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This is, in effect, a sequel to Life in Cardiff.

SPOILERS: VERY significant ones for TW S2, particularly recent episodes. Basically, this is a story about how those events might have gone with the Doctor and Rose around, and emotionally involved with Jack.

DW-wise, it's post VOTD, but pretty much AU from there.

CHARACTERS: Ten/Rose/Jack, Martha, Owen, Tosh, Gwen/Rhys, Ianto

RATING - PG so far. Some mild language and general creepiness.

DISCLAIMER - Obviously, the BBC thought up the original characters and storylines, and the credit for that goes to them. This is just for fun, not personal profit.

CREDITS - The picture is by bmshipper_arts and it expresses exactly the right blend of darkness and hope I'd like to convey. If you've been watching TW you'll recognise it. If you haven't, it doesn't really matter.
wendymr has been a terrific BR and sounding board. She doesn't let you give up easily.

I'd also like to acknowledge my debt to "The Conscience of the King" by Martin Stephen for background on the Shakespeare authorship controversy. I hope the author wouldn't mind me slipping the Doctor into his last chapter. If he does I'm in trouble, because he used to be the Headmaster of my son's school and he's scary!

Why, what should be the fear?
I do not set my life at a pin's fee,
And for my soul, what can it do to that,
Being a thing immortal as itself?


    * Hamlet Act I scene iv



The Doctor recognised this particular feeling well. It began as a kind of tightness at the base of the spine and then, gradually, worked its way up to the brain – his brilliant brain, that could detect so many things hidden from lesser species, particularly when something was about to do serious damage to the underlying structure of time.

Once, it would have been one of the few sensations that could motivate him to seek out the company of his own people. There was nothing quite like the loneliness of sensing this little clenching, prickling of unease and having nobody to share it with. It was something he would never get used to.

Rose had gone into the galley to make a cup of tea. It was an ordinary enough evening, as evenings in the TARDIS went; just the two of them, for the first time this trip. Just relaxing into the comforting embrace of his faithful ship, standing at the controls with no particular place to go next, the way he liked it. Quiet intervals like this had been horrible before Rose came back, her absence seeming to leave a far greater space to be filled than her presence had ever occupied. Even after she’d returned, they hadn’t been able to go anywhere for over a year, while the TARDIS rebuilt herself after being forced to power a trip across the Void. So all this was new, and at the same time old, in the best possible way.

But suddenly, this flicker of unease – a silent warning beacon from the TARDIS herself, endlessly scanning for anomalies in the fabric of spacetime, regardless of the impossibility of catching every potential problem. Even back in the days when there’d been hundreds of Time Lords, that hadn’t been possible. But it didn’t stop her attempting it – for TARDIS and Time Lord alike, the process was as involuntary as breathing or the beat of hearts.

He paused, his hand hovering over the gravitic anomaliser, his face an uneasy frown. “What’s the matter, old girl?” he asked.

“What?” Rose came in with two steaming mugs.

“Something’s wrong,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck as it prickled, feeling the hairs on it beginning to stand up, knowing she’d understand.

She sat down on the jump seat, pushing her hair up into a temporary ponytail, as if she needed a bit of air circulating around her head to think straight. “What sort of something?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “ ‘By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.’”

“Oh dear,” she sighed. “That sounds like Shakespeare, and whenever you start quoting Shakespeare I get this feeling something bad’s gonna happen.”

“Not necessarily,” he protested, knowing he was arguing just for argument’s sake, to calm his mind while he decided on the right course of action. “Depends on the play. And whether you’ve got a skull in your hand at the time. Obviously, it’s hard not to be a bit maudlin with a skull in your hand.”

“Oh yeah,” she said, playing along, “Happens to me all the time.” She paused. “So, which play was that, then?”

“Dear me, don’t they teach you anything in school?” he sighed.

“I bunked off English ‘cos I hated it so much,” she admitted. “You ever read ‘Kes’? If you aren’t suicidal when you start, you will be by the end of it. Now if I’d had you around to take me to the Globe….”

“I thought you did ‘A’ Level English in the parallel world,” he said.

“Nobody had ever heard of Shakespeare there,” she explained. “It was a group of writers called ‘The King’s Men’ did it all.”

“Happened here as well. But the real embarrassment was Henry VIII. That was by King James himself, and it stank.”

“So didn’t Shakespeare write anything?” Rose paused halfway through the custard cream she was munching.

“He was a brilliant editor. You should have seen Hamlet’s soliloquy in the first draft.”

“Is that why nobody admitted to writing their own plays?”

He rubbed the back of his head. “Well, not quite. Wasn’t quite the done thing, y’know, back in those days, to be associated with the theatre.” He proclaimed the last word a bit – well – theatrically. It would have come off better if his mouth hadn’t been full, but she’d brought in biscuits, for Rassilon’s sake.

“It’s a miracle none of it ever came out,” Rose observed, discreetly brushing crumbs from the console.

“Is it?” He feigned innocence, and she soon picked up the look.

“Oh, come on! You aren’t going to take credit for that as well, are you?” she protested. “God, you’re insufferable!”

“I liked old Will,” he said. “Always thought he didn’t get a fair crack of the whip – the hard work’s in the editing, you know. I just put in a good word, that’s all.”

“Back in sixteen-whenever-it-was?”

“No, Cambridge University Library in 2013. I just appeared behind a rather startled PhD student who’d found a misfiled letter and pointed out that he’d have a much longer and happier life if he let sleeping dogs lie. Some myths develop their own kind of truth, and that’s what people need.”

“You interfering old turd,” she said, affectionately. “What the hell did you tell him, to make him pass up a story like that?”

“Not all that much. I didn’t mention him getting stabbed to death by a disgruntled academic outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in 2021; that really wouldn’t have been cricket. But I mentioned the collapse of the English tourism industry and I promised I’d reveal the identity of the Dark Lady as a consolation prize.”

“Oh yeah?” said Rose. She had just the right mixture of affection and scepticism to make her the perfect audience for such stories. After Canary Wharf, there had been times – horrible times – when he’d found himself starting one and petered out when he’d realised he was talking to the struts on the control room walls.

 “And of course he believed every word,” Rose prompted.

“Once he’d seen the TARDIS, yes. Went screaming down Trinity Street, soon as I opened the door, but that was just as well, really, ‘cos if he’d insisted on a trip to prove it I’d’ve ended up meeting myself and getting into a fracas with Queen Elizabeth.”

“And the Dark Lady?”

He gave her a condescending look. “Didn’t I ever tell you about the Carrionites in 1599? Martha’s first trip?”

 “Martha did. She said he fancied her. Oh!” Finally, she got it, and covered her mouth with her hands as her face creased up with mirth. Now there was a sight to gladden the hearts.

“He fancied me as well,” he added, through a mouthful of biscuit.  “He was as bad as Jack, in his own way.” A thought suddenly struck him. “I wonder-”

It was uncanny how Rose had developed the habit of reading his thoughts. Maybe his brain leaked more than he knew. Some of his old friends would have had a few things to say about his psychic sloppiness.

“If Jack needs us we ought to go home,” said Rose. He didn’t argue with her definition of home, for once.

 “How did we get onto Shakespeare, anyway?” she asked.

“I quoted from Macbeth,” he said, darkly.

“Oh, that’s really made me feel better,” she groaned, and the last traces of humour vanished from her face. “What’s going on?”

“Told you, I don’t know,” he reminded her. “All I know is someone’s messing about with stuff that’s better left alone.”

“Sounds like Jack,” she agreed. “Whether he’ll appreciate you showing up and telling him you’re worried is another matter. Trouble is, you two are so alike.”

“Except I know what I’m doing.”

Rose seemed to be looking around for something to throw at him. “Last thing we heard they were sending Martha in under cover on that medical job,” she reminded him. “Maybe something went wrong?”

“It’s possible,” he agreed. Though if they went back every time a Torchwood operation might have gone pear-shaped, they wouldn’t spend very much time travelling.

He knew exactly what Rose would say if he grumbled about that. She’d say he should have thought about that when the three of them made a commitment to each other.

Tricky word, commitment. That was why he’d spent so much of his life avoiding it.

“I think we should go back,” said Rose. “We needn’t hang around if there’s nothing wrong.” She looked at him. “You’re rubbing the base of your spine again.”

He turned to the controls. “Your wish is my command,” he said, maintaining the illusion that he felt he had a choice.

“Besides,” she added, “those were the last of the biscuits. You don’t half go through them.”

*******

Martha Jones thought that she’d seen everything and could handle whatever her mad life threw at her. She’d cleaned up dead bodies before. She’d seen plenty of bodies that were too far gone for anybody to clean up, or even identify, tossed in rotting piles by people too weak to deal with them. Compared to that, a nice clean autopsy in these conditions should be a walk in the park.

But this was Owen Harper, for God’s sake. Someone she’d just been getting to know and like. Someone that the four people standing behind her had loved, in their own ways, though if he’d heard any of them use the word he’d have probably sprung up from the metal tray he was lying on with a remark laced with enough bile to leave tears pricking behind their eyes.

Worst of all, she’d been partly responsible for this death. She’d fallen into the trap of thinking they were all immortal, letting the adrenaline do the talking. Maybe she’d become a little too accustomed to having adventures with people who couldn’t die. And then, when Owen had fallen to the ground with a bullet in his heart and a look of indignant puzzlement on his face, she’d shared his disbelief.

People like Owen didn’t die. It was against the natural order of the universe – guys in their twenties, full of bullshit and nerve and unrealised potential. They didn’t get killed, or if they did you could do something about it. Turn back time, reverse it, bring them back to life, show it was all a mistake…anything.

The chill of the room surrounded her as she forced her mind back to reality. It was creepy down here, and she was surprised she’d not noticed it until now. All blue-tinged screen light, strange howls and hisses, a chill in the bones that was only partly explained by the hard tiled surfaces surrounding her. All their attempts to lighten the deadly seriousness of their work with banter and innuendo, take-out and cups of coffee, seemed pathetic now. Just a guttering candle in a vast, dark coalmine with hidden depths.

She willed her hands not to tremble. Her voice, likewise. The microphone dangled from the ceiling before her as she began the autopsy report. She felt, rather than saw, Ianto wince and look away as she picked up the saw.

The wound on Owen’s pale torso, sanitised but still fatal, looked for a minute as if you could just peel it away, like the sacred heart on a plaster Madonna.

Jack erupted into the scene, full of defiant life, and she wanted, so very much, to trust him as he yelled down at her not to do a thing until he got back. But she’d seen a lot, and she knew death wasn’t bought off that easily. Even a Time Lord wasn’t always able to hold it back. The Doctor had clung to a body and sobbed with the weakest of them.

And if the Doctor didn’t dare to raise another Time Lord from the dead, with all the means at his disposal, she didn’t want to be around when Jack pulled some stunt only he knew about. Martha Jones didn’t scare easily, but she was scared now.

“Where’s he going?” she asked Ianto, as they all sat edgily waiting for him to return. An hour, a day, a week, who knew? This lot had known Jack to disappear for a very long time without a word of explanation. How long did it have to be before someone assumed command? This wasn’t UNIT. The procedure for a situation like this wasn’t laid down in a convenient handbook carrying the risk of court-martial if you deviated from it. This was the underworld, the home of ghosts and shadows.

“You heard what he said,” Ianto replied, without turning to look at her. “He’s going to bring him back.”

“Can he do that?” Martha knew from the chill around her heart that Jack probably could. Make that certainly could. Well, almost.

“He did it with Suzie,” said Tosh, speaking for the first time since they’d started the autopsy.

“Did what?”

“It’s called the Resurrection Glove,” said Gwen. “It was found in the Bay over forty years ago. You can use it to bring people back to life, but it only keeps them alive by draining the life force of the person who uses it.”

Not a problem for Jack, Martha couldn’t help thinking. He’d so much life force even the Doctor hadn’t the faintest idea what to do with it.

Martha wished the Doctor could be here right now. She knew exactly what he’d do with something like the Glove – point the sonic screwdriver at it and vaporise it, without bothering to ask permission first.

“But the Glove was destroyed,” Ianto pointed out.

“I know,” agreed Gwen. “But what do you know about gloves?”

The answer was so present in the room with them that nobody needed to speak.

Martha reached into the pocket of her white coat. The solid shape of her phone was comforting, even though she had no immediate plans to use it. She wasn’t a paid-up member of the team, and they were facing perhaps their darkest hour. She didn’t feel she’d any right to invoke the nuclear option of dialling the TARDIS number. Oh, he’d come, she was sure, like a shot, once she mentioned her fears about what Jack might be going to do. But she’d seen what had happened to Jack’s fragile relationship with the Doctor and Rose the last time someone had overruled his authority.

If you took Torchwood away from Jack, you’d break him, as surely as it had broken the Doctor to lose his TARDIS. Jack had told her what the Valiant had been like – the sobs in the night, the cries of Rose’s name – the Master had always been careful to place Jack well within earshot. Chained, of course, and unable to do a thing about it.

Jack had had enough of feeling useless and impotent. Martha would have to be sure, very sure, before she’d risk that happening again.

She pulled her hand from her lab coat pocket and flopped down onto the checked sofa, biting on her knuckles as the moments ticked by.

******

Faith. The substance of things unseen.

Long ago when he’d been a different man – still a boy, in fact - Jack had gathered around the little kids who were running riot at his dad’s funeral breakfast and driving his mother over the edge. It was all he could do for her by then. He’d taken them down to the beach and they’d played ball because they were too young to stop doing that stuff just because there were lumps of torn clothing and human remains still lying around in the sand dunes.

His dad had played ball with a lot of kids, and they’d loved him. The anecdotes and tributes that had been held back through the half-understood formalities flowed freely as soon as the sea air touched their skin and they relaxed into skimming stones and hanging out. Each voice had brought a little piece of his father’s broken body back to life – gradually putting it back together in their hearts and memories.

Re-membering. Putting the pieces together. Bringing them back to life.

Do this – play ball, break bread, feel the wind on your face – in remembrance of me.

All his long, long life, through all the deaths he’d witnessed – from the violent and shocking ones to the merciful and inevitable – Jack had wanted to call someone back and ask them where his dad had gone. Whether he knew his older son had let him down. And if he did, whether he forgave him.

That included his own deaths – so many now, he’d long since lost count. Every time he’d tried to hang on and get a glimpse behind the veil before he was flung back into conscious life again. Kept thinking that with practice, mindfulness, self-discipline, he’d manage it, or at the very least get closer each time. He’d never succeeded. But that didn’t stop him trying.

Maybe that was one reason he was here now, feeling remarkably little fear, in a derelict church crawling with Weevils, clutching a wooden box that he’d been warned not to go anywhere near. As if that would happen. That little girl had been young, but wise beyond her years, and plenty wise enough to know that Jack didn’t request that kind of information if he wasn’t planning on using it sometime. But she was neutral. She’d waved the disclaimer under his nose. Now it was down to him.

He wasn’t gonna think about this going wrong. Wasn’t gonna think about it, period. All he knew was that Owen’s time hadn’t come. Not yet. It wasn’t about him being too young – this job was Russian roulette every time they went out there, and all of them knew it. Put it down to a feeling in the bones, maybe – that Owen was part of the next wave, the unidentified 21st Century sequence of events that made everything change. Jack was following orders, nothing more.

Following orders wasn’t something he did very often. He was more the make-the-rules-as-you-go kind of guy. It was one of the reasons why, when push came to shove, he hadn’t been able to work with the Doctor. In that respect, they were too alike. Live with him, yeah, he could do that. Work with him, almost certainly not. Torchwood was his domain, his identity, everything that made him Jack Harkness and stifled the screams of what had gone before. If he started letting someone tell him what to do, he just knew that, in some non-specific way, some very bad shit would happen.

It wasn’t arrogance, exactly. More sticking to the devil you knew.

But this wasn’t the time to be thinking about demons. He already had power over death itself. All that the box contained, the way he saw it, was a kind of superconductor to transfer some of that to Owen. To deliver Martha from guilt, Tosh from grief and himself from unanswered questions that wouldn’t go away.

He could have driven but he’d chosen to go on foot – he wanted the sensory input to keep him grounded. His feet hitting the pavements. Colours, lights and city noises, people going about their business blissfully unaware of their place at the intersection of more than one reality. He’d stand in the gap. He’d protect them. He’d save them. You didn’t need a TARDIS and a pinstripe suit to save people.

As he pounded the pavement, relishing every breath in his lungs, he repeated his promise – half manifesto, half prayer.

“I’m gonna bring him back.”

********

The TARDIS landed right in the middle of the Hub, and when they opened the door Martha rushed in and threw herself towards the Doctor. Rose saw instantly from the state she was in how right they’d been to follow their instincts.

 “How did you know? I nearly phoned you,” she kept saying. She was normally such an ice-maiden. Rose’s sense of dread was growing as she watched.

“Martha, what is it?” he asked. “What’s wrong?”

“Owen,” she replied. “He’s dead. Shot through the heart. He’s on the autopsy table right now.”

“Oh God, no!” Rose gasped, her worst fears confirmed. He’d never been her favourite but she knew that, whatever the circumstances, Jack would be devastated and almost certainly blame himself. Nothing mattered more to him than protecting his team.

“What happened?” the Doctor demanded. “What can we do to help?”

“Jack’s disappeared,” Martha said, fighting back tears. “I was just about to start the autopsy when he shouted at us all to do nothing until he gets back – then he just ran off. And the last thing he said was, ‘I’m not letting him go.’ But he’s dead – what can anybody do about that?”

“We have to find him,” said the Doctor. The compassion that had filled his eyes a few seconds ago had disappeared; now they were hard and cold.

“But what about the rest of you?” asked Rose.

“That’s where you come in, Rose,” the Doctor said. “I have to stop Jack. You stay here. You’ve got your phone – call me if he shows up. Don’t let him do anything unless I’m here.”

“And how do you suppose I’m gonna stop him?” she demanded.

“You’ll think of something. Martha, have you any idea where he might have gone?”

“He’s not answering calls,” she said. “But Gwen was talking about something called the Resurrection Glove. It brings people back from the dead, just for a couple of minutes……”

“Oh, no, no, no!” cried the Doctor, sprinting out of the TARDIS towards the waiting team. Naturally he took command from that instant, and the only person likely to argue with that was lying lifeless on a table. “Ianto, where’s the most likely place he’d go? Did he take the vehicle? I’ll put a biomarker trace on him. Gwen, I want to know everything about this Glove he’s going on about. If it’s the one I think it is, he mustn’t be allowed to use it, whatever happens.” He paused, glanced around at their open mouths and pale, stricken faces. “And I’m sorry. I really am so very sorry.”

“I was wondering when you’d get around to that, Doctor,” Ianto observed.

“I’d like to see him, if I may.” For some reason, he looked at Tosh, as if she was the one to grant permission.

Tosh exchanged a glance with Gwen. “I don’t see why not,” Gwen agreed.

Rose followed them into the autopsy room. Owen lay with his face uncovered, the instruments ready and waiting on a trolley beside him. Silently, the Doctor, who had seen so much death in his lifetime, lifted back the green sheet and examined the wound. “What a waste,” he sighed. “I wish we’d been here. Maybe I could have saved him.”

“I’m sure if there was anything anybody could have done, Jack would’ve tried,” Martha pointed out. “If it’s anybody’s fault, it’s mine. He was trying to save me.”

“We look out for one another, Martha,” Gwen said. “It’s part of the contract. Nobody’s blaming you or anybody else.”

“She’s right,” Rose said, and she squeezed Martha’s shoulders, all the previous awkwardness between the two of them long forgotten. “If it helps, you can tell me what happened.” Her memory went back to the first time she’d dealt with a fatality on Torchwood duty – she’d made it very clear to Pete that she wanted no special privileges as the boss’s daughter. Now she felt nothing but sympathy for Martha; her impassive face locked away her feelings, but the tight set of her mouth and the tension in her shoulders revealed what she was going through.

Rose felt a flash of anger against Jack for leaving her alone at such a time. And why did they need an autopsy anyway, she wondered? Anyone could see what had killed Owen – a bullet through the heart.

Tosh was in need of distraction therapy. “I’ll pull up the file on the Glove,” she told the Doctor. “The original was destroyed after an incident a couple of years ago.”

“Suzie Costello.” The Doctor nodded, putting on his glasses.

“If there’s another one out there, none of us knew anything about it until now,” said Tosh.

“You still don’t. You’re making assumptions,” he pointed out. “However, gloves do tend to come in pairs and these were no exception. Oh yes!” His eyes narrowed as he scrolled down the screen. “That’s a Vornoid Temporal Manipulator all right.”

“You know about these things?” Tosh asked.

“Know about them? I should say so. My people had them banned. The race that invented them thought they could keep it to themselves, more fool them. Word got out, and started an interplanetary war that lasted two hundred and forty years. The plan was to destroy every last one of them. Looks like this one got away.”

“How did the Time Lords get involved?” asked Rose.

“Oh, it’s a long story,” he said quickly. “You see, when a life ends, particularly in violent circumstances, there’s a wave of psychic energy released, strong enough to be picked up and harnessed by someone with enough empathy with the deceased. And this device uses a crude form of radioactivity to concentrate it. What it does, in reality, is to slow down time. But the problem is every action has a reaction, and time has a way of restoring equilibrium. Generally by draining away the life force of the person who used the glove.”

Gwen shuddered. “That’s what happened to me. I started off feeling sorry for Suzie, then it took me over. Nearly killed me. By the time Jack got to me I had the same wound as her in the back of my head.”

“Exactly. You can’t reverse a time line. Well, there are ways of doing it, but they’re extremely dangerous, even if you know exactly what you’re doing. People think it was all about protecting our intellectual property. It wasn’t. It was about keeping the universe in one piece.”

“But what if somebody with an infinite life force used the Glove?” asked Rose. “Someone who could go on and on being…” She hesitated at the word, “- drained, and still keep going?”

“Then, eventually, you’d rip a hole in time and let the Reapers in,” he replied, his face softening momentarily as he brought up what he knew must be a painful recollection for her. “But long before you reached that point, the chances are the Glove would take on a degree of self-determination. And then you’ve got something rattling around of its own volition with the power to warp time itself. It could age you a hundred years instantly, just by touching you. Or start seeking out the dead and dying of Cardiff to harvest the energy to keep itself going.”

There was a charged silence.

“Then we’d better find Jack,” Gwen said, simply.

<img src='http://miranda.icons.ljtoys.org.uk/mi/dot.gif' border=0 alt=' '>

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
dark_aegis
Mar. 10th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
So Wendy told me you were working on this. I'll admit it, I danced for joy when I found out. Because I do so love this 'verse you've created. And I absolutely love your explanations for what happened to Owen. Infinite life force, infinite drain eventually equaling Reapers? Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

This line made me laugh, btw:

“Depends on the play. And whether you’ve got a skull in your hand at the time. Obviously, it’s hard not to be a bit maudlin with a skull in your hand.”

Perfect Ten. I absolutely look forward to the next installment. Will the Doctor stop Jack? Will Owen rise from the dead (again)? Oooh, I'm on tenterhooks for the next chapter! :)
catsfiction
Mar. 11th, 2008 12:01 pm (UTC)
First, thank you for reading when there is so much going on in fandom right now. I did enjoy the Shakespeare bit - a bit of art imitating life there, Mr Tennant.

And wanting to involve the Doctor in the fallout from Reset has been incubating for a while!
svanderslice
Mar. 10th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
wow. Just wow. Your writing blows me away every time I have the priviledge to read it. I love how you weave cannon with original plot and make it seem like it should have been this way. I wait with baited breath for more. :)
catsfiction
Mar. 11th, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. It's always a temptation to improve on canon, isn't it?
earlgreytea68
Mar. 10th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
My favorite lines:

“So didn’t Shakespeare write anything?” Rose paused halfway through the custard cream she was munching.

“He was a brilliant editor. You should have seen Hamlet’s soliloquy in the first draft.”

Ha! Shakespeare was a beta! That's awesome!

"After Canary Wharf, there had been times – horrible times – when he’d found himself starting one and petered out when he’d realised he was talking to the struts on the control room walls."

Aw! *sniffle* Poor Doctor.

"The Doctor had clung to a body and sobbed with the weakest of them."

I love this. Because it's true, after all.
catsfiction
Mar. 11th, 2008 12:03 pm (UTC)
There is a surprisingly compelling body of evidence that Shakespeare was indeed a beta for various people. But I like the unvarnished myth best, myself.
jen_the_genie
Mar. 11th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
Another fabulous opening chapter.

And, while I'm here, I'd like to take to take the opportunity to say some things to you that I've wanted to say every time I come to one of your fics, but always felt might be viewed as being particularly obsequious or over-the top. Never the less, as a long time fan of of Doctor Who - and I'm guessing from some of your knowledge and referencing in both your blogs and fiction - about as long as you, I can honestly say that one of the reasons I so love, am in awe, and constantly seek your work out above and beyond the vast majority of what is out there, is that although your love of the show, characters, and it's spin offs is self evident, you consistently surprise and amaze me by seeing beyond what the rest of us see, go under the surface, between the lines and come up with new and exciting possibilities, scenarios and ideas. You're also incomparably accurate with characterization, spot on with voices and lovingly careful to maintain the essence and integrity of the show/shows, while still being superbly unafraid to be creative - a talent that I'm sure a vast number of the franchises writers would not only benefit from, but would also be willing to sell their own souls (and their grandmothers) to be able to reflect with the seamlessness that you do. Why you aren't doing this for a living is a complete mystery to me.

That said, I wait in eager anticipation to see where you're going to take me next.
catsfiction
Mar. 11th, 2008 12:04 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a fabulous review. I do have the advantage of not being answerable to audience figures, budgets and the world at large. And if they'd pay me to do it I wouldn't complain. Meanwhile I'm a children's librarian, so I get to fangirl a little for money, and I'm not complaining.

Thank you so much!
maniacalshen
Mar. 11th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC)
So, does this erase what happened at the very end of Life in Cardiff? Or retcon it, rather? Either way, great chapter. Figures the Doctor would know what's up with the glove! Something tells me it won't stop this situation from going pear-shaped, though. ;)
catsfiction
Mar. 12th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
I like to think of it as an alternative ending - you pays your money, etc.
wendymr
Mar. 12th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
Of course, one consequence of having me as a BR is that you get my comments there rather than in this thread... but I do re-read when you post and I enjoyed this all over again :)

We all wanted the Doctor/Rose/Jack reunion, but now because of Jack's desperation and the Doctor's inability to remember that Jack is his lover and partner and therefore deserving of his respect he's going to ride roughshod all over him again, isn't he? And Jack's going to see it as yet more evidence that the Doctor is incapable of compromise or of ever treating him as an equal (and, probably, that Rose doesn't even see the inequity).

Oh, dear.

But, as always with your fics, you're showing us the hard realities of life, particularly with three such different people trying to build a relationship together. I'm a sucker for my happy endings, but I do enjoy the bumpy road of getting there when it's as well-written and credible as this. Settling in for the ride and really looking forward to my advance peek at the next chapter :)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )