Forbidden Tomorrow | Chapter Five- Conversations at 3am
Authors: doodlegirll and ayuette (Doodlegirll and Little Bat over on ff.net)
Rating: Teen/ PG-13
Characters: Rose Tyler, the Doctor, Jack Harkness, Martha Jones, River
Notes: This is the first chapter posted here- the rest are on FF.net, I hope everybody will enjoy the fic. Robin (doodlegirll and I alternate between writing chapters, and this is my go, but she's up to bat next! . I hope that you all enjoy the story! All of the previous chapters are in the archive over on forbidden_verse. I highly, HIGHLY recommend starting from the beginning because you'll be lost otherwise...
Sorry for the delay with this! I ment to get it up before April Break hit, and it didn't work. Plus, I've been remodeling my room all week. Needless to say there hasn't been much time for writing! That said, I -do- have my chapter now. And I hope you all ennjoy!
Chapter Five: Conversations at 3am
It was a known fact that all Torchwood agents had coffee running through their veins, craving the caffeine the way a nicotine addict craved a cigarette. Captain Jack Harkness was no exception to that rule, despite being almost-immortal, and being several hundred years older than most of the other agents who signed up for duty.
“I'm going to guess that you'd rather have tea than coffee, right Doctor?”
“You know me Jack. Tea is the one taste I've kept through all my regenerations. Can't say the same for jelly-babies.” He said with a shudder. “Though I do get the odd craving every once in awhile.”
There was a low chuckle from Jack. “That and bananas!”
“What can I say? Bananas are good! Really though, Earth tea is the best kind of tea out there. One of the greatest things this planet has invented. You can save the world with a good cup of tea you know.”
The former Time Agent glanced down at the small electric kettle and the coffee maker. “I couldn't make a decent cup of tea to save my life. Ianto on the other hand can make instant coffee taste good.”
“Oh yes, Ianto. He was that young Welshman that brought those sandwiches correct?”
Jack nodded, “Without him this place would have fallen apart years ago. Gwen's our second member, and acting police liaison.”
“Speaking of Gwen and Ianto, where's everybody headed off to?”
“Gwen's probably gone to her and Rhys' flat – that's her fiancé by the way. He always worries when she's late.. With regards to the others, they've probably gone home as well. I know Martha had a date with Tom that she had to reschedule.”
“What about you Jack?”
“You know me. I live for my work.” He said lightly, giving the Doctor a wink.
“You've got a good team Jack.” The Doctor complimented, there was a moments silence before he Doctor grinned. “And I'll bet Mickey and Martha are there to talk sense into you lot!”
Now it was Jack's turn to laugh as he started to pour hot water for the Doctor's tea into a Styrofoam cup, while doing the same with his cup of coffee. “We’ve only got caffeinated tea. Is that alright?”
The Doctor nodded. “That’s fine, I’ve already slept more today than I do in a year.” And that’s probably for the best. He accepted the steaming cup gratefully and took a sip. “Mm. not too bad, what do you mean that you can’t make a good cuppa?”
Jack remembered the Doctor’s nocturnal habits. He’d come to the console room late during the night, when the nightmares had proven too much and he’d found the Doctor- the old Doctor – tinkering away at different parts of the TARDIS's console. It had been a comfort during the strange night’s spent hurtling through the Time Vortex. Sometimes, Rose joined them, woken from some dream that nobody spoke of. It was one of the things that he had missed when he had been… left behind.
“I know how you’re feeling.” Jack murmured, so low that the Doctor almost didn’t hear him. But that was a big almost. And he knew where Jack’s train of thought had been going. If he had another option, Jack would have stayed on with him and Rose. Just the three of them, traveling together through time and space. History though, said otherwise. History had needed Jack Harkness, and Torchwood had needed a good change.
I might not agree with all of TORCHWOOD’s procedures, going in all guns blazing. The Doctor thought, but Jack’s a hero. And the only one I trust with the fate of my favorite little backward planet. Course, I can’t tell him that. Might go around getting a big head. Well, a bigger head.
“Now then!” the Doctor announced, changing the subject. “What’s this little corner of the universe been up to since I last popped in for a visit?!”
We’ve had some of Sarah-Jane’s kids checking up on Donna. She got a job at their school in Ealing. ”
The Doctor beamed, he knew that none of Sarah-Jane’s apprentices would give anything away unnecessarily. “I haven’t gotten around to meeting those three yet. Now what are their names? I met her son Luke, and Sarah mentioned… I believe it was Clyde and Maria?”
Jack grinned. “Maria and her dad headed down to Washington. Somethin’ bout a job transfer, though I did recently meet the new girl who Sarah-Jane took under her wing.”
“Yup. Her names… Rani I believe, Rani Chandra.”
The Doctor stiffened visibly, and Jack frowned. “Did I say something wrong Doctor?”
“Did you check her for a fob watch Jack?”
“No, but there wasn’t a need. She’s a perfectly normal teenage girl Doctor. Besides, Sarah-Jane’s Mister Smith would have picked up on any kind of alien tech if she brought it into the attic. Really though, who’s Rani?”
“Oh… nobody special.”
Jack’s expression told the Doctor that, while he didn’t quite believe him, he was willing to let the subject drop.
* * *
Rose Tyler woke up in a blind panic, her head shooting up from her next of pillows and blankets. Where was John?! She couldn’t prevent the thought as she scanned the room quickly, until reality sunk back in again. She wasn’t at her Torchwood. She wasn’t even at Torchwood 1 anymore, what with Martha having brought her to Torchwood 3 after she'd been found in the old Torchwood base.
Rose squeezed her eyes shut as she bit back a flood of tears. She hadn’t had a chance to really cry, not since John had been… She shook her head as though to visibly clear it. The tears could come later, she had River to worry about, and she needed to find the Doctor. She had no doubt that adjusting would be difficult, it had taken time to adjust to a new Doctor, and even longer for her to adjust to John.
But John, the man she'd fallen in love with, and - eventually - married, was gone. Buried deep within the confines of the Doctor's own mind. The Doctor... how much had changed since she had been left standing there on the shores of Bad Wolf Bay? The low hum of familiar voices broke Rose's train of thought. And it took her several moments to place them as belonging to the Doctor, and Jack. She'd heard them thousands of times before, and their quiet laughter was a welcome relief in the cold Torchwood building. Standing up to join the Doctor, her blanket fell around her body, and she was dressed in a pair of pajamas that Gwen had given her. She glanced down towards her daughter, who was cocooned tightly in a nest of blankets, honey-blond curls falling around her face. Rose picked up the fallen blanket and draped it over the toddler's shoulders. River gave a sleepy little sigh and snuggled into the unexpected warmth as Rose carefully tucked it around her body and followed the voices to where the Doctor and Jack were.
The Doctor stifled a grin as she stood in the doorway, eyes half closed, and blinking the last remnants of dust from her eyes. Blond hair hanging haphazardly on her face. It wasn't an unfamiliar sight, after all - Rose woke up like that most mornings. No matter how many things changed, or how much time had passed, Rose would never, ever be a morning person.
"G'evening sleepyheads." She mumbled, her voice still sounding like she had just woken up.
"Do you think that we should tell her what time it is?" The Doctor mouthed.
Jack shook his head negative as he tried his hardest to hide a smile from Rose.
"Sleepyheads?" Jack asked, the first hints of a smile starting to inch across his face.
"That's you! A right bunch of sleepyheads." She turned to the Doctor "you were asleep longer than I was!"
"You sure about that?" The Doctor asked with a grin, only to have it slide off his face as he became aware of Rose, who was examining his face closely.
"Are... are you alright Doctor?"
There was a pregnant pause, and Jack shot a glance toward the Doctor who's facial expression had turned into a large, awkward grin. "Oh you know me Rose, I'm fine. Just peachy!" The Doctor paused for a moment. "Could you imagine if they said just pear-y? I mean, how rubbish would that be?" The Doctor made a face. "Blech, I hate pears. And you!" he turned to Rose, changing the subject as rapidly as he had started. "And you! I can't believe you let River take apart the sonic screwdriver!"
The Doctor gave an exasperated sigh. "Honestly, it took me weeks to fix it again... you know that I love my sonic screwdriver!"
Rose gave a watery smile. The memory transfer had worked then, her Doctor and John had become one and the same, though- they weren't really. It was so hard to remember they were different people, and now, the line between John and the Doctor was blurred even further. But they'd work it out. It was something they always did. Every change the universe threw their way, every hard decision they had to make, they worked through the change, just like they always did. "It's your fault for leaving it 'round where River could get at it. She loves taking things apart. Just like her dad that one is."
Jack smiled. "Alright lovebirds, I'm going to go finish some paperwork that should have been done yesterday." He grinned, giving a mock, half-salute before turning, and leaving the small back room to head toward his office.
The Doctor's arms wrapped comfortingly around Rose's shoulders, and she settled snugly into the warm embrace. "Really though, you don't need to worry. I'm fine." He tapped his index finger to his temple. "Everything tucked safely inside."
He could see Rose biting her lower lip, and the Doctor could tell that Rose didn't believe a word of it.
And maybe she's right. The Doctor thought, when he'd opened the FOB watch he'd been prepared for the flood of memories, the overwhelming sensations and the onslaught of emotion. That wasn't the problem. Every time another memory from his alternate self flooded his mind, it unveiled another part of Rose's life that he'd missed. Important milestones that he hadn't had any part of because he hadn't given her a fair choice. In fact, there hadn't been a choice for Rose at all. He'd simply done what came naturally to him, and pushed her away.
"Look, Rose. I don't know everything that's going on. Or even if those... creatures are here in our Universe. But whatever happens, we're gonna get through this. We always do Rose."
Despite the warmth and sincerity behind the Dcotor's statement - Rose couldn't help but wonder if things would get worse, before they truly got better...
To Be Continued...