes, we do. We won’t leave you outside for long,” said Jack with a smile, his good mood apparently returning.

Once Jack left the suite, the Doctor’s shoulders sagged. The effort of keeping up a front had left him exhausted. He felt has if a giant weight was trying to press him into the floor. He pushed through his fatigue and performed a final scan of the suite with his sonic. There was one device left. He deftly disabled it, smiling in spite of himself. He would have been disappointed in Jack if he hadn’t at least tried.

He readied himself for bed, pleasantly surprised to discover Ianto had managed to find pajamas and a dressing gown that fit his long frame. The young man apparently took his job very seriously. The Doctor carefully hung up the blue suit, shirt and tie. Hopefully his brown suit would be back to him soon, it felt odd to trust its care to someone else.

The room was pleasant and the view was spectacular. He wanted to leave the heavy curtains open so that view would greet him in the morning, but something made him feel uneasy about doing so. He felt too exposed. It made no sense. He was on the top floor. Anything that could get to him here from outside the window wasn’t going to let a bit cloth get in its way. But he reached to close the curtains anyway.

He stayed his hand when he thought he saw something high and to the right, just at the edge of his vision, but when he turned his head to look at it, it was gone. Most likely a bat or nocturnal bird he thought, as he quickly drew the curtains shut, the hangers screeching as they rubbed along the curtain rod.

He stretched and looked down at the bed unhappily. He knew he needed to sleep, but he really didn’t want to. The rectangular mattress in front of him looked stark and unappealing, despite the posh quilt and oversized pillows. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. His stomach queasy, he reached down and flicked back the covers revealing the bed’s pale blue sheets, thinking maybe a less formal appearance would make the bed more appealing.

It was better, but still not good. Fair at best. He turned his back on the bed as he pressed the heel of his hand to his forehead and considered his options. Staying up wouldn’t work. He was depleted. Jack’s constant references to his appearance confirmed that. Ideally he should be recovering in the TARDIS as she idled in the vortex. “No use fixating on what you can’t have,” he berated himself. He was being childish, the problem wasn’t the bed, or the room, or even the window. Those were just excuses. He had to face it. As much as his body craved sleep, his mind feared it and putting it off wasn’t going to make it any better.

Turning back to the bed, he reluctantly laid down on it and slipped under the covers. He gave a worried glance at the draped window and told himself he was just being silly. The bedclothes felt cool and smooth where they made contact with his skin, their scent clean and pleasing. The weight of the quilt and blankets relaxed him, making him feel oddly protected. He was safe here, he assured himself. Fatigue had just made him paranoid.

He took a deep breath and sighed contentedly as he let it out. It was almost as if he was in his own bed. Only the hum of the TARDIS engines in the background was missing. He rolled on to his side, subconsciously putting his back to the worrying window and drifted off to sleep.
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Post by Jennyjenkins on Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:43 am

More please - I need my daily fix Very Happy
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Enemy Unseen Empty Chapter 3

Post by Paksena on Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:54 am

Jack stood outside the hotel, staring up at the top floor of the building, his breath visible, ghostlike, in the illumination of the security lights. He was worried about his friend. He’d never seen the Doctor this passive, this willing to have someone take charge of him. Something was definitely wrong. Being caught in a rainstorm wasn’t enough to explain his condition.

He sighed and shook his head. He needed to get back to the Hub. Considering the SUV briefly, he decided to leave it behind. The Doctor was right, it was just as fast on foot and there were a couple of things he wanted to check out on the way. He could always fetch it in the morning.

Walking across the Plass, he found himself giving the TARDIS a wide berth. The perception filter was working in overdrive, only his experience with it allowed him to realize what was happening. He had entered the Plass intending to stop by the TARDIS and see if he could find any hint as to what was wrong with the Doctor. Instead, he had forgotten she was there and altered his course to avoid the area entirely. Only concern for his friend enabled him to remember his original plan, before he left the Plass entirely.

He turned towards the ship and approached slowly. About twenty feet away from the TARDIS, he stopped, loath to go further. He could feel her pushing him back as he stood staring at her, fighting to keep his eyes on her. She was dark, silent and brooding. His hope, that the TARDIS would provide some clue as to what was going on, was destroyed.

He gave a short laugh and shook his head. What did he think she was going to do? Have a chat with him? She might be the key to what was going on, but this was definitely a fool’s errand none the less.

Frustrated, he turned away from the ship feeling the pressure from her ease as he left. He continued on to the spot where the Doctor had thought he had seen something. He scanned the area, trying to see if anything was out of place, not as it should be, searching for something so elusive he didn’t even know what it was. Nothing. Everything was exactly as it should be. Still, it would be prudent to watch this location for a while. He trusted the Doctor’s instincts, even if the Doctor didn’t.

When he arrived back at the Hub, he saw Ianto busy at work at his terminal. Jack poured himself a cup of coffee and walked over to join him.

“Well, he’s settled in now,” Jack reported as he sat down on the edge of Ianto’s desk. “I really wish he was closer though. Why is it we couldn’t get him into the four star?”

“They’re having a convention and our usual suite was already occupied by that ambassador,” Ianto replied, still intent on his monitor.

“The one who hasn’t figured out yet that his girlfriend isn’t from Swansea, but is actually from thousands of light-years further away?”

“Yes, sir, UNIT and MI5 both want to keep tabs on the situation and arranged for him to be booked into the suite.”

“We're monitoring it also, aren’t we? I’m a bit concerned his girlfriend is still with him. Atterians aren’t known for their long term relationships. I wonder what she‘s up to.”

Ianto looked up at Jack, concerned. “Yes, we still have reciprocity. We don’t touch their gear and they won’t touch ours. Though after what you did tonight, they may pull everything of ours that they know about.”

Jack looked down at the floor and rubbed his forehead. “I knew there was a risk of that, but I had to do it. He would have destroyed them all otherwise. This way I at least saved them their equipment. See if you can spin it that way with them.”

“Don’t worry, sir, I’ll take care of it. Returning their equipment intact will help.”

“By the way, we have a few interlopers.” Jack placed the various surveillance devices on Ianto’s desk and separated several of them out. “Do you know whose these belong to?”

Ianto studied them, picking each one up in turn. “I would have to check to be sure, but it looks like CIA and of course where you find CIA…”

“You have KGB.” Jack shook his head. “The cold war is long over and they're still playing their spy vs. spy games. Anyone else?”

“The rest are going to be a problem. They’re Israeli made, but not their good stuff. It’s what they sell to foreign governments, so it could be anyone.”

Jack frowned. “I don’t like the idea he is in a room that's been compromised. Well, at least it’s clear now, though we are going to have to keep a better eye on it. Are any of our feeds still working in that suite?”

“No sir, not in the suite itself. But there are some in the room next to his and the one below that are sensitive enough to pick up any sound in his rooms.”

“Good, good work there. Anything happening?” he asked.

“No, sir, he apparently just went to bed. Do you want me to keep monitoring?”

“Not actively, just set an alarm to go off if the sound level gets above sixty decibels.” Jack hoped that would be sensitive enough. He didn’t want to be answering an alarm every time the Doctor rolled over. That his friend hadn’t used the sonic to disable the sensors in the adjoining rooms troubled him. That was very sloppy and not like the Doctor at all.

“Is he that dangerous?” Ianto asked.

“No, not to us at least. He loves humans, even when we’re irritating the heck out of him. It’s his safety I’m worried about now. Something’s happened and his defenses are down.” Jack bit his lip. Trying to keep the Doctor safe when he didn’t want it was going to be difficult.

He put a hand in his coat pocket and felt the foil packets that he had put there earlier. Pulling them out, he placed them on the Welshman’s desk next to the surveillance equipment. “Here, he won’t be needing these. But we might,” Jack suggested with a grin.

“Are you sure? I thought with the way you ran out of here, when we were...”

“I’m sure, he’s not interested. Never has been. He had a family once. Lost them in a war. Maybe his species mates for life and that was it.”

“So he’s definitely not human?”

“No, he’s not,” admitted Jack.

“Then he’s the same Doctor that was mentioned in the Torchwood charter isn’t he?”

“Say again?” Jack asked, hoping he’d heard wrong.

“He’s the Doctor who's the reason Torchwood was founded? The one who was present when 10 Downing Street was blown up and when Torchwood London fell,” Ianto persisted.

“Yes, he is that Doctor,” responded Jack reluctantly.

“Then we should be taking him prisoner, shouldn’t we?”

“No, we shouldn’t, he’s my friend and I trust him,” came Jack’s curt reply.

“Sir, I should point out John Hart was once your friend also, but he turned out to be a definite a threat. You might not be very objective in this matter. There had to be a reason he was mentioned in the charter.”

Jack shook his head and sighed. “John Hart was totally different. I never trusted him, I just didn’t distrust him enough. The Doctor is almost the exact opposite of John Hart.” Jack stopped, wanting to tell Ianto that the Doctor made him want to be a better person, had caused him to give up his previous criminal activities. But no, that would make his judgment when it came to the Doctor all the more suspect. He decided to stick to the facts.

“He’s saved the empire from the ‘alien horde’ more times in one year than Torchwood has in its entire existence,” Jack continued. “I’ve seen the reports from the Torchwood incident. Queen Victoria knighted and banished him in the same day. She was an old woman who was frightened by his knowledge and cavalier manner, in spite of him having saved her life. His being in the charter was revenge on her part for having been scared. His name never should have been there.”

“So he is just a guest then?”

“Yes, he’s a guest and a friend. And I want him treated as such, understand?”

Ianto blanched under Jack’s stare. “Yes sir, I understand.” He looked down at his monitor. “Sir, there’s some activity in his room.”

“Put it on the speaker,” directed Jack as he hopped off the desk and positioned himself behind Ianto so he had a view of the monitor. His right hand slide slowly down the Welshman’s back, letting him know all was still right between them.

Then came the sounds of someone thrashing in a bed, soft but desperate cries in a language neither man understood, breathing that was ragged, distressed. Jack bit his lip, fighting the urge to run back to the hotel. He closed his eyes and forced himself to analyze what he was hearing. Nightmare, it was just a nightmare, he told himself, the Doctor wouldn’t thank him for disturbing his sleep. He was about to tell Ianto to turn it off when a sound that could best be described as half howl, half tormented moan filled the room. Jack’s heart nearly shattered as it diminished to a grief stricken whimper. He reached over and switched off the speaker.

Ianto’s face was filled with concern as he looked up at Jack and asked. “You’re going to go to him, aren’t you?”

“No… no… I’m not. Nightmares are not unusual for him and he would be embarrassed if I were to wake him because of one.” Jack studied the monitor. The sound level had never gone above fifty-five decibels, it was the emotional intensity in his cries that had made them seem louder than they actually were.

“Are you sure he’s alright? It seemed so…”

“I know, if it gets worse I’ll go, but for now he’ll be fine. Any chance you can rig the alarm to go off at the sound of the water turning on?”

“That’s not a problem, but may I ask why?”

“I just want to know when he gets up in the morning. Meet him for breakfast and make sure he eats.”

“I’ll take care of it, sir”

"Ouch," thought Jack. The formality was back again, along with the jealousy. Time to assure Ianto that there was nothing to worry about.

Jack picked up one of the foil packets that had a gold and red design on it as Ianto programmed the alarm. Jack sat on the desk edge again and looked down at his lover “You’ve been holding out on me,” Jack declared, tapping the brightly colored square on the side of his index finger. “You never told me you had these.”

Ianto blushed. “I was saving them for a special occasion,” he replied.

“Well, I think you’re pretty special. Does that count?” Jack asked hopefully as he leaned back giving the Welshman a smile that was both suggestive and predatory.

Ianto scrunched up his face, acting as if it was very difficult decision. “I think it might be.”

“Great, meet you in my room in ten minutes,” said Jack as he hopped off the desk and left for his quarters.

Ianto stared after him, a satisfied smile on his face. He considered the display on the monitor and decided to continue recording. In the morning, when Jack was at breakfast, he planned on putting the translation program to work. Whatever the alien was saying could prove to be interesting, if not important.
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Post by Lucy McGough on Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:35 am

More please Smile
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Post by Jennyjenkins on Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:29 pm

Lucy McGough wrote:More please Smile

*seconds this*

excellent stuff Smile
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Post by Lucy McGough on Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:46 pm

Yes - I normally don't like fan fic, but I like Paksena's.
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Post by Paksena on Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:32 pm

^ Thank you both for your kind comments here's the next chaper.

Chapter 4

The Doctor grimaced as he stretched in the bed, fighting to wake up. He ached all over, feeling more like he had run a marathon, than had a restful night’s sleep. He was cold. The covers were gone, on the floor most likely. Only a lone sheet had somehow survived the eviction. It had twisted itself uncomfortably around his leg.

He rubbed the grit out of his eyes and sat up to remove the offending linen. As he did so, his ankle rubbed across the brocade of the bare mattress. The sheet around his leg had apparently started out as the bottom one. He sighed as he untangled it in the faint light provided by the curtained windows.

What had caused him to have such a restless night he had no idea. He uncharacteristically could remember none of his dreams from the night before. That fact disturbed him, but the discomfiture was overwhelmed by a sense of relief. Judging by the condition of the bed and the thick sticky layer of dried sweat that covered his body, he really didn’t want to know what had been the cause of his nocturnal exertions. There were some things the subconscious mind came up with that the conscious mind should never have to endure.

When he swung his legs over the side, he found his feet buried in the discarded bedclothes, which were piled like a snow drift next to the bed. Wearily he shoved them to one side with his foot and turned on the light, which stood on the nightstand. His hair felt tacky and stiff as he ran his hand through it while he surveyed the damage. Nothing was broken, so the first order of business was obvious, take a shower and get cleaned up. If sweaty Time Lords smelled to humans, anything like sweaty humans did to Time Lords, he must be absolutely reeking right now.

He gave his spine a twist and cracked his neck, before he stood up to make his way to the en suite. There the bright lights assaulted his eyes causing him to flinch and blink from discomfort. The cold floor on his bare feet made him seek the small thick towel that served as a temporary rug in hotels to protect them. Prudently he turned on the shower to give the water a chance to warm up, not wanting to add a chilling blast of cold water to his list of complaints. His pajamas made a faint crackling sound as he disgustedly peeled them off his body. Three of the buttons were missing. He shook his head at the discovery. It had truly been a very rough night.

The warm water welcomed him as he stepped into the shower. Using the shampoo Ianto had provided, he massaged his scalp, working the thick lather into his hair. It had a clean fresh scent, not flowery at all and rinsed out cleanly. He tilted his head back and gave it a shake under the flow of the shower to make sure none remained

The soap was smooth on one side with small raised bumps on the other that stimulated his muscles as he rubbed his body with it, producing a light slippery foam. He enjoyed the sensation of the sweat being dissolved, then washed away by the spray of the shower, leaving behind nothing but clean skin. The difference in sensation between what was clean and what wasn’t was amazing. As if the sweat had been suffocating his skin and once removed, it was breathing in fresh clean air.

He set the shower head to a massage, and the warm water beat on his body, easing his aching muscles. Soon he was clean, relaxed and almost sleepy. He briefly wondered if he could just tell Jack he wanted to spend the day here. He laughed at himself as he realized, his first day on the job so to speak and already he wanted to call in sick.

Reluctantly he stepped out of the comfort of the shower and toweled himself off. The hotel had provided a terry cloth robe, which he put on letting it absorb some of the moisture the towel had missed. He shaved carefully not wanting a sloppy job to give Jack yet another reason to comment on his condition. When he finished he rubbed his jaw and neck. “Nice and smooth,” he thought as he surveyed his handy work in the mirror, tilting his head as he checked different angles. He finger combed his damp hair drawing the top section forward so it almost stuck out like a shelf. Satisfied for the moment, he returned to the bedroom.

He picked the quilt up off the floor, spread it on the bed and laid down, folding his hands behind his head. He was enjoying the feeling of relaxation the shower had brought him and wanted to hold on to it a little longer. His breathing slowed as he lay there. Long, deep, full, breaths, the sharp, clean smell of the soap and the soft warmth of the robe adding to his comfort.

He found himself starting to doze off and jolted himself awake. He was still tired. The night’s sleep hadn’t done much to fix that. But he really didn’t want to sleep now. Raising his arms over his head, he stretched the entire length of his body before he sat up. This time when he left the bed, though he was still fatigued, he wasn’t bleary eyed and aching. It was as if he had a new fresh start to his day.

In the closet was a clean shirt that Ianto had provided, a light blue silk cotton bend that fitted him perfectly and was excellently made. The material was slick without being shiny and slid sensuously against his skin as he put it on. The seams were so fine he couldn’t feel them. The cuffs and collar just the right amount of crispness without being scratchy or irritating. He smiled. The young man’s taste was impeccable.

He slowly put on the blue suit as he thought about spending the morning at Torchwood. Going through Torchwood’s junk pile should be an interesting diversion. It was having to interact with people that he dreaded. He didn’t feel up to being social. Hopefully they would leave him alone while he worked. If they were short handed, they must have something more important to do than baby sit him.

Fully dressed, he went over to the bedroom window and opened the curtains revealing a grey and dreary day. Droplets on the window indicated it was drizzling outside. He watched as one droplet fell down the window, leaving a behind a trail of glistening water, growing larger and falling faster as it merged with other drops. He stopped his reverie with a deep sigh. He was procrastinating. It was time to get going before Jack sent someone to fetch him. He knew it would just be out of concern, but it would be embarrassing none the less.

He turned away from the window and stopped suddenly when he thought he saw something move outside the hotel, but turning back to look, he saw nothing. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, worried that he was jumping at shadows even in the daylight. He scratched the back of his neck as he searched the sky outside the window. Off in the distance he saw some gulls. That must have been what he had seen.

He left the window and stopped at the mirror on his way out of the bedroom. There he gave his still damp hair a final primp and studied his reflection. He was still a bit pale and drawn, but looked better than he had the night before, maybe enough so that Jack would quit worrying about him. He frowned at the last thought. The reflection in the mirror showed his weariness and sorrow. “No, that would not do at all,” he thought.

He smiled and raised an eyebrow, much better. He quickly ran through several expressions, furrowing his brow and tilting his head, smiles, half smiles and pursing of lips. Soon he knew which ones to avoid if he wanted to convince Jack he was fine. He relaxed and dropped the façade. He had some time before his acting skills would be tested. There was some tea and a kettle in the main room. Perhaps a cup of tea would put a bit of color back in his face.

It turned out he had no time at all. When he entered the other room of the suite there was Jack, sitting on the couch, an incredibly pleased smile on his face. Someone had had a good night. That was obvious. The Doctor opened his mouth to inquire as to why he was there, but the captain beat him to the punch.

“Boy, you take longer to get ready than a prom date,” Jack observed as he stood up.

“I’m not your date,” the Doctor pointed out.

“I know and good thing too. If you were, I would have left by now and gone stag.”

“Not sure that would be a bad thing. What are you doing here anyway?”

“Your suit was ready, Ianto took care of it himself. I didn’t want to attempt to empty your pockets before taking it to a shop. I also brought your coat.” Jack indicated the coat and suit draped over the sofa behind the Doctor. “With the weather here today, I thought you might want it.” Jack looked out the window directing the Doctor’s gaze there. The light shower had increased to a steady rain.

The Doctor rubbed his chin while he considered the situation. He could use his coat with the way the weather had turned, he had to give Jack that. Perhaps he was just doing a favor instead of trying to nursemaid him. “Yes, well, thank you.”

“Besides, I had ulterior motives for coming over here.”

“Really?” responded the Doctor, more surprised that Jack would admit to having ulterior motives, than that he had them.

“Yes, the spread they put out for breakfast here is amazing. Two meals come with the room so I thought I would join you for breakfast.”

“I really don’t feel like a huge meal. I was just planning on just having some tea in the room here.”

Jack made a sour face as he looked at the hospitality tray that contained the tea and kettle. “You don’t want to do that.”

“Why not?” the Doctor asked, clearly confused.

“Well,” said Jack as he slowly shook his head, “you have no idea how long that tea has been there. For all you know it could be as old as this room. It’s likely to be tea dust by now, not leaves. Come on down with me and have some good tea and perhaps some dry toast. Surely you can handle some toast.”

The Doctor looked down as he rubbed his forehead, hiding the smile that came unbidden to his face. Jack was nursemaiding him and not as subtle about it as he apparently thought he was. Some toast did sound good though, he might as well play along. He looked up to see Jack had already draped the doctor’s coat over his arm.

“Well, ready to go then?” the captain asked.

“You’re not going to give me much choice are you?”

“Not really,” replied Jack grinning like a cat. “I do have your coat after all. Though if you ever want to part with it…”

“Never!” came the quick response.

Jack feigned a downtrodden expression. “I thought not,” he said sorrowfully, then immediately brightened. “Come on, let’s get you downstairs.”

“Wait, shouldn’t I straighten up a bit? At least pick up my dirty laundry?” the Doctor protested, not wanting anyone to see the condition of the pajamas that he had left on the bathroom floor.

“No, no need. It will all be taken care of. I paid for extra service. Your laundry will be clean and waiting for you tonight,” explained Jack as he proceeded to usher the Doctor out the door.

“Oh, so your extra money pays for laundry service, but not drinkable tea?”

Jack didn’t even have the decency to be chagrined at the observation, but continued to lead the Doctor down the hallway to the lift. “That will be taken care of tonight. You were a late arrival after all.”

The Doctor gave up, though there were still several holes in Jack’s explanation. Pointing them out would just be an exercise in seeing how creative Jack could be with his answers. Amusing perhaps, but a game he really didn’t feel up to at the moment.

As he stepped into the lift he again saw something out of the corner of his eye, but resisted the temptation to turn to it. Jack was concerned enough about him, his friend didn’t need to know that he might be seeing things that weren’t there. He concentrated on not leaning against the lift wall for support and trying to appear more chipper than he felt. He doubted however that Jack was fooled, even for a moment.
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Post by konstantin on Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:47 pm

still keeps getting better --

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Post by Paksena on Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:19 am

The Doctor picked up a plate from the buffet line and started towards the toast. On the way, some fried mushrooms caught his eye. He put some on his plate, deciding he could handle just a few of them. The eggs didn’t look too bad either, be a shame to pass them up. Of course the tomatoes, good source of vitamin c, a couple of those couldn’t hurt. The baked beans fiber and protein. And well maybe just one sausage.

By the time he arrived at the toast station there was no more room on his plate, but he didn’t think he needed it now. He did seem to have worked up an appetite overnight. His stomach was growling, indicating it was more than ready for some real food, even if his mind wasn’t.

He made his way to the table Jack had insisted on, tucked away in a corner formed by two glass walls. Jack had explained that if he was going to eat in a gold fish bowl, he wanted to be able to see who was looking in. The Doctor couldn’t fault his reasoning.

His plate made a soft clinking sound as he set it down on the glass table top. Two of the four chrome chairs were occupied by a coat. He saw Jack had already left a plate filled with typical American selections, eggs, a few rashers of bacon, hash browns, and toast. At the smell of the bacon his stomach rumbled. “Jack has plenty,” he thought as he picked up a fork and snatched a rasher for his own plate. “He won’t miss a rasher… or two.” A second piece joined the first.

The Doctor was about to sit down when he realized he didn’t have any tea. There were some pots and tea bags that he had seen when he came in. He guessed it was a help yourself situation and left to get some.

He had barely taken two steps when he saw something very definite just at the edge of his vision. He stopped and turned, trying to determine what it was. The rain sheeting on the glass distorted the view of the outside world, making it hard to verify what he had seen, if he had indeed seen anything.

There was nothing there but the normal things one would expect on a work day morning. Cars in the car park. Traffic moving at a slower pace due to the weather. Pedestrians hurrying to get out of the rain. Nothing out of the ordinary or unexpected. Everything as it should be. No one lurking around, trying to get a look at the diners in the restaurant. He sighed and turned away from the window, only to find Jack standing in front of him holding a pot of tea in each hand.

“Is she back again?” the head of Torchwood asked.

“Who do you mean?” replied the Doctor as he relieved Jack of a teapot and carried it back to the table. Jack followed and waited for them both to be seated before he answered, whispering across the table.

“There’s an Atterian who has been hanging around the bay. She was shadowing me when I walked over here. Pretty amateurish about it too. Was she out there?”

“I’m not sure. I really can’t tell what I saw. Most likely ducked behind a car or something,” the Doctor explained.

Jack glanced out the window, making it look like he was just disgusted at the rain. But the Doctor could tell he was taking in a lot more. “Well if she was here, she’s gone now,” Jack stated with a shake of his head. He looked down at his plate.

“I seem to remember having four rashers of bacon.”

“Did you now?” replied the Doctor as he applied a knife and fork to one of the rashers on his plate and popped a piece into his mouth. “You know, it’s not a good sign having memory problems. Didn’t you mention you were starting to see some gray hairs a while back? Age just might be setting in.”

“My memory is fine, thank you. In fact I seem to remember those two rashers of yours being on my plate.”

“Really? You can tell one rasher from another? That’s impressive. Well, if you think they somehow escaped your plate and joined up over here, I’d be happy to return them.” The Doctor looked down at his plate. “Well, one of them. The other one appears to be gone now.”

“No you can keep it. It seems to have become acquainted with your baked beans.” Jack said with a grimace. “Never understood how people can eat those for breakfast.”

“I can’t understand how you could turn them down.” To emphasize his point the Doctor took a piece of bacon and swirled it around in the beans before putting into his mouth. He gave Jack a huge grin after he swallowed it. “You really don’t know what you are missing.”

“I’ll find out at lunch,” Jack replied, nonplused. “Look, let’s get to the main issue. I really wish I knew what the Atterian was up to. She’s been dating this ambassador every time he comes to town.”

“You sure it’s an Atterian?” asked the Doctor as he poured himself some tea. “They usually have pretty short attention spans when it comes to relationships.”

“Don’t I know it,” replied Jack with a sly grin. “In my time they made excellent brothel workers. Very willing and often creative, but never wanting anything more than a night. All the fun and none of the commitment problems for the customers.

“This one is different though, even when the ambassador is away, she still hangs around here. Has a small flat and works in a shop, positively domestic.”

“No other relationships? They tend to be fairly active if memory serves me right.”

Jack laughed. “What? Don’t tell me you’ve been involved with them? I knew they could be seductive but…”

“No!” came the sharp rejoinder. “I was not ‘involved’ with them, at least not in that way.” The Doctor paused briefly and continued in a less strident manner. “But they have at times, wreaked havoc on some heads of state’s egos and I had to intervene before they started a war to prove their manliness or in one case, her womanliness, I guess.”

“Yeah, I know how that can be,” Jack replied as he rubbed his chin. “I remember the first time one refused to take me as a client the second night. It can be quite a blow, even if you know their habits. You always think you might be the one exception.

“That’s what has me curious. I don’t see what makes this ambassador so special. She has been loyal to him, at least when she is in human form. But there have been some strange reports from the zoo across the bay of animal counts being off.

“Animal counts being off?”

“Yeah, they did an emergency shut down one time, when there were seven tigers in the enclosure and then only six. Didn’t open again till late the next day, when they confirmed they only had ever had six tigers, despite what the CCTV showed. Decided it was just some kind of data glitch in the camera and it superimposed an image. I’m pretty sure it was our friend though.”

“So now she’s following you. Maybe she got bored with the zoo visits,” commented the Doctor as he set down his fork.

“No, that’s not it. She would have been more direct, never known one to be coy.” Jack suddenly looked in the direction of the restaurant entrance. The Doctor followed his gaze and saw a distinguished older gentleman, tall, medium build with snowy white hair and mustache, both perfectly trimmed and maintained. He was wearing a tweed hacking jacket and bow tie. With him was a middle aged woman, dark brown hair, attractive, but not flashy, in a conservative brown suit that was almost frumpy.

“Is that them?” the Doctor asked.

“Yes, it is,” replied Jack, worry showing in his voice. “Excuse me, I need to go check something out.”

Jack pushed back from the table and left the restaurant. The Doctor could see him at the reception desk, turning on the charm for the young clerk. He looked down at his plate, during the conversation he had consumed almost everything on it. Still hungry, he decided to go after some fruit that he had seen earlier.

He walked past the ambassador’s table on his way to the buffet and felt the Atterian watching him as he went by. There was some good fruit at the buffet, soon he filled a small plate with it and some cheese. The tea at the table, he was sure was cold by now and decided to get another pot while he was up. He was filling a pot with hot water when he heard a voice next to him.

“You’re a long way from home, aren’t you?”

The Doctor turned to see the Atterian looking up at him hopefully, with impossibly brilliant blue eyes. “Not that far actually. Why do you ask?”

“Oh, you just looked a bit lonely and out of place is all. I saw your friend leave you, do you want to join us?” She rested her hand lightly on the sleeve of his jacket, in a way that promised friendship more than seduction.

The Doctor looked over his shoulder to see Jack still talking at the reception desk. “Thank you, but no. He'll be back soon and then we have some things we need to attend to. Enjoy your breakfast,” he said with a smile before turning away, letting her hand fall from his arm. To his relief she didn’t follow him, but instead proceeded to make up her own pot of tea.

When he sat down at the table, a waitress came to take his plate away. After she picked it up, she reached for Jack’s. “No, leave it please, he should be coming back soon,” explained the Doctor. The waitress smiled at him and left. The Doctor watched her go. Jack, who was no longer talking to the reservations clerk, but was instead on his mobile, pacing back and forth in the reception, caught his eye, causing him to wonder what was up.

With a sigh he turned his attention to his breakfast. He would find out later what the problem was. The fruit was good, fresh pineapple, melon, blueberries and strawberries. The cheese was unfortunately in plastic packets. When he had picked it up, he’d hoped it wouldn’t taste as processed as it looked, but that turned out not to be the case. Why, when everything else was so well made, the restaurant would fail so miserably on the cheese, he had no idea.

He had just finished the fruit, when Jack returned to the table. “Everything taken care of?” the Doctor asked.

Jack shook his head. “No, something is up. The ambassador has moved out of his regular hotel and is now staying in this one. Coincidentally, right next to where you are staying. The clerk told me he had specifically requested that suite. Claimed he wanted that one for sentimental reasons.

“I had Ianto check the records as far back as he could and the ambassador has never stayed here. He also checked the other hotel and the ambassador checked out of it this morning, claiming the room was infested with cockroaches.”

“And you don’t believe it?”

“No, that hotel is too well maintained to have cockroaches or any other kind of infestation. Someone must have brought them in.”

“Our Atterian friend?”

“That’s who I suspect,” answered Jack before he took a bite of toast. “This is cold! I must have been away longer than I thought, but they usually do a good job of clearing off the plates here. I can’t believe they left it when I was gone for so long.”

“That is strange,” replied the Doctor, his voice innocence itself.

Jack looked at him sharply. “I’ll go fix myself a new plate and this time when they come to take my plate away, let them.”

“What? Are you implying I would interfere with them doing that?” The Doctor looked at him wide eyed and smiled.

“Yes I am and when I get back, you can tell me what you and the Atterian were talking about,” answered Jack as he pushed away from the table.

The Doctor sipped his tea and stared out the window. The rain was coming down even harder. The clouds were dark, threatening. There was something wrong, almost evil, about them. As he stared at them, he could see them sinking closer to the earth, threatening to smother everything. His breath started coming in short gasps, his throat tight and dry, he felt as if he was choking. His shoulders were painfully taut with fear. Then, as if an electric shock had gone up his spine, he jerked erect and let out a long breath.

Outside he saw the clouds were just a normal gray, a good mile or two above the bay, not threatening at all. He put his hand to eyes and rubbed them hard enough to cause pain that focused his thoughts. “Where did that come from?” he wondered. “It seemed so real.” He pinched the bridge of his nose then rubbed the side of his face. “Must just have triggered some memory of that nightmare last night.” though try as he might he still could remember nothing of it. “Strange how the mind works,” he mused as he pushed his concern away.

He took a deep breath, letting it out slowly as he looked around with fresh eyes. The rain wasn’t getting harder. It was in fact, lessening somewhat and the sun was becoming more apparent. The traffic outside was flowing smoothly, the pedestrians walking leisurely, no longer rushing to escape the elements. A very pleasant and relaxing scene, with the promise of an even better day ahead.

“Are you all right sir?” asked the waitress who had been at the table earlier.

“I’m fine, really, just had a bit of a headache, it’s gone now. Thank you though.” He looked around worriedly. “I didn’t make a scene, did I?”

“No, don’t worry, you didn’t. I was just coming over here to clear your friend’s plates. I saw him back at the buffet. I don’t think anyone else noticed.”

“Oh good,” replied the Doctor as he scratched the back of his head. “I really don’t like to draw attention to myself.”

“You must find that pretty hard to do.”


“Well, you are very attractive and it’s hard for someone not to notice you, as tall as you are.” Before the Doctor could reply she changed the subject, leaning in conspiratorially, her voice dropping to a whisper. “I’m not supposed to do this, but they made some fresh squeezed orange juice for some government stiff and his companion. I can get some for you, if you want.”

The Doctor flashed her his best smile. “That would be nice, thank you.”

“Good, I’ll be right back with it.” She gathered up Jack’s dishes and left almost running into Jack who was coming back with a new plate of food.

“So, you’ve been flirting with Meredith?” Jack asked as he seated himself.

“No, she just wanted to know if I wanted some orange juice.”

“Don’t tell me fresh squeezed? Left over from some special customer?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact it is. How did you know?”

Jack gave a quick snort of laughter. “Because that’s what she gets me when I flirt with her. You were flirting.”

“I was not! That may your way of getting things, but it certainly isn’t mine,” the Doctor responded incredulously. “I was just being polite is all.”

Jack’s rejoinder was prevented by Meredith’s return with two glasses of orange juice. “Thank you Meredith. You’re taking good care of my friend here I see,” observed Jack. He rewarded the waitress with his biggest smile as she placed a glass of orange juice in front of him.

“Well, I knew you would want some, since it was available, and he did seem to be in a bit of difficulty earlier.”

Jack looked sharply at the Doctor, who had decided to study the cars in the car park. “Did he now? I’m glad you were here to help him.”

Meredith shook her head. “I really didn’t do anything. He was fine by the time I got here.” She looked over her shoulder and frowned. “I should get back to work. Is there anything else you want?”

“We’re fine, Meredith, thank you,” the captain responded.

The waitress left the table and Jack turned to the Doctor. “What was this difficulty?”

The Doctor gave a quick shake of his head. “It was nothing, just a sudden headache. It left as soon as it came.”

Jack looked at him carefully. “You sure? I don’t like the timing. The Atterian talks to you and then you suddenly get a headache. She did have her hand on your arm. Perhaps she slipped you a drug that’s absorbed through your skin. When I was with the agency we would do that all the time.”

“She didn’t slip me anything. Her hand was on my sleeve, not my skin. All she did was come over and ask if I wanted to join them at their table. She’d thought you had abandoned me.”

Jack frowned. “I don’t like it. I think she is targeting you, for what I don’t know. There may be something on your jacket, you should take it off and your shirt.”

“I’m not going to strip down in a restaurant,” replied the Doctor incredulously. “I am perfectly fine. Now why don’t you quit worrying about me and eat your breakfast before it goes cold again.” The Doctor reached for his orange juice only to have Jack grab his wrist and stop him.

“What? You’re afraid of the orange juice now? You’re getting ridiculous Jack.”

“At least let me try it first.”

“Drink your own.” With a twist of his arm the Doctor broke free of Jack’s grip and picked up the orange juice. He took a sip and found it quite good. Tart and pulpy, just the way he liked it. He finished it off before setting the glass down.

“See, no problem. It was perfectly fine. Absolutely nothing to worry about.” He reached for the teapot, stopping Jack from intercepting him with a glare.

“Alright, alright,” said Jack as he held up his hands in surrender. “I’m just concerned that she is up to something.”

“Of course she is up to something,” replied the Doctor. “But I doubt that something involves poisoning me in a restaurant. You don’t need to check out everything I intend to put in my mouth.”

“I’m not sure I would want to, considering your breakfast choices.”

“My breakfast choices are fine thank you. You’ve just been pretending to be an American for too long and it’s affecting your sense of taste. You’re so eager to try out everything in, um.., other aspects of your life. I can’t believe you are so pedestrian when it comes to food.”

Jacked choked on the piece of egg he was about to swallow. “What? My sense of taste is fine and has nothing to do with ‘other aspects’ as you put it. It’s your taste I worry about. Next, you’re going to tell me black pudding is delicious.”

“Well it is. In fact, I’m surprised they didn’t have any.”

“Okay,” laughed Jack. “Just let me finish my breakfast in peace. I am going to check out your jacket when we get to the Hub. I don’t believe that was just casual contact.”

“It wasn’t. She put a microscopic homing device on me. I figured I would take care of it once we left the restaurant.”

“Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place?” asked Jack.

“Because it was none of your business. I do know how to take care of myself. I don’t need you acting like a mother hen.”

“She’s an alien, that makes it my business.”

“Not as far as I am concerned. Don’t worry. I’ll let you know anything you need to know. If you are so bothered about her, why don’t you pick her up for questioning?”

“I can’t. As soon as she latched on to the ambassador, both MI5 and UNIT became involved. I have to clear it through channels.”

Now it was the Doctor’s turn to laugh. “You, clearing things through channels? You’ve become positively domesticated, Jack. I’m surprised. Next you are going to tell me you worry about payroll and budgets and things.”

“Well, people do have to eat and pay rent. We don’t all have the luxury of just skipping out on a whim,” responded Jack, looking pointedly at his broken vortex manipulator. Pushing back his chair with a screech, he stood up and put a five pound note on the table.

“Come on,” he said as he put on his coat. “I need to get back.”

“I thought breakfast was included with the room,” the Doctor commented as he stood and reached for his own coat.

“It is. That’s called a tip. If I want to get more of the good orange juice, I need to leave one of those.”

“Oh, so just your charming personality isn’t enough?”

“Unfortunately not.”

“Hmm, you’re slipping Jack, you know that?”

“If I am, it’s because of you,” came Jack’s sharp retort as he helped the Doctor on with his coat. “Let’s go, I’ve got the SUV parked outside.”

“I’d rather walk,” commented the Doctor as he followed Jack out of the restaurant. “I wanted to check on the TARDIS.”

“I wouldn’t advise it,” replied Jack seriously, as he held open the door to the car park. “She’s still not in a very good mood. We’ll drive by and you can see for yourself.”

Jack pulled the SUV to the side of the road, offering the Doctor a clear view of the TARDIS, ignoring the horns of the upset drivers behind him. Studying the Plass, the Doctor could see what Jack meant. Though the water tower was a major tourist attraction, there was no one near it. People who were walking towards it would suddenly alter their course and veer away, leaving about a forty meter ‘dead zone’ around the ship. Even from this distance the Doctor could feel the TARDIS pushing him away. He’d hoped she would be better this morning, but now he worried she might never forgive him.

He stared down at the floorboards, feeling cast adrift, very small and lonely. Dejected, he said to Jack, “I’ve seen enough. Let’s get on to that base of yours.”

Grim faced, Jack said nothing as he put the car in gear and drove off.

Last edited by Paksena on Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Lucy McGough on Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:16 am

Wicked Very Happy
Lucy McGough
Lucy McGough

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Post by Jennyjenkins on Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:29 pm

*applauds* cheers

2 chapters in a day!

*is spoiled*

*waits eagerly for the next one*
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Post by Paksena on Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:50 pm

konstantin wrote:still keeps getting better -- 


Glad you are enjoying it. 

Lucy McGough wrote:Wicked Very Happy

Thank you 

Jennyjenkins wrote:*applauds*   cheers 

2 chapters in a day!

*is spoiled*

*waits eagerly for the next one*

Well I knew I wouldn't be able to get another one up tonight, I slipped away at lunch and did a post.  Thanks for your encouragement. 
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Post by Paksena on Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:32 pm

The Doctor and Jack arrived at the Hub to find Ianto hard at work at his terminal, oblivious to their entry. He looked up only when he heard Myfanwy’s cry, as the pteranodon dove at the Doctor. There was a loud thud, as a taloned foot hit the Doctor’s shoulder causing him to cry out and stumble. Jack managed to grab him before he fell into the water at the base of the fountain.

“Jack, are you sure this is just a greeting?” the Doctor asked as he recomposed himself, rubbing his injured shoulder, while warily watching Myfanwy return to her post in the upper reaches of the hub. “It seems a bit violent.”

“I really don’t know what’s got into her,” replied Jack as he removed the Doctor’s coat and ushered him into a vacant chair under an overhang.

Safely seated, the Doctor tried moving his shoulder and winced. “Well, until you do, I’ll try to keep out of the open when I am here.”

“Will this help sir?” The Doctor looked up to see Ianto holding out an ice pack.

“Yes, thank you,” said Jack as he took it from the young man.

“Ouch,” complained the Doctor as Jack applied the pack to the back of his shoulder. “Do you have to be so rough?”

“I’m being not rough,” Jack objected. “It does have to be in contact with you to work, you know.”

“Sir, I could get you some tea if you want,” Ianto interjected.

"Yes, yes, and you can stop being so formal around me,” the Doctor replied irritatedly. He looked up to see the Welshman was rather distressed at the reprimand. “Sorry, that came out a little harsher than I intended. Not used to being attacked right after breakfast. No, I take that back, I should be used to that by now. Just please don’t keep calling me sir. I find it unnerving, like I’ve been drafted into the civil service or something.”

Ianto looked questioningly at Jack. “Just humor him,” Jack said. “He has some odd quirks at times.”

“I do not have odd quirks. You’re the ones keeping a pet that enjoys using guests for target practice,” declared the Doctor, peering nervously from under the overhang at the prehistoric predator as she lazily circled far above him. “You do feed her well, don’t you? I don’t relish the idea of being her midmorning snack.”

“She's quite well fed,” Jack assured him. “I really don’t know what her interest is in you. Maybe she just recognizes another ancient being and wants to play.”

The Doctor twisted in the chair to fix Jack with a stony stare. “You’re no spring chicken yourself. Why doesn’t she want to play with you?”

“Actually she does. She’s a whiz at basketball. Makes a great point guard,” Jack replied cheerfully.

“Really? You sure she doesn’t just consume the opposition?” the Doctor asked.

“I’m sure, at least the head count is the same after the game as before. Though there was that one game…” Jack smiled. “Really, she’s not bad at all. I don’t know why she has such a thing for you.”

“I have your tea, Si… should I call you Doctor?” Ianto asked as he held out the tea.

“Doctor is fine,” the Doctor answered as he took the tea and tried a sip. “This is very good, thank you.”

“Ianto, did you get things straightened out?” Jack asked.

The Welshman frowned and shook his head. “No, I’m sorry Jack. UNIT was no problem, they understood and thanked us for saving their equipment. MI5, however, was not at all pleased and has threatened to destroy all of our devices that they can find. I tried to explain what the situation was, but they want to talk to you in person about it.”

“Great, you did tell them I was busy with a special guest, didn’t you?”

“Yes I did, and they said they would very much like you to bring this guest with you.”

“That’s not going to happen,” Jack declared. “Who do they think they are, anyway?”

“An agency with a lot more personnel than we have, who can make our lives miserable if we aren’t careful?”

“Dammit, I don’t like this.”

“I can go with you,” the Doctor offered. “I might find it interesting.”

“You might find it permanent,” came Jack’s rejoinder. “I’ll deal with them. Ianto, is it the office here, or do I have to go to London?”

“It’s the one here.”

“That at least is good news. Take care of my friend here. Get him anything he wants.” Jack removed the ice pack from the Doctor’s shoulder. “Is it better now?”

The Doctor tested his shoulder. “Yes, it’s much better thank you. You sure you don’t want me to come with you? It might be easier for you.”

“No, thanks for the offer, but no. This is one of those cases where if we give an inch they’ll take a mile. In fact, here.” Jack removed his vortex manipulator and handed it to the Doctor. “I don’t want that on me when I get there. Hang on to it for me, and if you want, you can fix it.

Jack looked at the Doctor hopefully, then frowned. “Alright, you can’t blame a guy for trying. I’m off. You kids behave yourselves and wish me luck.” The captain then left the Hub, his stride purposeful but not rushed.

The Doctor turned to Ianto, who was studying him, a concerned look on his face. “I don’t believe we’ve been formally introduced.” He stood up, smiled and held out his hand. “I’m the Doctor and you are Ianto I believe.”

“Yes Doctor, I’m pleased to meet you,” replied Ianto and he took the offered hand. “I gather you and Jack have known each other for a while.”

“Oh, we go back further than either one of us would like to admit. But really, it’s all very boring. Why don’t you show me this alien technology you need my help puzzling out.”

“Yes, Doctor, right this way. It’s out the back.”

Ianto lead him down a corridor to a large wooden door with an odd collection of modern and archaic locks on it. With practiced ease the Welshman dealt with all the locks and opened the portal. The Doctor stood stunned and opened mouthed by what he saw in the middle of the room, a Cyber conversion unit.

“Jack surely doesn’t expect me to get that working for him.”

Looking at the conversion unit, Ianto’s expression was unreadable, but the Doctor suspected he saw sorrow and regret on the man’s face. “No, in fact it is functional. It’s from Torchwood London.”

Slowly walking around the device the Doctor studied it. This shouldn’t be here at all. It should have been sucked back into the void with the Cybermen. He put on the glasses that allowed him to see the void particles. Trace amounts, more likely from contact with contaminated objects, not enough for this to have been in the void itself. Made in this universe, that was disturbing. He wondered what else they had left behind.

“It’s not being used, is it?” the Doctor asked sharply as he returned the glasses to his pocket.

“No it’s not.” Ianto’s voice was too controlled, devoid of emotion. He was clearly becoming troubled by this conversation. The Doctor realized he was another person who had suffered at the hands of the Cybermen.

He surveyed the rest of the room studying it carefully. There was plenty here to keep him occupied. “Well, I think I can get started. You don’t need to stay here. I’m sure you have better things to do than babysit me.”

“If you’re sure you don’t need any assistance.”

“I’m sure. I’ll let you know if I need anything.”

“Alright then, I’ll get back to my duties.”

With the Welshman gone, it was time to get to work. The Doctor decided the first order of business should be pulling the teeth on the Cyber conversion unit. There was no possible good reason he could think of for it to be operational.

The device was in two parts, the table where the victim would be strapped down and the surgical unit which was above it. He aimed his sonic at the surgical unit, removing the bolts one by one that secured it to the support arm. They fell on the table with a musical ring before rolling off and landing on the concrete floor with a plink.

Suddenly there was a loud metallic screech as the unit swung free, now held in the air precariously by only one bolt which the Doctor promptly removed. It landed on the table with a satisfying crash, significantly damaging both units.

This, however, was not enough for the Doctor in his current mood. The technology was not that advanced, it was just perverted, which made it the most dangerous thing in the room. It would be easy for someone to reproduce what John Lumic had created with the hints contained in the remaining parts of the machine.

As he took it apart, he briefly considered each piece to determine if it should be saved or destroyed. He used his sonic to take demolish whatever parts he felt were too dangerous to remain intact, before throwing it into a pile where they would clank, clatter or shatter upon landing. He found his aversion to the equipment such that there was ultimately very little that he saved. A few nuts and bolts were all that survived his judgment.

He stood over the remains of the razed machine, a satisfied smile on his face. He’d worked up a bit of a sweat, but it felt good to get rid of that evil. Almost cathartic, knowing what he was doing was the right thing. Surveying his work, he saw a small flicker of light. He aimed his sonic at it and there was a pop accompanied by a puff of smoke. “There, good and dead,” he thought, the acrid smell of the destroyed circuit was actually pleasant to him, a sign of accomplishment.

He saw a movement out of the corner of his eye. Quickly he twisted around to see Ianto holding a tray of food, a stunned expression on his face. For a second, the Doctor wondered if perhaps he should have told Jack or Ianto what he was going to do, before he so utterly annihilated the machine. He was about to explain his actions, when the Welshman spoke.

“Thank you,” he said softly, in his eyes a mixture of sadness and relief.

“You’re welcome. I trust you have no problems with this?

“No, no. We should have done that long ago. I should have done that long ago.”

The Doctor took the tray from the stricken Torchwood employee, partially from kindness, but mostly from concern that his lunch might soon hit the floor. “I gather this has some personal significance to you, then?” asked the Doctor, as he searched for a safe horizontal surface on which to place the tray.

“Yes, you could say that. I was at Torchwood London when it fell.”

“You lost someone?” He turned towards the young man, still holding the tray he had been unsuccessful in finding a suitable landing place for.

“My fiancée,” answered Ianto taking the tray from the Doctor and setting it down on a small round table, tucked away in the corner of the room. “She had been converted… partially. I had thought the right person could reverse it and I could have her back. I was wrong, as it turned out.”

“I’m sorry,” the Doctor said. “You know, there is more here than I could possibly eat. Care to join me?”

Ianto shook his head. “No, thank you, I already ate. Is there anything else you need?”

“No, no, I’m fine. Is Jack back yet?”

“No,” Ianto furrowed his brow and frowned. “He should be though.”

“I wouldn’t worry. Jack can take care of himself,” the Doctor assured him, as he sat down in a chair next to the table. He picked up a sandwich and bit into it.

“I know, it’s just sometimes he…” Ianto didn’t finish the sentence.

Looking up from his meal the Doctor saw the young man considering him carefully. He could tell the Welshman had an unspoken question on his mind.

“Yes?” the Doctor asked, curiosity getting the better of him.

It was very quiet in the room as Ianto bit his lip, warring with himself before he responded. “Is it true what Jack says about you?”

“I don’t know. What does he say?”

“That your species mates for life.”

The Doctor nearly choked on his sandwich. That was just about the last question he expected. “He said what?!”

“That your species mate for life, he said that’s why…” Ianto stammered to a halt, too embarrassed to continue.

Suddenly things became clear to the Doctor, the rude attitude the night before, the condoms in the suitcase. Apparently his arrival had interrupted something and now this man wanted to know if the Doctor was competition.

“No, we don’t mate for life. However, to answer your real question, I’m not interested in Jack. At least not that way.”

“But every time you turn up, Jack leaves to be with you. Once even when the base was under attack.”

“But he always comes back, doesn’t he? I’ve given him a chance to travel with me. He turned me down. Said he wanted to get back to the people here. I gather that at least one of those people is you.”

“If you’re not interested in him, why would you ask him to travel with you?”

The Doctor sighed and shook his head. “Humans, why did they have to complicate everything by bringing sex into it?” he bemoaned to himself. “Look, Jack is a good friend and a great person to have your back. That is why I made him the offer. I’m not interested in him in the way you seem to think I am. Honestly.”

“But he was flirting with you and…”

“Doesn’t he flirt with just about everyone?”

“Well, yes, but you seem special to him. With you, it seems like he means it more.”

“Maybe because with me he knows it’s not going to happen,” the Doctor tried reasonably. One glance at the distraught young man told him that wasn’t going to be enough. He sighed, so much for a quiet lunch. “Look, sit down and I’ll see if I can explain it to you.”

Ianto pulled up a chair, dragging it along the floor with a loud screech, before noisily unfolding it in front of the table. The Doctor winced internally. This was going to be difficult. He pulled Jack’s vortex manipulator out of his pocket.

“Do you know what this is?”

“It’s Jack’s vortex manipulator, a former acquaintance of his came here with one. He could use it to travel in time and teleport. Jack’s seems to be broken.”

“Good, so you know he’s from the future?” the Doctor asked, relieved that Ianto did know something of Jack’s past.

“Yes, that actually was pretty obvious, even before he let us in on it.”

“That’s one thing we have in common, we both are both from the future. He was actually born a few centuries after me. And we also both travel in time. Well, in his case, used to travel in time.” The Doctor hoped his time travel was still in the present tense.

“So we are just comfortable around each other and that’s all it is, and I don’t need it to be any more, I don’t want it to be anymore.”

“But don’t you have someone to…” again Ianto’s speech fumbled into an uncomfortable silence.

“No, I don’t and I don’t need to. I’m not human, it’s not the constant drive it is with your species. You lot feel the need to fill every available space with more humans. In Jack’s time, with time travel, more advanced transportation and colonization technology, that need went into overdrive as if some genetic trigger had been tripped and your whole species became very intent on spreading its genetic code any way it could. Jack is just a product of his time.”

Studying the young man, the Doctor could tell he was understanding what he was being told, but he wasn’t convinced. The Doctor took a deep breath and continued.

“He flirts with everyone and everything, as near as I can tell. He just can’t help himself, it’s part of who he is. If you’re going to be upset every time he does it, you are going to be in for a lot of upset. He turned down a chance to explore entire galaxies, to travel Throughout time to be with you. Isn’t that proof enough it’s you he wants?”

Ianto squirmed uncomfortably in the chair. “Yes, I suppose you are right. But, I think if he felt there was a chance with you.”

“It’s not going to happen. We are friends, that is it. He has you and I don’t need or want that kind of complication in my life. People are hurt enough when I have to leave them behind for their own good, without adding that kind of emotional baggage into the mix. As I told you in the beginning, it’s really not important to me and definitely not important enough to risk the kind of suffering it will eventually cause the people I care about.”

“But, you don’t have to leave them behind.”

“Yes I do. Eventually, everyone either leaves me or I leave them. It’s inevitable.”

An annoying beeping sound interrupted whatever Ianto was going to say in response. The young man pulled a communication device out of his pocket as he stood up, scowling at the screen. “I’m sorry, you will have to excuse me, someone’s just entered the Hub. I need to see who it is.”

“Could it be Jack?” the Doctor asked hopefully.

“No, the SUV is still at MI5 and Gwen shouldn’t be back yet. But whoever it is knew how to get past all the alarms. I’d best go and check into it.”

“Need any help?”

“No, I know how to do my job, thank you,” came the testy reply.

“Ouch,” thought the Doctor as he watched the retreating back of the Welshman. The prickly attitude was back in full force. He should have just told the man Jack was right, he mated for life and ended the discussion there. Honest candor had only made things worse.

He was about to follow Ianto, his curiosity piqued as to who the intruder might be, when his eye caught a piece of equipment that was very definitely out of place here. When he strode towards it, it started to hum, as if it had been waiting for him.
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Post by Paksena on Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:53 pm

I would like to ask if decides to stop reading this just leave a note as to why. It just helps me as an author to know those things. Thanks.
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Enemy Unseen Empty Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:53 pm

The Doctor was only one stride from the oblong object, when the humming stopped. Suddenly there was a flash and a loud bang as sparks flew everywhere. Rushing forward, he knelt down in front of the wounded device, watching with dismay as thick black smoke rose from it. He grimaced at the sharp unpleasant odor, waving away the smoke before he tentatively reached out to touch it. With a yelp, he pulled his hand back and shook it. It was way too hot for him to work with at the moment.

He sat back on his heels and sighed, everything from Gallifrey seemed to be giving him problems these days. Pulling on his lower lip he studied the device carefully while it cooled. It was fairly large, about two thirds of a meter long and a third of a meter wide. Its housing was made of a light brass colored metal that had a silvery sheen. Streaks of soot radiated from a crack where the smoke had escaped, marring its surface. It was etched with Gallifreyan symbols that described its function. Frowning as he read them and he realized what it was.

He had never seen one before, but knew the theory behind it. It detected and separated life forces. The Gallifreyan high council had commissioned it when the Master had started taking over other beings to extend his own life, after he had run out of regenerations. It was both useful and hazardous. It could free a person who was possessed by another life force or rip their own life force right out of their body, leaving an empty vessel to be occupied.

In the wrong hands, it could also shatter a life force, what some might call shredding the soul, in some ways, worse than death. To his mind it was more like a device to be used by the Master, instead of a weapon to be used against him. It might be best if instead of repairing it, he destroyed it.

He gingerly touched the surface. It was cool now. His hand rested lightly on it as he thought about what to do. This really was very dangerous in the wrong hands and he wasn’t sure that Jack’s hands were the right ones. The TARDIS would be one possible safe place for it. If he could convince Jack to give it to him and if he ever managed to get back into the TARDIS himself. He had a very strong feeling that it was evil, should never have been created, but it was also from his home and that alone made him loath to destroy it.

“I might as well look inside and see what damage has been done before I make any decisions,” he thought with a sigh. “If nothing else, I should at least try to find out why it reacted to me.”

The device sat on the table where the Doctor had started to work on it. He’d moved the tray of sandwiches and the tea to the chair Ianto had vacated. A cucumber sandwich in one hand, he proceeded to remove the housing, exposing the insides of the apparatus. He smiled as he saw the familiar engineering of his home planet. No foreign elements as were on the TARDIS, pure Gallifreyan technology, and though it may have looked complex to human eyes, he couldn’t help admiring the brilliant simplicity of it.

Like the TARDIS, it was bigger on the inside. He wondered why they had bothered to make it so bulky when it could have been quite compact, easily slipped into a pocket. His eye was immediately drawn to the failed component. It was squarish, about the size of his thumb. The damage was readily apparent, it was black, with a hole in the middle where the outer covering had melted away.

He was reaching for it when he suddenly realized there was something on his right. Quickly he turned and looked, twisting around in his chair as he tried to find what had caught his attention. He stood up, oblivious that he had knocked over the chair in his haste. Scanning the room, he could find nothing. No apparent exit other than the one he had come in by. But he was sure there had been something, that it wasn’t just his imagination.

His hand went unbidden to his head, trying to massage away the pain that he hadn’t been aware was there. Maybe that was what he had seen, just an aura, a precursor to the headache. The pain wasn’t leaving, perhaps some tea would help. He stepped around the table to get to the tea and fell over the forgotten chair, cracking his shin sharply. As he fell, he put his hand on the table in an effort to catch himself, but instead caused the table to tip, resulting in both table and Time Lord falling to the floor. On the way down, his arm connected with the tray on the chair, sending the sandwiches flying and the tea pot, cup and saucer crashing to the floor. He was wincing as he untangled himself from the chair, when he heard laughter from the entrance to the storeroom.

“Hello,” he said, as he stood up, brushing some of the remains of the lunch from his suit, as he tried to regain his composure. In the doorway stood a young woman, medium build, with a curvy figure, black hair and clear hazel eyes. He recognized her instantly. “You must be Gwen. Jack told me you were on holiday, not that I’m unhappy to see you here. I’m the Doctor by the way, pleased to meet you in person at last.” He walked over to her and held out his hand.

Gwen took his hand in a firm handshake that bespoke confidence. “The pleasure is all mine, I’m sure. Jack speaks highly of you. The few times he does talk about you, that is.” To the Doctor’s surprise she then stood on tip toe and reached up to the top of his head. Startled he started to step back, then saw the piece of rye bread she had retrieved from his hair.

“Oh my, thank you. I’d have looked quite ridiculous if I had gone out like that. I gather you were the intruder Ianto went to check on.”

An almost musical laughter erupted from Gwen. “Yes, that was me. I was at my workstation when he popped around the corner with his gun drawn. Startled me so much I almost shot him.”

The Doctor’s eyebrows shot up at that last comment.

“Don’t worry, it wasn’t all that close. My gun barely cleared its holster when I realized who it was. It was my fault really. I should have called ahead and let him know I was cutting my vacation short.”

“Why did you cut your vacation short? Jack didn’t call you back, did he?”

“No, this time it was my husband Rhys who was called back to work. Strangest thing, all his company’s lorries wouldn’t start this morning. Don’t know why they called him back, he’s not a mechanic, but his boss was having a fit so off he went. So,” she put her hands on her hips and surveyed the room, ”what have you been up to here?”

Feeling a bit sheepish the Doctor explained that Jack had asked him to sort out the technology there. “But, I’m afraid so far all I’ve managed to do is destroy that Cyber conversion unit, and then that device on the table broke when I approached it. At this rate, the captain might fire me before the day is over.”

“I doubt he’d do that. I know he’s been meaning to destroy that table for a while, just never seemed to have the time. Though he might be upset that you didn’t sort the pieces out properly for recycling.”

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t realize, should have though, shouldn’t I. Jack was talking about all the protocols he had to follow now. So what are the categories; metal, electronics, glass and petroleum derivatives, like plastic?” He turned to make his way to the remains of the Cyber unit.

“You don’t have to do that, I was just having you on,” she said with a laugh.

Oh, right, I’m a bit out of my element I’m afraid.” The Doctor winced as his headache regained his attention with a stabbing pain right between his eyes.

“Are you okay?” Gwen asked, as she put a hand out to him.

The Doctor blinked and looked down at his arm, wondering why her hand was there, when he realized he was swaying and she was trying to steady him. With a quick shake he straightened himself up, forcing the dizziness from his body. “I’m fine, just a bit of a headache, nothing to worry about,” he replied more cheerfully than he felt. “I was actually about to get some tea for it when you came in.”

He looked over at the fallen tray and shattered pot. Gwen followed his gaze and shook her head slowly. “I don’t think that is going to help you now. Come on, let’s get you some more. At least that isn’t one of Ianto’s favorite pots. He’d be if a right snit if you had broken one of those.”

“It was an accident,” the Doctor explained as he followed Gwen down the hallway.

“I know, I saw. Somehow I thought you would’ve been more graceful.”

“Usually I am, got a bit distracted, that's all.” He shook his head as he remembered the incident, only to immediately regret that action. His headache was really taking hold. He entered the hub, staying under the overhang. Jack was at Ianto’s workstation, smiling as the talked to the Welshman. The Doctor went over to the couch by the wall and sat down heavily. Jack looked up at the sound and frowned.

“I found him on the floor in the store room,” Gwen explained before the Doctor could say anything.

“What? What happened?” asked Jack as he rushed over.

“It was nothing really. I tripped over a chair,” said the Doctor as he rubbed his head, wishing everyone would stop being so loud.

“Did you hit your head?” Jack’s concern was apparent in his voice as he sat down next to the Doctor, studying him carefully.

“No, I just have a headache. That’s all. I’m fine. I just need some tea and a little quiet if you don’t mind,” replied the Doctor, who was staring at the floor as he rubbed his head, refusing to meet Jack’s gaze.

“Ianto, get us some tea here,” Jack yelled causing the Doctor to wince and duck his head away from the sound. “Oh sorry,” Jack apologized. “Is there anything else you could use?”

“Some citrus.”


“Yes, citrus, you know, oranges, grapefruit, lemons,” explained the Doctor.

“I’ll go get some,” Gwen offered, picking up her purse and heading out the door.

“Your tea, sir,” said Ianto holding out a steaming cup of tea on a saucer.

“Thank you,” replied the Doctor. He looked up at Ianto and briefly considered correcting him on the sir, but decided it was best not to. Especially after the mess he had made in the store room.

The tea did help. The Doctor sipped it while Jack sat next to him worriedly asking questions.

“Is there anything else we can get you? I know you can’t have an aspirin.”

“Actually I can,” the Doctor informed Jack. “It just isn’t all that effective, makes it hurt less, but doesn’t really eliminate the pain.”

“But, I’ve read UNIT’s file on you. A Jo Grant reported that you should never be given aspirin, that it would kill you. She put quite a bit of emphasis on that and it’s cross-referenced just about everywhere in your file.”

The Doctor sighed, leave it to the military to take everything he said as gospel. “That’s just because of an offhand comment I made when I was irritated. I didn’t want to take anything, I just wanted to sleep. So it was aspirin she was trying to give me? I never did know what it was. I just didn’t want an argument.”

“Then aspirin doesn’t hurt you at all?” confirmed Jack.

“No, it just tastes bad. I have no idea how you humans can stand it.”

Jack laughed. “That’s why we swallow it quickly, with lots of water.”

“I’ll have to try that next time. This tea is helping though.” The Doctor took a deep breath and let it out. “Actually I’m feeling much better.” He looked up to see Ianto was still there. “What’s in this? It has a slight bitterness to it.”

“I added some willow bark,” the Welshman explained.

“Well Jack, see I’m not dead,” the Doctor laughed softly.

“What? What do you mean? What’s the joke?”

“Aspirin is made from willow bark,” the Doctor explained.

Jack stood up suddenly, accidentally knocking the Doctor’s arm as he did so. The tea cup rattled on the saucer before tipping over, foiling the Doctors attempts to steady it. The remains of the tea spilled onto the floor. “Ianto, what did you think you were doing?” Jack exclaimed. “Didn’t you check his file? What if that report had been correct? You could have killed him.”

“Jack, I checked for food allergies. The file didn’t show any,” Ianto explained, chagrined at his oversight. “I didn’t think to check medicines. That’s Owen’s…” his voice trailed off.

Jack softened at the memory of their fallen medical officer and sighed putting a hand on Ianto’s shoulder. “That’s okay, no harm done I guess.” He dropped his hand and turned to the Doctor “Is there anything you can’t have that you would like to tell us about?”

“Well pears, definitely can’t have any pears. They’re quite deadly. Shouldn’t even have anything that’s ever been touched by a pear.”

“Avoiding possible arguments?” asked Jack with a smile.

“Well, yes,” admitted the Doctor. “But, if you could get that in my file I would be most grateful.”

“I’ll get right on that sir,” said Ianto.” Would you like me to remove any reference to aspirin while I am at it?”

The Doctor rubbed his jaw as he considered the question. “Yes, go ahead, please. It does seem to work better than I remembered. I always wondered why no one ever offered me anything for a headache. Now I know.” He looked down at the cup lying sideways on the saucer. The small spot of tea spilled on the floor. “Sorry about the mess.”

“That’s alright, happens all the time,” assured Ianto as he deftly used a handkerchief to mop up the spill before taking cup and saucer from the Doctor. “Do you require anything else?”
“No, no, thank you, I’m fine.”

With Ianto gone the Doctor decided it was time to ask Jack a few questions. “So what was the holdup at MI5?”

“Oh, nothing really, they just wanted me to cool my heels a little waiting for them. A stupid power play. I ended up calling the PM. He told them I had better things to do than decorate their waiting area.”

“That’s it? Nothing more? That seems like an enormous waste.”

Jack smiled. “That’s what the PM said. So I got a bit of compensation. They turned over all their files on the Atterian to me and I got permission to pick her up with no interference from MI5.”

“What about UNIT?” the Doctor queried.

“No problem at all,” Jack boasted. “Ianto knew I would want to talk to her and arranged clearance from them while I was gone. So everything is in place. We just have to locate her and pick her up quietly. Unless you have any objections?”

“No, I must confess I am curious as to what she is up to. That tracking device was simply that, tracking, nothing more. Can I be there when you question her?”

“Of course, but you don’t mind if we do the pickup by ourselves. I think it will work best if she sees you as a friendly face.”

“That would be fine, I was in the middle of working on something anyway. When do you think you will bring her in?”

“Once Gwen gets back, we'll go and get her. Good thing Gwen showed up today, even with aliens it looks better to the public if you have a female with you on pickups like this.”

As if on cue Gwen returned with a bag filled with oranges, grapefruit, satsumas and lemons. “Is this what you wanted?” she asked as showed the Doctor the contents of the bag.

“Yes, more than adequate, thank you,” he said as he pulled out a largish orange. “I’ll get back to my work now. I think Jack wants you to go out on a pick up with him.”

“You do?” Gwen asked looking at Jack. “You didn’t even know I would be here today.”

“True,” said Jack. “But as long as you are here, you might as well help. We just need to get a fix on our target.”

“We already have one,” said Ianto as he took the bag of fruit from Gwen. “In fact she's right outside, about twenty feet from our door. It looks like she's waiting for us.”
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Enemy Unseen Empty Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Lucy McGough on Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:26 pm

Yay, cliffhanger!
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Enemy Unseen Empty Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by konstantin on Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:48 pm

(how often can I press refresh without looking really sad?)

(...who cares -- presses refresh anyway -- sigh... waits patiently)

very good story by the way - very engaging, good characterizations -- fine work!

(refresh... sigh)
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Enemy Unseen Empty Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Jennyjenkins on Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:43 am

I'm really enjoying this one Paksena sunny More please!!
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Enemy Unseen Empty Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:29 pm

Lucy McGough wrote:Yay, cliffhanger!

I do those occasionally, Glad you like them. Thank you

konstantin wrote:(how often can I press refresh without looking really sad?)
(...who cares -- presses refresh anyway -- sigh... waits patiently)
very good story by the way - very engaging, good characterizations -- fine work!
(refresh... sigh)

That is so nice thank you

Jennyjenkins wrote:I'm really enjoying this one Paksena sunny More please!!

Thank you for your comments. Next chapter in a second.
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Enemy Unseen Empty Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:31 pm

The Doctor stood staring at the energy extractor lying on the floor next to the fallen table. It didn’t look like it had sustained any damage. He had completely forgotten about it during his mishap and that was strange. He would have thought it would have been foremost in his mind, not tea and sandwiches. But then nothing involving this bit of Gallifrey seemed right.

Squatting down, he took a closer look at it, gently turning it upright. To his relief there were no sounds of loose parts rolling around inside. He cradled it gently in one arm while he used the other to manhandle the table back into an upright position.

He had some time before he confronted the Atterian. Jack had decided to wait a bit and see if it was just a coincidence that she was just out the front door or if she was indeed waiting for them as Ianto presumed. Whichever it was, it didn’t matter to him, but it had definitely unnerved Jack to see his quarry apparently so willing to be caught.

Gingerly he placed the device on the table. He felt a slight pang at his temple but he ignored it. “Aspirin must be wearing off,” he thought with an almost perverse pride in the apparent fact that human medicines had so little effect on him. He pulled his orange from his pocket while he considered what to do.

It was a very good orange, the skin separated easily from the flesh, the sections inside were plump and juicy. He bit into one enjoying the sensation of the thin skinned vesicles inside bursting as his teeth broke them, releasing their flavorful fluid. It was exactly what he needed, a good shot of vitamin C and the wonderful citrus scent that went with it. A sure way to lighten his mood. It didn’t get rid of the headache but it did make it easier to endure. He nibbled on a bit of the peel, enjoying the intensified scent of orange as he chewed it, the sharp, almost sting of its flavor as the oil in the rind was released.

When he finished the orange he felt clear of mind and ready to deal with the energy extractor. Carefully, he removed the damaged part. Examining it, he recognized it. It was a frangilizer, a very common part if one was on Gallifrey, but almost impossible to find on Earth. It looked like it might not have been connected correctly or perhaps the energy conduits in the device itself were faulty. He put it in his pocket and proceeded to poke around to see if he could determine why it had failed.

He found it hard to concentrate on what he was doing. Thinking he saw a loose connection, he started tracing it only to get confused as to which energy conduit he was following. He tried to find the original fault only to discover it was no longer there. In his frustration he slammed his hand on the table. Suddenly the device fired up and a display panel revealed itself. He blinked in surprise at what he saw.

The display was unusual for a Time Lord device, not the usual nested geometric symbols whose meaning could only be understood by those who could sense the flow of time. Instead it was designed to be read by non Gallifreyans, using a symbology that could easily be understood by almost any race. There was also he could sense, a primitive translation capability that would fill in any gaps in the viewer’s native language. This made the device all the more dangerous. Anyone with medical knowledge and an understanding of energy flows could operate it. He heard approaching footsteps and quickly turned it off.

“Well, she’s here. You said you wanted to be involved in the interrogation,” said Jack as he entered the room, clapping his hands together.

“Yes, absolutely,” replied the Doctor as he pocketed his sonic screwdriver and stood up. “Any clues so far as to why she is interested in me?”

“No, but she most definitely is. Claims you are the only one who would understand. Apparently the rest of us are just too dense in her mind,” said Jack as he ushered the Doctor out of the storeroom.

Upon entering the hub the Doctor was shocked by what he saw. Myfawny was standing in front of the Atterian, eyes half closed, wings semi furled, almost purring in contentment as the alien administered a neck rub. The Doctor stood stock still hoping to avoid attracting the pteranodon’s attention. It didn’t work, Myfawny turned to him and screamed.

The Atterian stroked the pteranodon and spoke to it soothingly, calming it down before sending it on its way to the upper reaches. She then turned to the Doctor and smiled. “It’s okay, she’ll stay out of the way now. I’m Celeste by the way – we need to talk.”

“Really?” said the Doctor as he carefully made his way over to Celeste, checking the upper reaches to make sure for himself that Myfawny was indeed staying away. “What could you possibly want to talk to me about?”

“You’re a Time Lord aren’t you? You’re a data point that is missing in our research.”

“I’m a what?” asked the Doctor.

“A Time Lord. You are one, aren’t you? My sensors showed you had all the earmarks of one and the ship you arrived in was definitely Time Lord technology. I’m correct, aren’t I? It would be really embarrassing if I spent all this time waiting for you to arrive only to be wrong. My research advisor would be most upset with me. Though if you are something new, that could also be good,” she temporized, trying to make the best of the situation.

“No, I am a Time Lord. I meant what’s this about me being a data point?”

“Oh, well, you have to understand. I’m trying to get certified and I need to do research to get it. It’s a very important project for our species. We’re collecting information on the reproductive habits of various species and no one in the project has ever done a data collection on a Time Lord.”

The Doctor pointedly ignored Jack’s laughter as he continued to press for clarification. “So you are just collecting data on reproductive habits? You’re like a Kinsey?”

“A Kinsey?” the Atterian and Jack asked almost simultaneously, the Atterian confused, Jack barely able to contain his mirth. At least Gwen and Ianto were having the good graces to remain silently in the background.

“Yes, a Kinsey,” responded the Doctor rapidly waving his hand in a circle as he fought for the right words to clarify what he meant. “Sexual researchers… back in the last century. They went from door to door asking people about their sexual practices. You’re like that?”

Celeste brightened at the Doctor’s explanation. “Oh good, so you are familiar with the idea, though we don’t just ask questions, we prefer to actually experience it. You can get far more data recorded that way and, well, we have found subjects do tend to false report in these areas. Actual experience is so much better. It makes it easier for our species to adopt it.”

“Adopt it?”

“Yes, that’s why this research is so important. Our species was in trouble. Reproduction was just so boring and dull no one wanted to do it.” She gave Jack a sharp glance as he made a choking sound. “We were in danger of dying out. Then we discovered other species actually enjoy it and with our shape shifting capabilities we could too.

“All the centers of learning tried to get government sponsorship for the research but mine won,” she declared proudly. “We’ve been doing it for several years now, and hope the sponsorship will continue for several more.” Again she shot a look at Jack, who was now doubled over in laughter.

The Doctor looked at Jack in disdain as he responded to Celeste. “Oh… I think it will continue on for quite a while. You have no fears on that,” he assured her.

“Oh,” she looked at him in surprise as comprehension spread across her face. “You would know, wouldn’t you? That is wonderful news. That means when I get my certification I should be able to continue my research. So you’ll help me out?”

“Yes Doctor, are you going to help the nice research assistant out?” Jack asked, finally able to get control of himself. “It is for science after all. You could possibly be responsible for the salvation of her species.”

The Doctor looked sternly at Jack, but it had no effect on the captain's jovial mood. He turned his attention to Celeste who was looking up at him hopefully. “I’m sorry, I can’t help you. We don’t reproduce that way, not anymore.”

“Yes, I know about the looms and the infertility curse, but surely you still must have done something before then. You must have relations of some kind with other Time Lords. I saw you when you landed. You seemed tactile and affectionate with your ship. Surely you must be the same with your own species,” offered the upset and eager Atterian.

“But that is it. It needs to be another Time Lord and even then…”

“But I can be a Time Lord,” Celeste interrupted “I’ve studied all the records, all the readings, not everything was lost and I’ve spent my time here waiting for you, practicing see?” Celeste sat down, closed her eyes and started to go limp.

The Doctor, mesmerized, watched her carefully, intrigued at the subtle changes going on. After a few minutes, she opened her eyes and approached him slowly, seductively. “See, two hearts,” she whispered, as she took his hand and placed it under her shirt on the right side of her chest, just above the breast. Holding it there gently, she moved her finger tips moving in a soft circular motion on the back of it. She leaned into him till the distance between them was no more than the thickness of a single sheet of paper. “I’m like you in other ways now too. Can you tell?”

And tell he could. It was heady stuff, Time Lord pheromones and Celeste was exuding them way beyond the normal levels. If he had been an ancient Gallifreyan he would have been helpless, unable to resist, driven by the animalistic urges that had ruled his race in times long forgotten. As it was her scent, the feel of her cool skin and the beating of her right heart under his palm caused him to feel dizzy and breathless. Thirsty for that which he had not had in so very long a time and had thought to never have again. A light sweat broke out on his skin as the remembered joys and wonders he had buried in the deepest recesses of his mind came to the fore.

Instinctively, he reached out to see if that one essential part, so necessary for what she wanted, was there. Disappointment and relief both crashed over him when he discovered that it was not. Slowly he regained his composure as the rush of excitement drained from him. Leaving him dazed but in control. Gently he took his hand from her chest letting her hand fall from his as he stepped back from temptation.

Smiling down on her sadly he said, “Sorry, it wouldn’t work.”

Celeste’s face fell and she looked up at him in desperation. “But I’m a Time Lord in every way. You reacted. I saw it. I felt it. I’ve waited all this time, just for you. It’s for research, you’re a scientist, surely you understand?”

The Doctor looked around the room and realized he had a situation developing that had to be handled before he finished dealing with the Atterian. Jack had very clearly been affected by the pheromones in the room. Ianto was affected also, but even more so he was affected by Jack’s building lust for the Atterian. Thankfully Gwen was keeping it together. He turned back to the Atterian.

“Look, you need to turn off the pheromones if you can, before you end up with data collections you didn’t intend.”

Celeste quickly glanced at Ianto, then Jack, her eyes going wide. “Oh, no, I don’t want to do that. Both of them have had their data collected several times,” she whispered to the Doctor.

The Doctor sensed the pheromone production decreasing and enlisted Gwen’s help. “Can you turn on some blower systems and get us a clean exchange of air?” Jack started walking towards Celeste, a friendly but leering smile on his face. The Doctor grabbed him by the elbow.

“Steady on there, Captain. Gwen, fetch me one of those lemons.”

“Sure,” answered Gwen looking up from the HVAC control panel, “but why?”

“I’ll get it sir,” Ianto offered, pulling himself out of his own stupor to help Jack. He returned with the fruit.

“Good, now peel off a section of the rind, hold it under his nose and give it a squeeze so he gets a good doze of lemon oil up his nose,” the Doctor instructed.

Ianto did as he was told and the results were instantaneous.

“Hey, what was that for?” protested Jack.

“Welcome back Captain. You were about to give a demonstration, I for one, really didn’t want to see.”

“Well you could have just turned your back. What was that with the lemon? I never knew it could do that. “

“Well, I wasn’t sure it would work with you. But it does cancel the Time Lord pheromones quite effectively,” explained the Doctor matter of factly, He took the lemon from Ianto’s hand and peeled a bit of rind for himself, enjoying Jack’s expression of disgust as he bit into it. The rush of flavor cleared his head, preparing him to talk to the Atterian, who was still looking at him hopefully.

“Look, I’m sorry. I probably shouldn’t have done that here,” she apologized. “But I had to show you. We can wait till tonight. I’m in the suite next to yours. Once Nigel is asleep, I can slip over.”

“No, it’s not the location, though if everything else was fine, the location would certainly be an issue. You’re not really a Time Lord, that's the problem.” He scanned the room looking for a place they could discuss this rationally. “Jack, can we borrow your office?”

“Only if I’m in there with you,” came Jack’s insistent reply.

“What? Why?”

“I’m not leaving you alone with her. Not after what I saw and felt. We’ve had experience with this kind of thing before, you need someone with you.”

“Oh, so ‘you’ are going to chaperone ‘me’?” asked the Doctor in disbelief.

“It’s that or I chuck her into a holding cell and you can talk over the intercom.”

The Doctor looked down and considered his options. A quick glance at Ianto and Gwen told him they were very interested in the outcome of this power struggle between him and Jack. Reluctantly he decided to yield. Jack would still have to command Torchwood after he left and he would be a poor friend if he undermined Jack’s authority.

“Sure, fine, but here.” The Doctor tossed him the partially peeled lemon. “Keep that handy.”

Settled in the office, seated behind the desk, the Atterian across from him and Jack leaning on the door jam, working on peeling the lemon, the Doctor was finally ready to begin his explanation in earnest.

“Look, I really can’t help you other than give you some details you apparently are unaware of,” began the Doctor only to be interrupted by Jack he has tried biting on a piece of lemon peel.

“Yuck,” he exclaimed with a grimace, “how can you stand that?”

“Captain, if you don’t mind, we are trying to have a serious conversation here,” said the Doctor, irritation showing on his face and in his voice.

“Oh, right, yeah, don’t mind me. Just a fly on the wall here.”

The Doctor refrained from commenting and continued his explanation to the Atterian. “It takes more than physical contact with us. There has to be a mental connection or ultimately nothing happens and it becomes a rather unpleasant, distasteful experience,” he explained with regret. “As good as you are with the physical aspects, you don’t have the ability to complete the mental connection.”

“But I do,” protested the Atterian. “I’m a sixteen on the Ratoff scale. That’s the highest we’ve ever recorded.”

“I’m sure that is quite impressive for an Atterian, but even the weakest Time Lord would have been well in the thousands on the same scale. The act you want requires a full, complete merging of the minds.”

“But I can handle it, it’s worth the risk for the project. This mental connection thing could help us keep our interest up and it would be a magnificent addition to the database.”

“Oh, the impetuous nature of youth,” thought the Doctor. He took a deep breath before playing his trump card.

“It’s really not worth the risk and your race could never adopt it. You don’t understand the mental power at the moment of culmination and no Time Lord has ever been able to hold it back at that time. At best you would be a mindless husk, alive with no thought, no feeling, but more likely it would kill you, rip you apart mentally and you would die in unspeakable agony.

"Even with Time Lords this became a problem. Comas lasting days after the act became normal. Often death would follow. Once the death rate started exceeding the conception rate, the High Council took action and created the looms and the fable of the infertility curse to explain them, hiding our weakness from what they considered to be the lesser races.

“This information has been kept hidden for many millennia. It should satisfy your research center as important enough to get you your certification.” He held up his hand to stop her protest. “It’s going to have to do, because no matter how important you think your research is, it’s not that important and I refuse to be a party to your destruction.”

Celeste looked down at the floor, fighting back her disappointment and tears. The Doctor felt sorry for her and almost wished she could help. She wiped her eyes and looked up at him. “Well, I guess it’s time for me to go then. I’ll have to figure out how to break the news to Nigel. He’s been such a dear.”

“Yes, why the ambassador? Why did you pick him as the one to stick with?” asked Jack.

“He’s traveled a lot. Been to all kinds of countries. Claimed to know the sexual habits of hundreds of cultures. All variations on the same theme it turns out, but he has been sweet to me and very amusing.” She explained. “Well, I should get going.”

The Doctor stood up and got out from behind the desk as she rose from her chair. “I hope your next research project is more successful,” he said graciously, finally able to relax around her, “but, watch out playing around with pheromones, they can get you in trouble if you aren’t careful.”

“But you secrete them,” she protested.

“That’s just an after effect from what you did. It will go away soon.”

“No, it won’t. You’re always doing it. Even in the restaurant this morning. It’s why I thought you would agree without the normal work up.”

Putting his hand over his eyes the Doctor slowly shook his head in disbelief. But a quick assessment showed she was right. No wonder he had been having so many problems along those lines with this regeneration. His biology was trying to help him find a mate, to start the Time Lord race anew. An exercise in futility more than fertility as it turned out.

He dropped his hand away, took a deep breath and faced her. “Thank you for pointing that out. I wasn’t aware of it. Is there anything else you want to tell me?”

“No that’s it.” She stepped forward, gazed up at him and tenderly cupped his cheek in her hand. “Such a shame though. You could use some happiness, you are so sad, there is a shadow on your soul.”

At her last words the Doctor felt a sudden surge of blind rage that disappeared as suddenly as it began. The Atterian dropped her hand from his face, recognition and naked fear showing in her eyes. She quickly covered it, bending down as she gathered up her purse and coat.

“Well I do need to get going – Nigel has such plans for tonight.” She straightened and turned to Jack. “So, if I can go now?”

Jack looked to the Doctor who nodded, confused by his sudden anger and her reaction to it, but knowing he wanted her and the confusion she brought him, gone.

“Fine you can go – just one question first,” replied Jack.

“Yes,” said the Atterian as she edged to the exit.

“Any chance I can have copies of the data you collected on me?” he asked a hopeful and sly grin on his face as he escorted her.

“No, it skews the results if the test subject knows the types of data we collect.”

“Can’t fault a guy for trying. I’m sure I had top scores though.”

“They were adequate,” she replied. “Look, I really have to get going now.”

“Okay, okay,” said Jack opened the door for her. She quickly hurried out of it and was gone.

“Well, that was quite a performance,” Jack said to the Doctor, who had followed him to the exit.

“Yes, she was quite accomplished. “

“Not her, you. Don’t con a con man Doctor, you were lying through your teeth there.”

The Doctor was stunned, though he should have known Jack would see through him. “Enough of it was true, the best lies have their roots in the truth. I said what I had to so I wouldn’t be pursued by armies of sex researchers for the rest of my life.”

“I don’t see any problem with that. In fact I would consider it to be quite a lot of fun,” Jack laughed.

“You might, but I don’t. There are consequences, and they are consequences I don’t want to be responsible for,” responded the Doctor, irritated by Jack’s cavalier attitude and teasing. “Now, if you don’t mind I’d like to go for a walk and clear my head.”

“Sure, let me get coat and I’ll go with you.”

“Why? Am I your prisoner? I want to go alone.”

“You’re not a prisoner, you’re a guest. It’s just for your safety,” assured Jack.

“I’ve been a ‘guest’ of governments before. I know perfectly well what the euphemism means. If all you care about is my safety I’m sure you can use the CCTV feeds to keep track of me. I promise to stay in view of them. Now if you will get out of my way I want to clear my head of all of this.”

Jack held up his hands and stepped away from the entrance. “Fine, go, but you are a guest here and not in the governmental sense.”

The Doctor left Torchwood, relief washing over him as the door closed behind him. He closed his eyes and leaned back against it, suddenly feeling completely drained, as if he had just barely managed to escape with his life. He wondered what he was coming to, nothing seemed right any more. He pressed his hands against the cold metal of the door, pushing himself upright. He swayed slightly but managed to keep his balance. He considered going to the TARDIS, but at the mere thought of her, he felt her violently push him away.

Rejected again, he put his hands in his pockets and walked along the quay. The cold wind tore at his thin suit as he searched for a place to shake the dark mood that was descending on him.
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Enemy Unseen Empty Re: Enemy Unseen

Post by Paksena on Sat May 01, 2010 2:29 pm

The Doctor sat on a stone bench overlooking the bay, aware of the CCTV camera now focused on him. He had hoped the walk would lighten his mood, but the cold wind, the gray sky and the annoying sound of the camera servos as they tracked him only added to his miserable state. He had first considered going to Techniquest, watching children discover science would normally have cheered him up, but the recent reminder that his species would never have children again had soured him on the idea.

Instead he had searched for a place he could be alone, away from pesky humans and curious shape shifters, walking along the waterfront until he found the bench he currently occupied. He hunched against the bitter wind, uncomfortable as the thin fabric of his clothes proved inadequate to prevent the cold from penetrating his body. Going back for his coat was not an option, not after the way he'd left.

But more than the elements, it was the recent encounter with the Atterian that disturbed him. His entire race, a beautiful and terrible civilization gone and the only scholarly interest in it, was that. Not its history, its tremendous responsibility in ensuring the laws of time remained immutable, or even the wondrous planet it had sprung from. No, it was reproductive habits that they were interested in.

He sat on that bench, staring down at the ground, wondering what was going to become of him. He made so many mistakes. His victories were often in spite of his planning, not because of it. It was luck that, more often than not, was the real reason for his success. But luck had a way of running out and right now things definitely didn’t look good for him.

It wasn’t even a spectacular failure of luck. No planets blowing up, or constellations being reconfigured, it was almost humiliatingly mundane. Thrown out of the TARDIS, dumped on Torchwood’s doorstep, finding himself in the middle of a love triangle he never participated in. He was actually working for Torchwood. He shook his head as he thought of that and wondered if Jack was going to give a pay check and if that meant he was going to have to get a bank account to deposit it in.

He took a deep breath and looked out across the bay. “It isn’t as bad as all that, is it?” he thought. It had only been a day since he had landed on his backside in Roald Dahl Plass. Too early to think he was going to spend the rest of his life stuck on Earth. Then he realized he wasn’t stuck here on Earth even if the TARDIS didn’t let him back in.

Reaching into his pocket he pulled out Jack’s Vortex Manipulator. He examined the worn leather strap and puzzled at the human affinity for such an archaic material. Lifting the flap, he studied the controls. There was evidence of Jack’s attempts to fix the teleport and time travel functions, but he had been far from successful, which was good. It was one thing to have time agents running around when the Time Lords controlled things, but now with only himself remaining, it was a responsibility he couldn’t and to be honest, didn’t want to take on.

Well, if the TARDIS wasn’t going to let him back in, he could just fix the manipulator and leave. Easy enough to do, it wasn’t traveling in style, but it was traveling and not bound to just one world or time. Knowing he had it as a backup lightened his mood. Yes, he would just hang on to it for a bit, just in case he needed it. Jack hadn’t asked for it back yet, maybe he would forget.

As that thought cheered him, his headache came back in full force with a severity that caused him to gasp and drop Jack’s device on the pavement as his hand went to his head. He closed his eyes tightly against the fading light of the setting sun that, feeble though it was, stabbed at his brain. The cold was forgotten as he rocked himself against the pain, his hand was on his forehead, futilely rubbing at it as he tried to gain some relief. His mouth was open, his breath came in sharp ragged gasps, a harsh sound that matched the gritty sand paper feel in his throat as the hard won air moved through it.

He leaned forward, shifting position, desperately trying a new tactic to fight off the excruciating pain. With a hand on each side of his head, he started rubbing his temples hard, forcefully, trying to induce pain there, drawing his attention away from the throbbing in his head. Slowly it started to work and he managed to regain control. The pain was still there, but he could isolate it, ignore it. Well, almost ignore it. It was sapping his strength to deal with it this way, but he had no other choice.

His breathing became slow and regular as his body, that had tensed against the onslaught, gradually relaxed. For a moment he was grateful that no one from Torchwood had seen his spell. There was already too much interfering concern from that quarter. But then he remembered the CCTV camera trained on him and felt that familiar, disturbing fixed point in time and space approaching. He straightened up and put on his best grin as he twisted around to face the captain.

“Hello, what’s wrong? Don’t tell me, let me guess. My break’s exceeded the union rules and you’ve come here to fetch me back,” quipped the Doctor.

“Hardly,” replied Jack as he approached the bench. “You’re welcome to take as long as you want. There’s a storm front coming through and I thought you might want your coat.”

The Doctor frowned briefly as he noticed the coat over Jack’s arm. The explanation did make sense, he couldn’t fault the reasoning. Though he knew it was a lie. But what was really irritating was an unmistakable odor coming from Jack that made it apparent the captain had relieved any tensions the Atterian may have aroused. “At least he could have washed up afterwards,” thought the Doctor.

However, once Jack was next to him it was apparent he had showered with his hair was still damp and he smelled of soap. His clothes were fresh. No, it wasn’t Jack’s fault the he had picked up on the captain’s most recent activities. Apparently his senses had been heightened in that area as a result of his encounter with the Atterian. An enhancement he didn’t appreciate.

Not trusting himself to stand at the moment he remained seated as Jack handed him the coat and laid it down on the bench. “Thank-you, it is getting a bit chilly, I’ll probably need this soon. A storm front coming in, you say? Thought I detected something in the air.”

“I thought you were going to look after this for me,” accused Jack as he bent over to pick up the forgotten Vortex Manipulator off the ground.

“Oh sorry, must have fallen out of my pocket. Seems to be happening more and more these days. I should get them checked out,” explained the Doctor keeping a lightness in his voice he didn’t feel. “Here, I’ll make sure no damage was done,” he offered as he held out his hand.

“No, I think I’ll just keep it on me from now on,” replied Jack, looking down as he buckled the strap of the device around his wrist. The Doctor watched with a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach as he saw his escape route taken from him. No matter what Jack said, he felt like a prisoner here. He just wasn’t sure whose prisoner.

“Hey, come on. I didn’t mean it like that,” said Jack upon seeing the Doctor’s expression. He sat down next to him and clapped him on his shoulder. The Doctor suppressed a flinch as the contact interfered with the suppression of the headache. “I need it to help me keep track of things around here. Thank you for keeping those functions intact by the way. If you want, you can give it a tune up back at the hub. Maybe give me some limited travel abilities?” he added hopefully.

The Doctor gave a short bark of laughter and shook his head. “No, I think not. With you, limited travel would soon become unlimited. After all twenty trips of five years each is the same a single hundred year trip. But I will give the rest of the functions a buff up if you want. I do seem to be in your employ after all.”

“Hardly in my employ,” said Jack. “Thank you by the way for not undermining my authority.”

“Pardon,” said the Doctor, feigning confusion.

“Never mind. Sorry about this afternoon. I know that wasn’t...”

“What,” interrupted the Doctor, “the Atterian? She was just an over eager grad student, that's all. No real problem. Now she can tell her research center just how dangerous it is to collect data from a Time Lord and I can be left in peace. I always thought the Time Lord High Council was a bit daft maintaining that whole loom myth. But now I think they had the right idea.”

“Loom myth?” asked Jack. “But they were real, there were all those stories. Reliable sources saw them, brought back images.”

“A hoax, a very elaborate and effective hoax. All of the houses were required to have a least a mock up of one. Periodically chroniclers from other races were invited to Gallifrey and were shown the looms, told the tragic tale of the curse and sent on their way.”

“But, why go through all of that?”

“So what they considered lesser races wouldn’t speculate and produce a bunch of nonsense about how we reproduced. They felt that was undignified to have stories of that nature be told about them.”

“So it was all just a public relations stunt?”

“That’s a crude way of putting it, but yes,” the Doctor agreed.

“What you said about a mental connection, was that just public relations?”

The Doctor frowned as he thought about how to answer, not pleased with the turn the conversation had taken. He was forming his answer when Jack spoke again.

“It’s just Mickey was sure you and Madame de Pompadour had, uh...” Jack gave up with chagrined smile and shrugged.

Taking a deep breath, the Doctor decided he might as well tell Jack the truth and get it over with, once and for all. “She was a telepath, a very powerful, untrained telepath.”

“Really,” replied Jack, sounding dubious. “I researched her after what Mickey said. There’s no hint of that in any of the histories.”

The Doctor rubbed his chin. “Not even she realized it until I read her mind. When I did that she realized what she could do and used the connection to just walk into my mind, past all my defenses.”

He remembered that moment, the realization of what had happened. The shock and wonder that had filled him. How she could reestablish that connection by merely holding his hand. It was a oneness, a completeness with her that was incredible. She welcomed his presence in her mind, drawing him in, letting him see everything that was there without guile or embarrassment.

And she saw all of him, the good, the bad, the shame, the guilt, the deepest darkest secrets that he kept hidden, even from himself and she accepted it all, cherished it all, forgiving him nothing for she saw nothing to forgive.

It was a complete merging of their psyches, totally aware of each other and in those moments, those precious moments, what one knew, the other knew, an experience far more powerful than any mere physical sensation could produce. One he had deeply missed and had never thought to feel again. Once it had occurred, it left him helpless to resist, unable to deny her the physical joining she had craved.

He realized that Jack was staring at him and pulled himself out of his ruminations with a shake.

“Sorry,” he said, slightly embarrassed at where his mind had taken him. “She never should have been able to do that. I don’t know why she could. Maybe all the scans the clockwork droids did while she was growing up changed something in her brain as it developed.

“She had no idea there was anything different about her, before I joined minds with her, she just thought she was perceptive. After that, she kept her talent hidden. A perceptive and insightful courtesan is to be honored, respected. A telepath in any court…”

“Yeah, would be a target for assassination,” Jack finished for him. “Good thing she kept it secret, otherwise she could have had a very short life.”

“Yes, but I am afraid being with me…” The Doctor took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Part of what I told the Atterian was true, we really can’t hold back at that time and I fear I damaged her. She seemed fine at first, but she was sickly after that. By the time she was twenty eight she was a courtesan in name only, for health reasons, at forty two she succumbed to tuberculosis. A healthy adult of her age and class should have been able to throw it off in the primary stage, but instead it killed her. If not for me she may have lived much longer. It’s one of those consequences I told you about. I should’ve had better control.”

“Hey, you have far more control than I would have,” said Jack. The Doctor stared at him nonplussed. “Sorry that was lame,” Jack apologized.

“Very,” the Doctor said dryly.

“So, that’s it? Since the time war? Nothing else, not even Rose?” asked Jack.

The Doctor stared at him. Shocked at the question. How could Jack ever think he would risk Rose like that, for that? What did he think he was, some kind of animal? Just driven by urges with no thought to the welfare of others? He fought to control himself as he bit back the scathing responses that came to his mind. It was Jack after all and he was just being true to his nature, a nature that only this afternoon he had tried to explain to Ianto.

He grabbed his coat and stood up quickly. Despite the current emotional strain, he was feeling better, the headache almost gone and he could tell the storm was almost upon them.

“You know, I didn’t have much for lunch. Any chance we can go for an early supper?” he asked. “I’m absolutely famished.” He wasn’t hungry, but Jack’s tendency to want to feed him provided an excellent opportunity to change the subject.

“Sure, no problem, do you want to go back to the hotel restaurant?” asked Jack as he got up off the bench.

The Doctor considered briefly. That wouldn’t do, too great a chance he would run into the Atterian there. He thought for a second and realized exactly the right place to experience the approaching storm. “No, I still have some things I want to check out in that storeroom of yours afterwards. It’s far too early to call it a day. How about that restaurant on the pier, the one with glass walls all around. Last time I was there, I really didn’t get to enjoy it. Too busy stopping Blon from trying to kill me.” The Doctor was speaking rapidly, animated, full of energy, determined to show Jack he was in control, back to his old self.

“Blon?” asked Jack, confused by the sudden change in topic and the Doctor’s mood.

“Yes Blon, you remember, Slitheen, mayor of Cardiff. Come on Jack, I expected you to be a bit quicker on the uptake. How could you forget Blon? That rift you have to deal with was cracked open wide because of her. Why it’s like… it’s like… a physicist not knowing who Newton is.”

“Right, Blon. Of course I know who she is,” replied Jack nodding his head slowly. “You didn’t tell me she tried to kill you.”

“Well, not much to tell really. She was quite ineffective in her attempts, but it did distract from the food and the ambiance of the restaurant, if I do say so myself and I have. So, shall we go?” The Doctor didn’t wait for a response but instead strode off in the direction of the restaurant, leaving Jack flat footed and hurrying to catch up with him.
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